The word ‘salad’ comes from the French word ‘salade’ having the same meaning and from the Latin word ‘salata’ which means salty. In English, the word first appears in the 14th century. The term ‘salad days’, meaning ‘days of youthful experience’, was first recorded by Shakespeare in 1606.
Salads are of different types, such as, Green Salad (only leafy vegetables used), Vegetable Salad (leafy or non leafy vegetables used along with non-vegetables), Bound Salad (often used as sandwich fillings. Salad examples- Egg salad, Tuna salad, etc), Fruit Salad (as the name suggests, they are made of fruits), Main Course Salad (a type of heavy salad. Example – Caesar salad, Cobb salad, Greek salad, etc.) and Dessert Salad (they are sweet. Example – Cookie salad, Pistachio salad, etc.).
Salads are highly nutritious and good for your health. Moreover, they are quite filling.
They are easy to make and they hardly take much time to be prepared. You can experiment with different textures, colours, flavours and prepare your salad as par to your taste bud.
A few delicious easy-to-make salads:
Chicken Caesar Salad with Herbs and Croutons
Time: 20 to 25 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8
For dressing – ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 8 anchovy fillets, 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 3 garlic cloves, 2 tbsp Dijon mustard, ¾ cup olive oil
For croutons and salad – 3 tbsp olive oil, 4 garlic cloves (minced), 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme, 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, 3 ¾ inch thick country bread slices (crusts cut off, bread cut into ¾ inch cubes, 12 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, cracked black pepper
Combine 1/2 cup Parmesan, anchovies, lemon juice, 3 garlic cloves, and mustard in processor; blend well. With processor running, slowly add olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
For croutons and salad:
Preheat oven to 325F. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, thyme and rosemary; sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add bread cubes to skillet with garlic-herb oil and toss to coat. Spread out bread cubes on rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake just until croutons are golden, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
Place romaine in large bowl. Add 2/3 cup dressing and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese and toss to coat. Add croutons and toss well. Serve (passing remaining dressing, Parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper separately).
Roasted Chicken Salad
Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Serves: 10 to 15
For the dressing – 1 cup mayonnaise, ¾ cup sour cream, ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp honey, salt, pepper
For the salad – 7 ½ pounds chicken breasts (boneless, skinless), salt, pepper, 2 pinches cayenne pepper, 1 tbsp lavender, 1 lemon (juiced), 3 cloves garlic ( minced), 2/3 cup sliced roasted almonds, 1 large onion (chopped), ½ bunch celery (chopped), herbs ( 2 tbsp chopped parsley leaves, 2 tbsp chives, 2 tbsp chopped tarragon leaves)
For the dressing – Mix all ingredients together.
For the salad – Preheat the oven to 400 F. Clean the chicken thoroughly. Sprinkle salt, pepper, cayenne, lavender, lemon and garlic on chicken. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown. Let chicken cool and then pull it into small strips. Add roasted almonds, onions, celery, dressing and herbs. Mix together all ingredients in dressing. Add the chicken. Mix. Serve.
Greek Tuna Salad
Time: 25 minutes
Ingredients: 3 cans water packed tuna (unsalted and drained), 6 ½ ozs artichoke heart marin (drained and quartered), ½ cup kalamata (pitted, halved), 1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles, 2 tbsp minced garlic, ½ cups purple onion (sliced), 2 tbsp sherry vinegar, ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, ¾ tsp kosher salt, ½ tsp black ground pepper (fresh), ½ cup flat leaf parsley (chopped), 1 head butter lettuce
Method: Combine all ingredients except lettuce in a large bowl. Arrange a few lettuce leaves on each of 6 plates. Spoon tuna mixture on top of lettuce and serve with pita chips or warmed pita halves.
Time: 10 minutes
Ingredients: ½ cup walnuts (chopped, slightly toasted), ½ cup celery (thinly sliced), ½ cup red seedless grapes (sliced), 1 sweet apple (cored and chopped), 3 tbsp mayonnaise, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, salt, pepper, lettuce
Method: In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise (or yogurt) and the lemon juice. Add ½ tsp of salt, ¼ tsp of fresh ground pepper. Add the apple, celery, grapes and walnuts. Mix. Serve on a bed of fresh lettuce.
Broccoli and Feta Pasta Salad
Time: 50 minutes
Ingredients: 1 pound tri-color pasta, 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided), 1 medium head broccoli (chopped into 1/2-inch florets),8 ounces feta cheese, 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives (roughly chopped), 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, flaky salt, freshly-ground black pepper
Method: Cook the pasta in a generous quantity of boiling, well-salted water. Drain and return to the pan or a large bowl and toss until coated with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep sauté pan over medium heat. Add the broccoli and cook until crisp-tender — about 5 to 7 minutes. Toss the broccoli with the cooked pasta. Crumble the feta cheese into the pasta, and stir in the olives as well. Whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and vinegar and toss with the pasta. Season generously with salt and pepper. Refrigerate overnight, or until serving.
Recipe and Image Courtesy – epicurious.com, yummly.com