A ZESTY ELEMENT
PISTACHIO NUTS ADD A CRUNCH TO THIS FLAVOURFUL CITRUS SALAD
Ilove salad. What makes a great salad? Fresh, crisp produce. What makes a salad extraordinary? Balance and surprise.
TIPS FOR SALAD GREATNESS
Homemade dressing: The single best way to improve your salads is to blend a few ingredients in a jar for a superior-tasting, low sugar, no preservative topping. Dressings can range from vinegar and oil to more elaborate concoctions with cream, fresh herbs or interesting spices. Homemade vinaigrettes and salad dressings keep well in the refrigerator — a week or so for cream-based, longer for simple vinaigrettes. Use them at room temperature for maximum flavour and palatability. Freshness: Think freshness from crisp salad greens, crunchy green onions and perfectly ripe tomatoes.
Crunch: Nuts and croutons, obviously, but other options include crisp apples, raw root vegetables such as diced kohlrabi, shredded beets, carrot curls and paper-thin radish slices.
Richness: This could come from a delicious olive oil drizzle, shreds or cubes of cheese, avocado chunks or bits of cooked bacon. A tiny portion of cream, yogurt or sour cream added to vinaigrette enriches a salad with minimal calories.
Acid: Brighten any salad, any season, with delicious vinegar. Fresh lemon, lime and grapefruit juices can also form the base of a great vinaigrette.
Salt: Yes, salt can make or break a salad. Most vegetables benefit from a little salt to enhance their natural flavours. Salt can also come in the form of shredded or grated aged cheese, such as Romano or Parmesan.
Protein: Even a side salad offers more long-lasting satisfaction with a bit of protein added. This can be as simple as a few nuts or shreds of cheese. Wedges of hard cooked-egg and canned beans, along with their low
cost, have the benefit of adding unique texture too. With a bit of planning, diced or shredded fully cooked meat, poultry and seafood make a salad a main dish contender
Surprise: One surprising ingredient can ward off salad boredom no matter the season. In winter months, clementine or grapefruit segments, sliced olives and diced pickled vegetables prove welcome in just about any salad. During other seasons, I add slices of ripe tomatoes and peaches, asparagus tips and sliced stalks, fresh peas in or out of the pod, ripe berries and shaved summer squash.