In part three of my Green Salad Series, we will be going over some simple (and even obvious) ways to add interest to your green salad. In part one we talked about our salad greens and in part two I shared how to make a simple dressing.
Recently, I noticed that my husband didn’t seem very interested in our green salads. I would always end up eating the leftovers. But once I started adding in some other vegetables and herbs for interest, he started enjoying our salads so much more. It really makes a difference for presentation, and taste appeal. You also get the benefit of all that added nutrition. This really works well for us (For more works for me wednesday tips, go here)
While there are even many more options than I am giving here, this is a good starting point. One type of vegetable can be added to a salad in many forms. For example, a carrot can be grated, chopped or made into ribbons, which I will be explaining below. Varying how you prepare you vegetables does add interest and variety. But making vegetables ribbons is one of my variates right now.
Making Vegetables Ribbons
To make these pretty carrot “ribbons”, wash and peel your carrot. Then, putting your carrot flat on the cutting board, take your peeler, and run it top to bottom creating a “ribbon”. Continue to do this until you are about half way down the carrot, then turn around and do the same on the other side. As long as your peeler is sharp, you should be able to use most of the carrot.
You can actually do the same thing with asparagus (my mother in-law was the one who first showed me this). This is also very pretty and adds a nice crunch and taste to your salad.
Another thing that is very tasty, if you can get our hands on them at the farmer’s market, are these young, sweet onions. I don’t usually like raw onions, but these are wonderful. I just thinly slice and add to my salad.
Another classic salad addition is cucumber. They are more in season right now, so they are really good. If you leave the peel on, make sure it’s not bitter. Otherwise, peel them before slicing.
And you can see in my picture on the top of this page, I also had some thinly sliced red and yellow peppers prepared as well. These are a favorite of mine as well. As long as you don’t get the green ones, they are sweet, crunchy, and very flavorful. Sometimes I thinly slice them, other times, I cut them into small pieces. One last, and one of the most favorite additions, is avocado. They add healthy fat and nutrients and a wonderful taste to your salads. It also makes it more filling.
One last way to add a lot of flavor (and, again, nutrition) is to add fresh herbs to your salad.
(Fresh thyme from my garden)
“Fresh herbs add extra phenols to salads, and phenols protect your cells against oxidative damage, which, over time, can lead to cancer, heart disease and more. In one study, sage, rosemary, thyme and marjoram added the most antioxidant power to a salad. In fact, fresh marjoram leaves more than doubled a salad’s antioxidant value, while adding a slightly sweet, minty flavor. Although your body’s native antioxidants (catalase, glutathione and SOD) are your top cellular protectors, herbs and spices seem to help mightily.”
I like basil and thyme especially. Just rinse, tear into smaller pieces and toss with the greens. Another, very refreshing herb to add is cilantro. Obviously, if you do this, don’t add herbs to your salad dressing!
I can guarantee that doing some or all of these steps will liven up your salad, and make it more of a main dish event! Tomorrow, I will be sharing some of my favorite protein additions, so stay tuned for that!
How about you? What are your favorite vegetable or herb additions to your salad?