THE WORLD OF SALADS

A post was not enough for me to describe what for me is a multisensory experience, which also abolishes waste in the kitchen, so I dedicated more articles to salad, click …

Salads have long been no longer a simple, modest and complementary accompaniment, they have been freed from the role of side dish relegated to the second dish to, with their play of colors, flavors, textures / cooking and temperatures, they represent all the courses:

The salads with vegetables, fruit, herbs, exotic flavors are inviting, fresh and light colored create a sweet-salty-acid combination that lends itself to be an appetizer.

They stimulate the taste buds preparing them for subsequent courses.

Like first course he salad is enriched with complex carbohydrates how potatoes, legumes, or pasta, rice or whole grains (about 70 g per person), a small dose of proteins and vegetables.

In this case it is good not to use very sour condiments, which are poorly combined especially with pastas.

Instead, you can use vinegar flavored with fresh or dried fruit and oil, a light pesto, a sauce with aromatic herbs, a sauce of blended raw vegetables, or a more creamy sauce with nuts or oil seeds.

Like second dish protein ingredients of different nature come together, or a single identifiable ingredient to combine with vegetables.

Very often vegetables are both raw and cooked in order to create a contrast also with the cooking and temperature of the food.

Like last course before the dessert, a very tasty salad of fresh and dried vegetables and fruits is prepared, seasoned with a creamy cheese sauce also vegan.

Excellent combinations can be made, the freshness of the vegetables and the sweetness of the fruit balance the flavor of even the most seasoned cheeses, creating pleasant contrasts.

Salads made exclusively from fruit can replace the sweet.

Very fun dishes using fresh fruit dried nuts in carpaccio in jelly in stew in tartare in sauce they can have an infinite variety of shapes colors consistencies.

My favorite salads are rich and balanced enough to compose a complete meal and be served as a “Single dish” and they are the best choice for a “Meal away” for example for “Lunch break“. If presented in a bowl they are also called “Buddha Bowl“. They are the union of three parts of equal volume of:

  • fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables. A truly complete salad contains the right variety of vegetables that represents every part of the plant on the plate (here find the classification of vegetables based on the part of the plant).
  • complex carbohydrates (wholemeal bread, pasta, cereals, baked goods potatoes chestnuts   legumes). The amount of complex carbohydrates such as potatoes, legumes, or baked pasta, rice or cereals, cold wholemeal baked goods is halved compared to a first course (about 30 / 40 g per person).
  • protein (meat   fish cheeses cold meats / assorted eggs nuts and oilseeds). The protein dose takes into account all the protein ingredients present in the salad.

There are no limits in the composition of the ingredients and in the creation of sauces, emulsions and dips to flavor a salad.

How to prepare salads

Use fruits and vegetables of different colors,  guarantees a contrast of flavors, textures and a wider variety of vitamins and nutrients.

The choice, the doses and the type of cut of each ingredient not only affect the aesthetic part but also the loss of nutrients, the perception of some flavors compared to others taste and consistency.

When composing salads that play the role of “single dish” it is good not to pour the ingredients all together, but to distribute them a little at a time, taking into account the weights and consistencies.
If they are served as “Buddha bowl” the bowl must be composed by arranging fresh fruit and vegetables, complex cereals and proteins separately, as in a drawing.
Taking care of the dressing preparation really makes the difference.

How to season the salad

Preparing a condiment for a plate of fresh vegetables or a richer salad is not a trivial thing. The doses of the ingredients and the way to assemble them are as important as the choice of quality raw materials.

I prepared a post to talk about emulsions, dressing and sauces can be found here.

You can reduce the dose of fat in the dressing by replacing 1 part of oil with vegetable broth, or pureed pureed vegetables.

I created a post you find here to suggest other ways to replace or reduce the dose of fat in the dressings.

To color and create more complex flavors, the seasonings can be enriched with:

  • centrifuged raw fruits and vegetables that almost completely replace the seasoning, just add a drizzle of oil to provide the right touch of succulence
  • smoothie with vegetables, fruit and veg dairy products enriched with spices as a salad dressing for fruit and vegetables
  • raw or cooked pureed fruits and vegetables
  • chopped fresh herbs or spices
  • pickles and olives
  • nuts and oil seeds are transformed into full-bodied seasonings that bind and enhance each ingredient of simple or compound salads.
  • nuts or oil seeds to give crunchiness. They replace 1 part of fat. Nuts and whole or coarsely chopped oil seeds must be used in doses that do not dominate the other foods that make up your dish: 10/15 grams of fruit / oil seeds per person if the salad is made up of other protein sources  up to 50 grams of fruit / oil seeds per person if they are the only protein source of your salad (this is the maximum recommended daily consumption dose)
  • 1 shallot roasted in vinegar and passed in a blender while adding the oil. (to roast, wrap an unpeeled shallot in aluminum foil with a few drops of olive oil and a pinch of salt and bake at 200 ° C until it is tender, about 30 minutes.)

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