I find it pointless to teach lessons with recipes for salads (unless it's a classic like a Caesar or a Caprese) I prefer to give guidelines and suggestions. For dressings I will give recipes but for the salad itself it needs to be a mood and what is seasonally available thing.
I usually look for three elements in my salads. The veggies, the protein and the dressing. I say veggies, as a salad does not always have to have leaves in it. Choosing any number of crispy veggies as the basis of a salad is perfectly acceptable. Then I like to add other veggies with different colours and textures.
Then the protein - this can be meat, cheese, pulsar, nuts or seeds or a combination of them.
The dressing can be creamy, vinegary, citrusy - but in my opinion, should never be oily!
I have listed my latest favorite simple dressing and also a list of salad ingredients which I like to use in salads.
For the dressing – makes about 150ml
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp of fresh ginger chopped
4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp of Dijon mustard
2 tsp of honey
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp of water
1 Tbsp of chopped herbs (basil, parsley, thyme, oregano, chives, chervil, tarragon etc)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine dressing ingredients and chill until ready for use.
For the salad
salad leaves or micro greens of choice and/or
cucumber, shaved into ribbons or diced and/or
carrot, shaved into ribbons or grated and/or
fresh beetroot or butternut raw grated or roasted and/or
green asparagus spears, blanched and/or
mushrooms, sliced raw or pan fried and/or
mini or normal corn, quartered lengthways and/or
mini or normal tomatoes, quartered and/or
mange tout or snow peas, sliced and/or
broccoli or cauliflower, raw, blanched or roasted and/or
red or normal cabbage, finely sliced and blanched and/or
some fruits, like figs, peaches, paw paw, pears and apple, chopped and/or
avo, peeled and cut into slices and/or
edamame beans, blanched and/or
spring onions, sliced and/or
red onion, thinly sliced in half moons and/or
fresh peas and/or
olives, de-pipped and/or
capers or caper berries, and/or
sundried tomatoes, rehydrated and/or
dried beans or lentils, rehydrated and/or
seeds, lightly roasted with spices and a drop of oil and/or
nuts, chopped and/or
crispy bacon bits and/or
tuna, fresh or tinned and/or
salmon, hot smoked and/or
grilled chicken and/or
beef fillet strips, pan fried and/or
Assemble salad ingredients on a platter or a bowl and drizzle with dressing just before serving.