Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Salad Days

Last night we had a very tasty shrimp salad and I was thinking about what makes a good salad and how sad it is that very few restaurants bother to have innovative salads on their menus. It is pretty darn easy to make a salad interesting. All you have to do is four things:

1. Add a nut, any nut. I would avoid pecans or walnuts just because I am allergic to them and find them personally distasteful. Pine nuts can be toasted and are inoffensive and crunchy. Almonds are always good. Cashews are even a good choice. You just can't go wrong with adding a nut to your salad. It gives it that good crunch that a salad needs for mouth variety.

2. Vary your lettuces. And by that I mean DON'T USE ICEBERG! Really. Iceberg? Get over it. There are so many lovely lettuces out there. Use them. Try them all. Do an arugula salad or toss in some watercress with your romaine leaves. I personally love butter lettuce. MMMMMMM. Butter lettuce. mmmmmm.

3. Add a fruit be it dried or fresh. I personally think that the dried cranberry is the perfect salad fruit as it is tart yet sweet and in a tiny package perfect for a salad with no chopping necessary. I have tried dried raspberries and found them nastily chewy. Avoid dried raspberries. Use them in cereal instead. Dried apricots are nice in salads. Fresh mangos and strawberries are great in salads as are fresh raspberries.

4. Add a protein. I guess this one is optional since the nuts are technically a protein. If you are on a diet you could skip this one. I prefer shrimp, but you could add grilled chicken or salmon. Even steak if you are so inclined. You could even go really avant garde and throw in a blue cheese or gorgonzola or cambazola. Woohoo!

There you have it. How to make a more exciting salad: nuts, interestings lettuces, fruits and a protein. Get wild.

No comments: