When I was growing up, about half an hour before dinner every night whoever was in the kitchen would help Mum whip up ‘the salad’. We had ‘the salad’ each and every night. Irrespective of what the main meal was, ‘the salad’ went with everything.
And I know our family wasn’t alone. My Mum was, and still is, a PHENOMENAL cook, however the salad we had each night was made up of exactly the same ingredients, and to be fair, was pretty darn boring. Whoever was helping in the kitchen each night would open the fridge and then open the salad crisper compartment and pull out cucumber, carrot, tomato, iceberg lettuce and red onion. They would slice and dice them and occasionally some Feta would get chucked on top before it hit the table, that kind of thing happens when you’re Greek (or even half Greek like me!) It was always dressed in olive oil and white wine vinegar.
Since then, salads have moved on, and whilst I definitely still enjoy ‘the salad’, now commonly known as a ‘garden salad’, it’s not my favourite or even 10th favourite salad when it comes to the variety that exist today! “Salad” has come leaps and bounds and I often make a Salad for dinner several nights a week, even when I am entertaining the crowds! Salads aren’t always low in fat and calories, or “healthy” so to speak, but I think if you go by the “everything in moderation” philosophy, then you don’t need to skip any food group at all!
Below I’ve given you wonderful people Seven, yes SEVEN, recipes for my favourite salads to make at this time of year. Each salad serves 4 people as a main.
1 – Broccoli, Bacon, Cashews and Currants Blanche 4 cups broccoli (should still retain crunch and bright green colour) Set aside and allow to cool. Cut 250 grams bacon into 1cm pieces and fry until crispy, set aside and allow to cool. Place 1 cup roasted cashews and 1 cup currants into a large mixing bowl, add cooled broccoli and bacon and combine all ingredients. Dress with 1/4 cup olive oil and the juice of one lemon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
2 – Corn, Carrot, Red Capsicum and Avocado Place 2 cups of canned corn into a bowl. Then, using a julienne slicer, (like a potato peeler, but cuts things in to thin strips) slice 4 large carrots into long thin strips, then cut strips in half with a knife so they are still thin but now only about 4cm in length. Add to corn. Dice 2 large red capsicums so that you have pieces that are 1/2 cm square. Add to corn/carrot bowl. Dice 2 avocados into small cubes (about 1/2 cm in size). Cover avocado cubes in the juice from 1 lemon. Add avocado to main bowl and mix ingredients together. Dress salad with Mayonaise dressing which is made by whisking together 1/4 cup whole egg mayonaise, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 4 tablespoons olive oil and 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar.