GREEN LEAVES | how to create a salad repertoire
- Asian: eg baby spinach, watercress, coriander, mint, mizuna, spring onions or chives
- Italian: eg rocket (wild or large leaf), cos, basil, oregano, thyme, radicchio
- French: eg witlof, chervil, parsley, dill, marche rosettes,
- Classic: eg butter, mignonette, iceberg, mixed leaves, cabbage, sprouts - mung beans & alfalfa, micro salad - eg mustard or broccoli
- Fruit: pear slices, mango, lemon or lime zest, orange or grapefruit segments, avocado.
- Vege's: tomatoes (sliced or baby), capsicum (fresh sliced or shaved - red or yellow), cucumber (thinly sliced), carrot or beetroot (grated raw - long & thin), finely sliced baby mushrooms, sugar snap peas, asparagus, shaved fennel, spanish onion.
- Nuts and seeds: toasted pine nuts, sesame seeds &/sunflower seeds (toasted in tamari) or cashews, macadamia nuts, etc, toasted coconut.
- Cheese: crumbled goats cheese, crumbed marinated fetta, slices of boccinicci, shaved parmesan.
3. Dress to compliment
- Oils: EV olive, avocado, avocado with lime oil, walnut, sesame,
- Vinegars: balsamic, white balsamic, balsamic glaze, juice of lime or lemon or pink grapefruit or orange, raspberry vinegar,
- Seasoning: Salt flakes such as Murray River or Maldon + ground black pepper, garlic.
- Into a large open bowl, add greens, 'chopped' herbs, toss gently.
- Add 'goodies' of choice.
- Drizzle oil & vinegar of your choice. Season
- Toss & Serve.
Lost for ideas?Here are some of my favourite combinations. It all depends on what is in your fridge & fruit bowl! To go withTIPS & TRICKS - Have one of those cheap bright orange 'mandolin' slicers to quickly & effortlessly slice ingredients like cucumber, fennel, mushrooms like a chef! - Have one of those hand-hand held micro-graters to hold above salad bowl to zest lemon or lime - Don't make up a dressing in a jar or bowl - that's extra work inc washup time you can save for a 'special occasion', just drizzle the oil then vinegar over the leaves, add S&P and toss before eating. - Use scissors to chop your herbs - Make sure you have several different oils & vinegars on hand so you can always mix n' match. - Grow some herbs so they are always on hand to add that zing and change of flavour. - Buy loose leaves & whole lettuce as the latter lasts longer. That way you can buy & store at least 5 days of salad greens. - Rub the inside of the bowl with a clove of peeled garlic - helps inhibit inflammation that causes wrinkles! - You can also add roasted tomatoes or pumpkin or mushrooms but these take at least an hour to prep and lift the tone! KIDS To get my kids started on greens I took out a selection of goodies before the dressing goes on and popped them on their plate. I'd make them fun, use inner cos leaves and turn them into boats or get the little ones to make 'roll-ups' as they eat. Now most of the time they eat salad straight from the bowl. Kids love to help in the kitchen - get them involved in making salad by going into the garden to collect 'goodies' eg go on a herb hunt.
- Asian style bbq fish or or chicken: baby spinach + mint + coriander + mango (summer) + cucumber + lime zest + lime juice + EVOO + S&P.
- BBQ lamb chops or NY steak: mixed baby leaves + avocado + parsley + toasted sunflower & sesame seeds + walnut oil + white balsamic vinegar + S&P.
- Pasta: Cos lettuce + tomato + basil leaves + olives + EVOO + balsamic glaze + shaved parmesan + S&P.
- Savoury tart or omelette: butter lettuce + radicchio + pear + pinenuts + EVOO + chives + raspberry vinegar + S&P