This collection of salads can be used as individually plated starters or in a larger serving bowl and dish from which guests can help themselves. I have not included quantities or methods because I think for salads it varies from person to person how much of each item we enjoy most in salads so I’ve given some suggestions of things that go together well but you can decide with what quantities you’d like to go with. For me, creating any dish with food is about experimenting and I stopped following recipes years ago (I’m only in my 20s but have been cooking since I was in primary school!) There used to be a TV show here in the UK called Ready, Steady, Cook which inspired me greatly as the chefs would have a limited time to prepare dishes based on ingredients they only got to see a couple of minutes prior to beginning cooking. Who else was inspired by this programme? I’d love to know. Leave a comment below or tweet me @hldcblog! I found the methodology of the show to be a brilliant way to inspire ideas and hence, I often like to do the same – find 5 or 6 ingredients and give myself limited time to see what I can make them into! Back to salads, however, here is my selection of ideas. If I was in charge of creating a salad menu for a food establishment, these would most probably feature! Quite a few of these salads are gluten free.
TIP: If you are looking for festive salads, the last two ideas will probably suit best.
1. Mango, rocket, bulgar wheat and avocados with balsamic glaze
• The sweetness of the mango is offset by the peppery rocket, while the avocado and bulgar wheat add contrasting textures and the balsamic glaze finishing it off by adding an acidic sweetness.
2. Prawns, cucumber, avocado, served on a large romaine lettuce leave Lemon juice dressing
• This is quite a classic salad style although brought up to date with the avocado, which is certainly and rightly so, in my opinion, a popular fruit at the moment. (Gluten Free)
• A recipe for a similar salad can be found here.
3. Strawberries, rocket, balsamic glaze, and fresh basil leaves
• Surprisingly enough balsamic vinegar complements strawberries a lot, and the addition of rocket gives another flavour while the fragrant basil leaves finish off the dish creating a wonderful journey for your tastebuds! (Gluten Free)
4. Goats cheese, beetroot, spinach, balsamic, tomatoes
• Goats cheese is my favourite cheese at the moment and it features heavily as a protein source in salads I make for myself. The other ingredients I suggest combining it with go really well with the creaminess of the cheese, giving contrasting textures and flavours. (Gluten Free)
5. Festive side salad
• Dried cranberries, wensleydale, apple, pecans, rocket, watercress, lemon and balsamic vinegar dressing
• This is a selection of sweet and sour, nutty and savoury ingredients which creates a pleasing festive salad perfect for adding a healthy supplement to Holiday dinners! (Gluten Free)
6. Cous cous, pomegranate seeds, apricots, butternut squash, rocket, and an orange-balsamic dressing
• Again, this is quite a festive salad although a somewhat alternative one as the ingredients are non-traditional. Pomegranate seeds with their deep ruby colour however can be likened to little jewels and add a festive touch. This salad would go particularly well with duck.
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