Components of salads go way beyond simple raw vegetables. Consider using grains, beans, lentils, pasta, fresh fruits and juices, oven-dried vegetables, fresh poultry or seafood, game, herbs and spices such as ginger, Kafir lime leaves, star anise, cardamom, curry, lavender, lemon balm, and fresh cinnamon. Salads are a wonderful place to feature high-fiber, good carbs, proteins, and low-fat ingredients.
Recipes for Wild Mushroom Salad (Recipe 9-8) and Baby Mixed Greens with Shaved Fennel and Orange Sections (Recipe 9-9) appear in this chapter. Other possible salad combinations include the following:
Dressings are used in much more than salads. They can often be used as an ingredient in entrées, appetizers, relishes, vegetables, and marinades. There are
many categories of dressings. The best place to start is the basic vinaigrette, because it is simple and you can use ingredients such as herbs, spices, vegetables, and fruits to create many variations. The best ingredients to use include good-quality vinegars, first-pressed olive and nut oils, and fresh herbs, because you need the strongest flavor with the least amount of fat. Other good ingredients that add flavor without large amounts of kcalories, fats, or carbohydrates include Dijon mustard, shallots or garlic (which may be roasted for a robust flavor), a touch of honey, reduced vinegars, and lemon or lime juice.
For examples of vinaigrette recipes, see the recipes for Basic Herb Vinaigrette (Recipe 9-10), Orange Vin-aigrette (Recipe 9-11), and Sherry Wine Vinaigrette (Recipe 9-12). If you look at the Basic Herb Vinaigrette recipe, you will notice that instead of a ratio of 3 parts oils to 1 part vinegar, this recipe uses 1 part oil, 1 part vinegar, and about 2 parts thickened chicken or vegetable stock. This results in a satisfactory product whose flavor profile is boosted with fresh herbs, spices, garlic, vegetables, fruits, high-quality olive oil, and vinegar.
Other salad dressings often fit into one of one of these categories.
Creamy dressings—Tofu can be processed to produce a creamy dressing, as in Green Goddess Dressing (Recipe 9-14). Other creamy ingredients are nonfat or low-fat yogurt, nonfat sour cream, and low-fat ricotta cheese. Pureed fruits and vegetables are creamy and can be used as emulsifiers in salad dressings. Pureed dressings—Examples of pureed dressings include potato vinaigrette, hummus, and smoked-pepper or tomato tarragon coulis. Some of these dressings, such as hummus and green goddess, work well as dips.
3. Reduction dressings—Examples include Orange Vinaigrette (see Recipe 9-11), beet, carrot-balsamic, and apple cider dressings. These dressings can be made simply and are powerhouses of flavor. Keep in mind that their sugar content increases with reduction, and so with their intense flavors, they should be used sparingly.
Was this article helpful?
You may be forgiven for thinking that these passed down secrets had gone for good, washed away with time and the modern age, But they're not. You can now own three of the best traditional did you know style reports that were much loved by our parents and grandparents. And they were pretty smart too because not only will these reports save you time and money but they'll also help you eliminate some of the scourges of modern day living such as harmful chemical usage in the home.