Salad, the perfect nutrient dense, flavourful dish that can make a hearty main meal, delicate starter or complimentary side, never needs to be boring and can be spiced up and made beautiful using a number of different ingredients. Here are our top ten:
Our favourites are rocket, watercress, kale, romaine and beetroot leaves and depending on the time of year, all are tender enough to be eaten as they come with no massaging beforehand. Salty, earthy, peppery, crisp and fresh, green leaves are packed full of essential proteins and minerals that are easily converted and assimilated by the body.
Whole Plant Fats
Sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and hemp seeds all make the most amazing dressings when blended with water, lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic. Avocado adds creaminess and nuts and seeds add crunch and texture. Wholesome plant based fats aid the body in absorbing the nutrients in green leaves and fill salads out to make them more filling and satisfying.
An edible succulent that grows in marshy land near salt water, this antioxidant rich superfood is crunchy, salty and packed with nutrients and minerals that support immunity and detoxification and reduce inflammation. Leave whole to garnish dishes or chop into salads for extra saltiness.
Raw onions are potent healing foods that cleanse the digestive system and provide anti bacterial support. Spring onions, red onions and shallots all add spice and flavour to salads, highlight other ingredients and bring to life dishes that could otherwise be too mild to make much impact.
Sweet, sour, creamy, salty, sliced, chopped, blended or whole, tomatoes add flavour and colour to salads and can be combined with herbs and seasonings to make salads in their own right. Sprinkle with oregano, salt, chilli, crushed garlic, chopped olives and lemon juice for a simple tomato salad that lets the star of the show shine.
Adding crunch, sweetness, moisture and a good dose of vitamins and minerals to any salad, cucumbers can be sliced, grated, spiralised or gutted to make dishes that boost skin health, hydrate and cleanse. Grated cucumber works especially well in salads dressed with thick sauces as it thins and spreads them out without reducing flavour.
Fresh and crunchy, grated carrot add sweetness, moisture, texture and colour to salads. Refreshing and packed full of antioxidants, they are vitamin and mineral rich.
Mango, apple, raisins, gojis, blueberries, orange juice, lemon or lime, fruit is a sweet and colourful addition to salads that balances flavours, adds vitamins and helps the body to better assimilate the nutrients available in green leaves.
Be it dulse, nori, wakame or sea spaghetti, a salty dose of mineral rich dried alage adds flavour and can be used to create plant based versions of Caesar salad, rad pad thai and other dishes dressed with fish based sauces. More nutrient dense than any land vegetable, seaweed is the ultimate addition to an already nutritious dish.
Seasoning salads is most common in warmer climates where people need to regularly replace minerals but a little salt can really enhance the flavours of a dish in any country. At low levels, salt reduces bitterness and increases sweetness, sourness and umami. Pepper is also a delicious salad seasoning adding heat and flavour, as are chilli flakes and other dried herbs and spices that add healing nutrients and extra minerals.