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bite size pieces
cucumber slices
salad ideas
different cultures
Summer Salad Recipes - Something A Little Different
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Summer Salad Recipes   -   Something A Little Different

Spring is here and summer's arrival is imminent. Many of us are looking for summer salad recipes to lighten up our menus and provide some cool freshness on a hot day. I don't know about you, but I get tired pretty quickly of the usual lettuce and tomato arrangement so I started looking for some alternatives.

I found that internationally, all salad is not alike. What I mean is that different cultures have their own versions of salad and I've found some great summer salad recipe ideas that I have tried and loved. The obvious sources for new salad ideas are cookbooks, of course. But I like to make a little game out of finding new recipes and go to an ethnic restaurant to discover something exotic or unusual.

For example, years ago in Georgia, someone took me to a little mediterranean restaurant and we had authentic Greek cuisine. All of it was delicious but I especially loved the salad and decided to try to make my own version at home. It has since become one of my family's favorites and it is very popular with my friends when I bring this salad to a party or dinner event.

The salad goes like this: romaine lettuce, cucumber slices, red onion slices, kalamata olives (or just black olives if you like something milder), mint leaves, crumbled feta cheese and pieces of toasted pita bread. The pita bread is toasted enough to make it crisp like a cracker, but please don't let it burn. The dressing for this salad is olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic. This salad is put together in a large bowl and the dressing is tossed in before serving instead of serving the dressing on the side. (Now I'm going to have to go make this salad because I've reminded myself how really delicious it is!)

There are other methods I have learned and recommend for creating summer salad recipes. One method is the boiled salad. Now don't panic - I'm not talking about taking a poor ol' piece of lettuce and dropping it in boiling water! Boiled salad is made by lightly boiling bite-size pieces of vegetables in spring water until they are bright and slightly cooked. Then they are taken out and allowed to cool. You may use any combination of vegetables you want for this. I usually go for a colorful look and I also like to use decorative cutting for extra pizzazz. You can use any kind of salad dressing on this that appeals to you. The salad in the photo is one I made that has cauliflower, celery, radishes, carrots and kale.

Another method for making salads is Asian and in particular, Japanese. This method is related to pickling. The salad ingredients are cut rather finely and mixed with sea salt and put into what is called a "pickle press." The salt and the pressure from pressing causes some of the liquid to be expressed from the veggies. The excess salt is rinsed out and the result is an uncooked, yet slightly processed, salad that still has freshness and crispness but is not just like a raw salad. This method can be used with some types of lettuce such as romaine, but usually it is used with cabbage and any vegetables that can be cut finely. You can use a dressing for this type of salad, but I usually just garnish it with something like toasted sesame or pumpkin seeds.

If you're willing to venture beyond iceberg and cherry tomatoes, you will find all kinds of wonderful summer salad recipes just waiting for your own personal touch.


Street Talk

It's winter here in NZ, looking forward to summer and all those salads. It's amazing what you can do with a salad just by changing a few ingredients and a nice dressing, all yummy and healthy.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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