I love this time of year for the huge variety of foods that can be eaten raw, thrown together or deliberately chosen to make a salad. I am not talking about the ubiquitous and frankly rather dull salad of some lettuce, cucumber and tomato which wouldn't work for me anyway as I am not able to eat tomato. There are so many interesting ingredients that you can use to make a salad which can be a meal in itself or a good healthy accompaniment.
A typical weekly menu will include at least one a day at this time of year and includes grain based salads such as Tabbouleh made with bulgar wheat, a Couscous based salad or with quinoa which I usually cooked in vegetable stock and garlic and mix in cooked beans, like pinto, chopped spring onion, cucumber and a mix of chopped fresh herbs. I make a couple of rice salads after cooking the rice I add a vinegrette made either with white wine vinegar, oil and a crushed clove of garlic mix into the rice whilst hot, once cool I add cooked peas and chopped dill, or the same vinegar and oil with mustard, turmeric and garlic again mixing into the rice whilst hot I add sultanas and leave to cool.
If you have any potatoes left after a meal you can chop them into small pieces and mix mayonnaise to make a quick potato salad, I sometimes add mustard and or a chopped spring onion for a bit of variety. I make a mushroom salad by slicing the mushrooms, you can use any, and a spring onion and mixing in a vinegrette of oil, vinegar, crushed garlic glove, honey and mixed herbs. A really simple carrot salad of grated carrot, toasted sunflower seeds tossed in soy sauce whilst hot and a drizzle of oil or another with grated carrot, grated ginger root, chopped shallots, mint, toasted mustard seeds and a dressing of vinegar or lime juice and oil.
You can make salads with beans, cook up a couple of dried beans, haricot and pinto for example, some green beans and toss in a dressing whilst hot and allow to cool. Cook up broad beans and mix with chopped olives, feta, mint, oil and vinegar.
You can use pasta in many different ways our favourite is to add in sliced green and black olives and capers with a dressing.
One of my favourite salads, is the cheapest for us at the moment, is to walk into my garden and pick a handful of leaves, currently we have lettuces, perilla, mizuna green and red, red and green mustard, greens in snow, marjorum, mint, chives and wild rocket to out in ours with a dressing of oil and balsamic vinegar I could eat it every day!
What salads do you enjoy eating?