Health and taste in a bowl


salad   | Photo Credit: by arrangement

Salads have undergone a sea change with the Indian palette accepting international tastes and ingredients

Sliced cucumber, carrots and onion rings with the occasional lemon wedges were the only option for salads until some time now.

That is when ingredients like cherry tomatoes, dil, baby cabbage, lettuce and broccoli were ‘imported ingredients' seen on exotic cook books and international cookery shows. Then came a revolution when everyone spoke about the Russian Salad, followed by the real Caesar Salad. Over the years salads from being an accompaniment have turned into a meal in itself. While we love to eat these healthy bowls of green, recreating the same bowl have been a difficult task. Chefs and salad enthusiasts say the end product depends on the choice of vegetables, dressing and the toss.

Salads date back to the 14th century and was introduced by the Romans who unknowingly would have it to reduce their fat and carb intake as a substitute for a meat ridden diet. This was later introduced by the French with the concept of dressing which they call ‘salade'.

Summer is also an ideal time to load on the healthy greens in order to stay healthy, look fresh and feel light. Chefs recommend a whole dos and don'ts for salads when it comes to choosing vegetable and the dressings. While we eat salads and love this wholesome meal without having to worry about calories, it also important to know the type of salad one is selecting. Salads are broadly classified into green, vegetable, fruit, dessert, bound.

Choosing vegetables

According to chefs everything in a salad depends on the selection of vegetables, which in turn should be based on addressing the health needs of the individual. In the kitchens and chefs parlance vegetables in salads have three broad classifications.

Root vegetables (carrots, tarrow, beetroot - should be firm and heavy, have a smooth skin after the grub is cleaned).

Leafy vegetable (Chicory, Iceberg lettuce, Rocket, Watercress - should be crisp and crunchy when squeezed, break the vein of the leaf).

Vegetables grown above soil (brinjal, cauliflower, tomatoes)

Summer salads should be mostly based on leafy vegetables and fruits which can be either tossed, cooked, hot or even cold. According to chef Swapan “To maintain body temperature, go for cool salads. Vegetables which can substitute the water content in the body. Avoiding dressing and garnishes which are heat inducing, is good. Olives are mostly avoided during the summer as they generate a lot of body heat.”

Health facts say on an average a human being requires 2000-3000 calories depending on his work and activity.

This in turn differs depending on the environment, work and the physical demands of the individual. Greens are also ideal for keeping your blood sugar in check reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Adding more greens to you diet helps your body manage its weight better, improves your eye sight, skin and hair since greens are also an anti oxidant. Further regular intake of leafy greens deodorise the body and also boosts our immune system. Chef Pratap of Cinnamon Fusion says fruits and vegetables when combined in the right proportion can instantly convert a non-salad eater into a hardcore salad fan.

Green Love Salad

Green lettuce: 30 gm

Roman lettuce: 30 gm

Ice Berg lettuce: 30 gm

Tomato: 20 gm

Carrot: 15 gm

Yellow bell pepper: 15 gm

Baby tamarind leaves: 10 gm

Cucumber: 10 gms

Ingredients to be folded in (not tossed) a mixture of

Oregano Dressing

Extra virgin olive oil: 8 ml

Lime juice: 4 ml

White pepper: 6 gm

Oregano: 5gm

Salt: 4 gm

For the tamarind leaves

Balsamic vinegar: 15 ml

Olive oil: 6 ml

Fresh crushed black pepper: 5gm

Lemon juice: 3 ml

Summer Delight.

A light tropical salad with a delicious dressing this is a great starter for summer


Cup Orange segments: 1 cup

Apple slice: 1 cup

Banana: 1/2 sliced

Pineapple: 1/2 cubed

Sweet lime segments: 1/2

Beet root: 2 chopped

Cup lettuce: 1/2 cup

Pomegranate: 2 tbsp

Roasted and crushed pine nuts: 2 tbsp

Toss the above in a dressing of 2 tbsp salad oil (this can be replaced with extra virgin olive oil), 1 tbsp white vinegar, 2 tbsp orange squash, salt and pepper to taste beaten in a bowl until properly mixed.

( Recipes by Chef Swapan and Chef Pratap)

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Printable version | Jul 3, 2020 4:50:40 AM |

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