Source Salad – rule of five
Generic recipe turns a salad into something that deserves to be a course in itself, rather than a side dish, and does not require fish, meat or cheese to make it delicious.
The basic rule of five is to have at least one thing from five different categories of ingredients.
(1) The first posse from which you select are the lettuces. These give gentle flavor and sometimes crunch and the background bulk.
(2) Next come salad leaves,(cut and grow again) things to provide the strong flavors and often good splashes of color. This includes the rockets, mizuna’s, mustard’s and cresse’s.
(3) Third addition is one of the salad herbs such as sorrel, lovage, basil, parsley, coriander, sweet cicely, leaf fennel, chervil or mint. You only want a sprinkling of these, coarsely chopped or torn, but they add a hit of flavor.
(4) Then you want to add one or more different salad vegetables. Tomato, sliced red onion, cucumber, celery, beetroot, radish, bulb fennel, fresh peas or pea tips. The key to mixing these into your salad is to keep their weight as light as possible so they don’t just sink to the bottom. Use a very sharp knife or, for bigger things, a mandolin. Wafer thin, the fennel, radish and even cucumber or celery will remain scattered all through the bowl, and you will get a taste with almost every bite.
(5) The final touch to select is an edible flower. Pansy or viola, primrose or the petals of a marigold, rose, nasturtium or dahlia. Then you are guaranteed a tasty, good looking bowl, which even the most greens shy child or meat addict will find irresistible.
Turn over a new leaf. New salad varieties emerge from breeding programs all the time. You should put together a hardy, autumn to spring choice. Sow in late August or September will keep going until next springs planting.
Some good choices are the brilliant acid-green, gently cabbage flavoured ‘Golden Yellow Pak Choi’, along with a red pak choi for its richness of color. The elegant mustard ‘Red Dragon’, with its serrated leaves and strong crimson veining, which looks and tastes so good, as well as ‘Green Fire’ a strong and delicious leaf. All four thrive in the bright light and tolerate summer heat well but will need watered well to keep them at their best. Sow little and often.
For a tangy summer herb, added bronze fennel, pick very young and tender. Just a small bunch so its strong flavor does not overwhelm all the others and then added a salad turnip. It looks a bit like a radish but has a sweet turnip flavor.
Hint Don’t drown your healthy salad in a heavy calorie rich dressing. Go lightly using a very little dressing or better yet try using an Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Wine Vinegar dressing.
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Why is common sense so uncommon?
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