The Tribune - Spectrum

Sweet and sumptuous summer delights
June 25, 2000
Delicious desserts
June 11, 2000
Cool it with...
May 28, 2000
Non-vegetarian salads
May 14, 2000

Sunday, July 9, 2000
Sugar 'n' Spice

Salads For All
By Harkiran Sodhi

SALADS are one type of food that can use just about anything that is edible in them and still taste great. Salads in their many avtaars are found all over the world.Most of the different salads not only use different ingredients but the dressings also vary. Availability of vegetables and the climate as well as the cuisine and palate are all the reasons variation in flavours that are found.

Use your imagination to make salads interestingIn France a simple green salad is possibly most liked, the English palate likes mixed salads with a combination of lettuce, cucumber and beetroot and other such. The addition of fruit into a salad is thought to have been brought about courtesy of the Americans, while the Indian salads use lots of onions, cucumber, tomato and the dressing is traditionally light and lemon based.

Salads are popular not only because they taste good, but also as they are richest as well as the cheapest source of nutrition and contain vitamins and minerals that are essential to our health. When a salad is balanced well with all the additives of cheese, eggs, fish, beans, along with the vegetables the result is a perfectly balanced meal.

Making salads is not at all difficult and best of all you can use all the imagination that you have to make your salads more interesting or tasty. Using the freshest possible greens is one basic tip to making good salads. Apart from this it is best to add in the salad dressing only just while serving apart from just a few exceptions.

  Salad greens that are popularly used in salads are cabbage, lettuce, parsley, endive, spinach and spring onions. Cabbage can be of the regular or the red head cabbage variety which is now available locally as well. Lettuce also comes in different varieties in the West like the iceberg lettuce and or the bib lettuce and it doesn’t matter which you use. Apart from this beans, carrots, cauliflower, bean sprouts cucumber, radish, capsicum, tomatoes are other popularly used vegetables in different types of salads.

Salads can be of different types: there is the simple green tossed salad, which is often called a French salad . This salad contains a mixture f greens which are torn into bite sized pieces and then dressed with a light vinaigrette dressing. This type of salad is used to accompany the main dish.

Mixed salads include additions like tomatoes, cheese, eggs etc and these are more filling and are often eaten as a meal in themselves. The salad dressing in these salads can be a vinaigrette dressing or then a dressing with a variety of herbs.

Composed salads are those which are carefully arranged in a serving bowl and a little of the dressing is then spooned onto it. While eating the person can add on extra dressing onto his portion of the salad to taste. Salads that are either rice, pasta , macaroni, or potato based are considered substantial salads. These use other salad greens and vegetables along with the base of rice, pasta and the dressings are usually creamy and varied in type.

There are also cooked salads where cooked vegetables are marinated in a dressing and then served often as an appetizer or a salad. There are starter salads, which you start a meal with , side salads which are either served on their own or as an accompaniment to a dish and light meal salads which contain eggs, meat, fish or cheese as well as vegetables and is usually served with a roll of bread and a glass of wine.

Two Bean Salad


3/4 cup chick peas

3/4 cup Rajma

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley (if fresh or then 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes)

2 tablespoons finely chopped capsicum

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon light cream cheese


Soak the beans in a pan of water and leave them overnight. Cook the beans in water till they are boiled and tender but not overdone. Drain the beans and allow all the water to drain away leaving them in a colander for about 10 minutes. Put the beans in a serving bowl and mix in the parsley and the capsicum. Add in the lemon juice and mix it all well. Put a heaped tablespoon of cream cheese on the top of the beans and serve garnished with lemon wedges.