Salad days

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A great accompaniment to any meal is a tasty and sustaining salad. A good salad for me is defined by its dressing, so yes, do judge a salad by its dressing!

Fresh herbs often brighten the flavour of your salad and with quite an assortment available to us, go ahead and chop some up and add to your salad at the last moment.

The key to making a great salad is simply use fresh ingredients and serve your salad immediately, if you are making a salad with lots of lettuce then dress it at the last moment, if you are making a bean salad or starchy salad, then dress it, and refrigerate covered until ready to serve.

Provision salad

4 lbs provision (dasheen yams, sweet potatoes), peeled boiled and cut into cubes

⅓ cup red wine vinegar

⅔ cup olive or vegetable oil

½ tsp paprika

½ tsp oregano

1 tsp minced garlic

¼ cup minced parsley

¼ cup diced celery stalks

¼ cup chopped fresh chives

¼ cup diced sweet red bell pepper

1 tbs Dijon mustard

salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

Combine dasheen with pepper, celery, chives and parsley, oregano, paprika.

In a small bowl combine oil with vinegar Dijon, garlic, salt and black pepper, blend to make a thick emulsion.

Combine with dasheen toss to coat evenly.

Garnish with parsley, refrigerate until ready for use.

Serves 10

Beet and pineapple salad

4 large beets, roasted or boiled

2 cups pineapple chunks

2 pimento peppers, seeded and finely chopped

½ cup chopped fresh parsley

½ cup chopped chives

For the vinaigrette

2 cloves garlic

2 tbs lime juice

⅓ cup olive oil

salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients for the dressing, stir or shake well and set aside.

Finely chop pineapple and place in a large glass bowl, peel beets and dice finely, add to pineapple, add the peppers and pour on the dressing, toss, add chives and refrigerate until ready for use.

Before serving add parsley and toss again.

Serves 6

Orange, kale and christophene salad

1 christophene peeled, halved, seeds removed and cut into julienne

½ bunch tender kale, stems removed and sliced

2 oranges, cut into segments

⅓ cup thinly-sliced red onion

1 tomato cut into quarters

Few sprigs mint

Combine all the salad ingredients, toss with dressing and garnish with mint leaves.

Dressing

1 tbs fresh lime juice

1 clove garlic grated

salt and black pepper

1 tsp honey

4 tbs olive oil

Whisk together lime juice, garlic, salt, pepper and honey.

Whisk in olive oil until the mixture emulsifies.

Serves 4

Seafood salad

1 lb salad shrimp, steamed

1 lb crab meat. Picked over and steamed if necessary

⅓ cup chopped parsley

⅓ cup chadon beni

⅓ cup chopped basil

1 cucumber thinly sliced

Dressing:

⅓ cup olive oil

2 tbs red wine vinegar

2 tbs lime juice

¼ cup ketchup

½ cup mayonnaise

1 tsp freshly-ground black pepper

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp Dijon or yellow mustard

salt to taste

Combine shrimp, crab, and herbs and cucumber.

Combine all the ingredients for the dressing, pour onto seafood and toss.

Chill if not using right away.

Serves 6

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