SALADS can not only make great accompaniments with any meal but also can be filling in themselves to constitute an entire meal. Apart from the taste factor there is the health point which makes salads a great must in every meal. All doctors, health experts and nutritionists agree that green vegetables and fruits are the best things for your health. If they are eaten in their natural form without cooking or when they are correctly cooked ,they can actually give your body all the vitamins and nutrients that it requires to stay healthy and fit.
Radish and lettuce salad
2 large or 3 medium sized heads of lettuce
8 large or 15 small radishes
4 tablespoons vinaigrette dressing freshly ground coarse black pepper
Tear the lettuce leaves by hand into small bite-sized pieces rather than cutting them with a knife, wash and leave to drain. Wash the radishes , then slice them fine and keep them aside. Mix both the radish and the lettuce in a bowl and pour the salad dressing over it and then toss the salad well. Divide the salad into four salad bowls and sprinkle the freshly ground black pepper over each one before serving.
This is also called French dressing and is possibly the most popularly used salad dressing the world over. This is a light and tangy dressing and is mostly used on salads that comprise greens like lettuce, cucumber, beans etc.
2 tablespoons vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mustard
6 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
A pinch of caster or ground sugar (if needed)
Traditionally the vinaigrette dressing uses French Dijon mustard which comes in bottles and is in the form of a thick paste. This is a pungent mustard and just a little suffices. When not possible the easily available Indian option of mustard powder can also be used. The taste may vary a little depending on the variety of mustard used.
Add the vinegar, salt, pepper and mustard in a bowl and mix it well with a whisk. Slowly add in the oil and keep whisking it till the mixture thickens a little in consistency. The flavour of the dressing can be personalised to your liking. If it tastes too sour or sharp add in a pinch of the caster sugar.
Green bean salad
750 gm green beans
4 spring onions chopped very fine
1 small bunch of fresh lettuce leaves
2-3 tablespoons of vinegar
6-7 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of mustard
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley or 1 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Try to buy beans that are tender and fresh for this salad as the entire focus here is on the beans and it looks and tastes better if they are fresh as well as tender. String the beans and wash them and then cook them in boiling water with a little salt added to it till they are half way tender. In a bowl beat the vinegar, the mustard and the oil together. Try to use the mustard paste if possible rather than the mustard powder as it has a stronger flavour, but the powder can be used if you cannot get the paste. Add in the salt and pepper to the mixture and mix it well.
Drain the beans and toss with the dressing while they are still warm as the dressing stays on them better. Put them in a bowl and chill in the refrigerator. When you are ready to serve the salad take the lettuce leaves and place them on the sides of the serving platter till they completely cover the edges. Put the beans with dressing on to the centre and add the finely chopped spring onions and the parsley over the top. Serve immediately.