Sunday, April 27, 2008

balad to salad

There are a few things in life that make me uncompromisingly happy... to name a few... being nuzzled into my boyfriend Sonnie's armpit, a campfire, a majestic mountain, good sweet music, an americano that is as black as the night sky, a good teacher (in yoga and in life) and a good salad.
This post is a tribute to the good salad that makes me smile from ear to ear. All the colors, all the wonderful ingredients, the smells and tastes. I would like to share with you some of my favorite toppings and if you have any for me that I might be missing out on... please let me know!
A little history on the cause of my pleasure...
Food historians tell us salads (generally defined as mixed greens with dressing) were enjoyed by ancient Romans and Greeks. As time progressed, salads became more complicated. Recipes varied according to place and time. Dinner salads, as we know them today, were popular with Renaissance diners. Composed salads assembled with multiple ingredients were enjoyed in the 18th century. They were called Salmagundi. Today they are called chef's salad.
The French use the word salade for anything that is messy. ha!

My favorite topping is mixed nuts and seeds (raw sunflower) fried lightly in a mixture of tamari soy sauce, honey, good quality oil and a sprinkle of curry powder. (It sounds crazy, I know, but it is sweet and salty at it's finest).
I can't diminish the simple toppings of grated beet root, carrot or avocado.
My friends and I are also keen on throwing some raisins and or cranberries in the mix.
Lately I have been experimenting with water chestnuts grilled with shitake mushrooms in a sesame ginger sauce. They give an unbelievable and satisfying crunch.
I have been known to add grilled and roasted red peppers and asparagus with a touch of balsamic. To make a warm bowl it is also nice to add some quinoa (red is something to really marvel at) or organic brown rice.
Of course goat's cheese and goat's feta.
For the greens I especially like spinach and a little bitter taste like arugula or swiss chard. Bean Sprouts! Organic kale is wonderful if it is lightly steamed. I also enjoy rosemary and fennel with an olive oil and balsamic dress.
I shouldn't forget that dried blueberries make an excellent touch of sweetness or that wild strawberries may make the finishing touch.

Dress it mix it toss it up to super salad status and dish it to those that you truly love.


EDINA Digimap Support said...

Lydia, I particularly like new potatoes, with mozarella, avocado and cress. Yes, cress! Boil the baby potatoes, chop the avocado into cubes, rip up the ball of mozarella and chop the cress over the top. Drizzle with olive oil and a decent squeeze of lemon juice. Easy, quick, tasty, cheap. What more can you ask for? :-)

Lydia said...

Thankyou! Will try!