What is a salad?
Let's just say: one or more "things", foods, ingredients, cooked or raw, or both, rather cold but sometimes hot or warm, mixed and bound by a good vinaigrette sauce
Of course, the first one is the salad, green : green salad, herbs if possible, and vinaigrette sauce, classic, unwearable.
There are also the classics, often territorial: Niçoise
, Lyonnaise, Piedmontese
But it is very pleasant to go beyond and especially to have several ingredients, to vary the tastes, the colors and the textures.
An anecdote in passing, Gault et Millaut, the gastronomic critics, in their heyday when they first met Paul Bocuse, apparently refused to eat from his menu and asked him to "make us a dish that represents you". The chef made them a warm bean salad
, and they (they later wrote) were completely blown away: super-simple, but sublime to eat.
What to put in a salad?
Of course, I'm not going to teach you how to make a salad, and we've already said almost everything about the principle, but here are a few ideas to, perhaps, rekindle your desire to make one.
They can all or almost all be eaten in salads, either cooked or raw, or both. There are the classics: carrots of course, tomatoes in season, raw beets, endives (especially at the moment),...
But also : raw cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, green cabbage, zucchini, radishes, mushrooms, cooked potatoes, avocado (yes it is a fruit, an exception here)...
Lentils and peas
They must be cooked, but they are also excellent in salads: rice, white or red beans, lentils, chickpeas, semolina, bulgur, quinoa...
A salad is also an opportunity to use leftovers and in particular those of meats: white (poultry, a chicken carcass skinned for example, pork, grilled bacon, ...), see red (beef with a leftover roast), without forgetting the delicatessen ...
Fish, shellfish and crustaceans
This is also an opportunity to use leftovers: cubed fish, shrimps, mussels or other shellfish.
are a great opportunity to recycle the leftovers in your fridge, those already mentioned, but also anything that is too small to make a single dish: 1 cooked potato, leftover pasta, a handful of dried fruit, 3 dueling radishes, 1 slice of ham, 1 buckwheat pancake, 1 hard-boiled egg, leftover omelette, cooked rice,... A real inventory, but all this, and many more, can be added to your salad.
, Hard boiled eggs
or boiled eggs
, croutons, sliced or diced cheese, nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts...), cooked pasta
Don't hesitate to mix in the same salad foods that are opposites such as cooked and raw, hot and cold, crunchy and soft, it always gives amazing results.
For example, try white beans (warm, melting), sliced avocado (cold, melting), slices of pink radish (cold, crunchy) and grilled croutons (hot, crunchy).
As mentioned above, the most classic is the homemade vinaigrette sauce, the base, but it is also very interesting to consider more original sauces: remoulade
or olive oil and lemon for example, or to "spice up" a classic, such as a vinaigrette with 1/2 teaspoon of Tabasco and 1 teaspoon of soy sauce.
It's not that they are indispensable, but they are so effective that it would be a shame to do without them
. They can all be used, alone or mixed, the classic parsley, chervil, chives, but also the less common, sage, lemon balm, tarragon...
You will have understood it, it is enough to pick in all that, or in all that one did not already evoke, to make one of these delicious salads which will sunnify your next meal.
With the kids
One last little thing, I've noticed, and maybe you have too, that kids are very sensitive to the creation of homemade recipes, that you have to name with them, with something fun for them.
Creating a salad with a particular mix, often a special one (that's all that was left in the fridge), but with a family name like "Salade de ...", creates a special bond with this dish, a dish that they will ask you for afterwards.
It worked with my kids 20 years ago, I bet it will work with yours :-), if you haven't done it already.In summary
: Salads, in their infinite variety, are a quick and easy way to make delicious meals.
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