Salads are my favorite things, especially throughout spring and summer. In colder months, soups replace them as my go-to lunch and quick meals.
I eat salads almost everyday. It is rare that I deviate from this habit and thus, the need to add excitement, interest and new taste to our salads is extremely high. I am also not a fan of store bought salad dressing (nothing against them) and prefer simple oil and vinegar or homemade dressings I put together in a jiffy from ingredients at hand.
Sometimes though, the easiest and most fun way of putting together a special salad treat is to use colors. In Spring and Summer when the gardens are bountiful and tender greens, yellows, reds and oranges are abundant; you just need to let your eyes do the choosing and your hands do the chopping.
Need an inspiration? Here is one:
All About Colors Salad
Use as much or as little of each ingredient as you wish or replace them with your favorite veggies. Chop everything to uniform, bite size pieces for better presentation and easier eating. Arrange everything on a pretty Dish, add dressing, toss and enjoy.
- Lettuces: Romaine, Frisee, Boston, Red Leaf (all or a combination of)
- Tomatoes: Red, Yellow, Orange, Green (all or a combination of)
- Cucumbers: Persians are the best and you don’t need to peel or seed them
- Olives: Red, Green or whatever
- Fruits: Oranges (Mandarin or regular oranges, Sectioned), Apples or Pears, Grapes, Strawberries
- Onions: Red, shallots or Scallions
- Capers- drained and rinsed
- Zests: Orange, Lemon or Lime
- Herbs: Basil, Cilantro or Tarragon or none if you don’t like them
- Homemade croutons- I use stale breads or bagels at hand, slice them thinly or cut them in small cubes and place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Spray them with a dust of olive oil and sprinkle them with a dash of dried herbs, paprika, grated cheese or red chili flakes. Bake in preheated oven at 400 F for 7-10 minutes until they have a nice color and are crispy.
- Meat (optional): grilled chicken or shrimp or salmon leftovers are great or add favorite cold cuts
Makes enough dressing for a large salad for 4
|Mustard- preferably Dijon Mustard and definitely not French’s Yellow Mustard||1 Tablespoon|
|Acid: Lemons/Limes or Vinegars (try equal mix of Rice, Red and Champagne Vinegars)||1/4 Cup|
|Oil: the best Olive Oil you can buy (there is a reason why some cost 5 times more than the others)||1/4 Cup|
|Garlic: Finely Grated- Omit if not a fan; but it adds a great taste or use a dash of garlic powder instead||1 Clove|
|Herbs: Finley Chopped- Omit if you don’t like them; but they are just fabulous in this dressingUse Parsley/Cilantro/Basil/Tarragon or a combo||1 Tablespoon|
|Salt and Pepper||To Taste|
Whisk together Mustard, garlic, salt, pepper and the acid/s. Add herb/s and continue whisking as you slowly add the oil until you have a smooth dressing. You can use a mini food processor instead of a whisk. Keep extras in the refrigerator.
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