I find during the summer (and I suppose generally throughout the year) that there is nothing like a well made salad – I have a problem with ready made to eat packets of salads as they never taste fresh and tend to spoil very quickly. We always have loads of veg in the fridge so a good selection is key to the makings of a great salad.
Onion – I love spring onions in a salad. Some people don’t but I think they add too it.
Peppers – are an essential to my salads, again some people don’t like them and people often like to say its not good for their gut, but I don’t buy it. The yellow, orange and red ones are sweet, while the ominous green ones are quite bitter. If you really have a problem with the green ones in a salad, keep them for ratatouille or soup.
Bulkers – fibre is great and there is nothing like those funny veg that many people complain about. I LOVE LOVE LOVE celery, although most in my family complain about it being tasteless, like cucumber. I don’t believe a word of it! Celery has this fresh crunch, that adds great texture to a salad and cucumber while also fresh has a softer more moist crunch to it. So they may be bulkers, but they are great! And don’t underestimate the importance of the fibre!
Tomatoes – I like having a nice selection of tomatoes, the normal round little red ones (moneymaker), those wonderful tiny plum tomatoes and I have a bit of a thing for the little yellow tomatoes, which are hard to find, but add some nice colour to any salad!
Lettuce – the key to any salad is the lettuce; we often have a selection handy. Good ol’ iceberg lettuce and round lettuce are the standards. I have an obsession with lamb’s lettuce since I was a kid <- so it always goes in, as does rocket which has a lovely peppery taste to it. Romaine or cos is that nice crunchy one that caesar salad’s always use. Chicory is one of my absolute favourites and those brown leaf ones are always in our salads because mom insists.
I’m on a low carb diet at the moment – which means I have to cut down on the high carbohydrate veg, like carrots, parnsips, turnips, celeriac, peas etc. What I’d normally do though is add a cup of corn to a salad and a couple handfuls of grated carrot.
Don’t forget a dressing, 2/5 balsamic vinegar, 3/5 olive oil, salt, pepper and a tablespoon of a mustard of your choice. Bottle, shake, serve.