10 ways to pimp your salad
It’s so easy to add a little va-va-voom to your greenery, you’ll wonder why you haven’t before. It’s all about clever shopping; a few key buys will turn even the limpest lettuce into something moreish and exciting. Time to pimp your salad.
1. Sprouted shoots
These are a great way to add flavour, texture and nutrition into your diet. Sprouted shoots emerge upon germination from the seed and are loaded with highly digestible nutrients. Choose from varieties such as lentil, mung bean, alfalfa or radish sprouts to name a few.
This stunning veg is tightly packed, with lime green florets and is simply delicious. Its flavour is somewhere between a broccoli and cauliflower with a sweet, nutty edge and it’s packed with antioxidants, vitamin C and fibre. Treat it just as you would a cauliflower; blanch small florets or simply grate it and turn it into ‘rice’.
Sprinkle torn nori seaweed sheets over your salad, add stir-fried samphire or use seaweed noodles. Seaweed is high in betacarotene and has antibacterial properties, too. It helps bind toxins in the digestive system and expels them from the body. Its high iodine content is good for healthy thyroid function.
This slightly alien looking veg is a squat bulb with antennae-like shoots. It is part of the cabbage family and translated means ‘turnip cabbage’. It has a mild, sweet flavour with a crisp crunchy texture and can be eaten raw or cooked – think a cross between a turnip and a water chestnut. It’s a great addition to coleslaws, or fresh crunchy salads.
Say hello to the new grain in town! Freekeh has a low GI and is high in fibre, while kamut is a slightly chewy, nutty grain high in zinc, magnesium and iron. A delicious, filling salad ingredient, whether they’re the main event or simply sprinkled on top.
6. Pickled red cabbage
Put ½ small, very finely shredded red cabbage into a bowl with the juice of 1 lime and 3 tbsp rice vinegar. Leave for at least 1 hour before serving on your salad. Delicious!
7. Micro herbs
Similar to sprouted shoots, these are the tender shoots of herbs and salad leaves – the trendy versions of salad cress. Look out for red amaranth, garlic shoots and chard.
8. Tahini dressing
Mix 150g tahini, juice of 2 large lemons and 1 tbsp white wine vinegar; it will become very thick. Stir in 150ml cold water until it’s a smooth, runny dressing. Stir in 1 crushed garlic clove and a small handful of finely chopped parsley. Keep in fridge for up to 3 days.
9. Baobab dressing
2015’s superfruit, baobab is high in vitamin C, fibre, magnesium, calcium and potassium. Try this simple salad dressing by mixing 6 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp white wine vinegar, and 1 tbsp baobab powder. See page 121 for more about its super powers.
10. Lemon and poppy seed dressing
Whisk together juice of 1 lemon, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp poppy seeds. Season.