There are times, especially in the winter, when a huge bowl of spaghetti bolognaise hits the spot and other times when you just fancy a salad. Luckily the days when a limp lettuce leaf and a tomato constituted a salad are well and truly over and nowadays you can really go to town and make an unusual and tasty 21st century salad.
Photo: Chandra Marsono
Not all salads need to have meat or poultry in them but if you have a chicken breast in the fridge this makes a good base for a salad. A nice piece of organic chicken needs no added flavour but if you are on a budget and feel that the chicken might be a little tasteless then don’t worry as help is at hand. Schwartz for instance do a range of rubs for poultry so if the chicken needs a bit of tarting up that is a quick and easy way to do it. Add some papaya along with your other salad basics for a tropical taste and make a tangy dressing out of vinegar, oil, sesame oil and finely grated root ginger.
If you are looking for something a bit different from the usual range of cold meats and poultry then why not experiment with some smoked duck? This is delicious with toasted nuts such as pecans and walnuts and if you like dried cranberries they are rather tasty in a smoked duck salad too.
Chickpeas are a good source of protein for vegetarians and are a delicious alternative to meat in a salad. Tyr them with a medley of salad vegetables such as raw carrot, cucumber, tomatoes, rocket, spinach and red or yellow peppers. For a dressing with a difference blend a ripe avocado with a dash of Tabasco sauce and combine into a normal vinaigrette dressing.