Salads are often referred to as healthy or diet options on a menu and often eaten with disdain. It's usually not the first item on the menu to catch people's eye and unfortunately is tremendously underrated. Salads are lighter than a full meal but that doesn't mean they have to be boring, wilted leaves with some goop that passes off as dressing. This isn't a pre millennium era where the only salads on the menu were the beyond boring Caesar Salad or the staid Greek Salad. Times have changed, chefs are getting more and more creative and there is a whole lot out there that will dazzle you and keep you coming back for more.
Watermelon and Feta Salad - The summer heat insists that you keep your body hydrated and sometimes liquids are just not enough. This perfect mixture of watermelon fruit and salty crumbly cheese is the solution on a hot summer’s day. It's one of the few salads that don’t contain a speck of green or even a leafy vegetable but the combination is so delicious and perfectly paired that it's a hot favourite on many cafe menus. Traditionally the salad contains just these two elements, olive oil and lime juice maybe a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. However it's known to be dressed with olives, red onions and sometimes even arugula leaves.
Thai Green Papaya Salad - Som Tam or the green papaya salad is hugely popular all over the world. This Thai salad is a classic dish and apart from featuring on every Thai menu, it also makes an appearance in many salad bars. The shredded thin green papaya mixed with peanut, chilli and a handful of other condiments make a uniquely flavourful dish which surprisingly is low on calorie content. This is a perfect way to spice up your salad and try different flavours this summer.
Cobb Salad - This American salad for some reason doesn't feature on too many menus but when you do find it, you must indulge! The mixture of chopped tomatoes, egg, avocado, iceberg lettuce, ham and even cheese soaked in French dressing is a very filling salad. The ingredients are usually plated in a row next to each other and the dressing served on the side so you can mix the salad to your specific taste. Unlike the other summer salads this isn't particularly light but it's extremely flavourful with each ingredient complimenting each other. Not bad for a salad that was invented by a restaurant owner from a refrigerator full of leftovers one night.
Caprese Salad - With just three basic ingredients, the Italians still manage to dazzle the culinary world with their popular Caprese salad. This fresh salad of tomato, mozzarella cheese and basil leaf seasoned with salt pepper and olive oil is a delightfully light salad and ideal to beat the heat. Again unlike a traditional salad this has no leafy vegetables and is also served as a starter. It was created to resemble the Italian flag and originated in Capri but is eaten all over the world.
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Article by: Roxanne Bamboat