Salad is our topic and we each like what we like on a salad. Diversity is really totally up to your wallet. Salad can be a bag of field greens with salt and pepper …or this piled high monstrosity that intrigues the minions or celery sticks with peanut butter. So lets look at the basics.
Scenario: You are strolling in the aisles of your favorite market. You have an unlimited uptown credit card and no idea where this will start or end. What do you do?
Answer: Your taste is the guide here….
So you look at the lettuce. But today you are confronted with the term “greens”. Arugula, Boston and Bibb lettuce, endive, mustard greens, radicchio, romaine, spinach and watercress are some choices. You have red leaf, green leaf, bib, mixed baby greens (loose leaf), iceberg, Boston, romaine and Chinese. Then these will expand into some wildly named seed variety as you get into some specialty markets. So look at the stock and select a robust healthy head or three. I love red leaf lettuce and a bib or boston variety. Romaine and Iceberg are lower on my list but I will go there if the red leaf lettuce looks terrible. Jicama and Fennel are another seasonal base for some nice greens. We will expand on this later.
Tomatoes: There are several hundred varieties of tomatoes. What you find in the market is a small scratch in the surface of the tomato. I think if you find a variety that you like to eat on a salad you are one up on an item you can enjoy over and over.
Are you thinking a bell pepper? Red, purple, green, yellow or orange are the colors I have sliced. The yellow and red are my usual go to bell peppers but I like other sweet varieties too.
Onions: Red, green, scallions, sweet, spring and leeks
Mushrooms and the several varieties you find in your store are another thought.
Herbs like basil, chervil, chives, cilantro, dill, marjoram, mint, parsley, oregano, rosemary, thyme.
Fruits: Apples, currants, dried cranberries, grapefruit, kiwis, mandarin oranges, mango, papaya, peaches, pineapple, raisins, raspberries, seedless grapes, strawberries
Other veggies: Alfalfa or bean sprouts, asparagus, avocado, beets, bell peppers (red, orange, yellow), broccoli, carrots, celery, corn, cucumbers, fennel, jalapeños, jicama, peas (frozen or fresh), radishes, mushrooms, scallions, vine-ripened tomatoes, zucchini
Legumes: Black beans, garbanzo beans, green beans, lentils, pinto beans, snow peas, white beans
Cheeses: Here you can go crazy…I love to cheese my salad.
Fish: Anchovies, herring, salmon, sardines, tuna and much more
Protein: Boiled eggs, broiled tofu cubes, edamame (whole, unprocessed soybean), strips of lean ham, pork, chicken, steak or turkey
Nuts or seeds: Almonds, flaxseeds, pecans, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, soy nuts, sunflower seeds, walnuts
Dressings: Balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, extra-virgin olive oil, hummus, lemon juice, lime juice, nonfat or low-fat yogurt, soy sauce today you are not limited by anything except your imagination.
Where there is a thought you can find it on top of something we call a salad… Here I have only opened the door to this topic. We can discuss this at length for weeks.