Given a choice between a bowl of soup or a bowl of salad, I would happily and without hesitation pick the salad bowl. All and any kind of salad is my favourite. I would happily grab a bowl of quinoa chickpea salad as I would a bowl of fresh fruit salad. There are days in summer when I am happy eating only salads for meals, just as this one. Surprising that I make so many salads yet I never shared them here. I am trying to change that by sharing some of those salads here. Some extremely simple ones include potato & beetroot salad and a fruity coleslaw. I usually serve them as a side with some grilled meat or fish or along with homemade sliders & burgers.
The essentials of a good healthy salad include leafy greens followed by some kind of protein which can be vegetarian or non vegetarian, fruit/s or raw veggie/s for fibre, nuts or seeds of your choice and then come the toppings and a healthy dressing. And that is precisely how to build a salad in a bowl or a plate.
I serve this salad with various combinations of flavours. It can be at times some pan fried halloumi instead of eggs or some crumbled feta. I like to sometimes add some pan sautéed baby potatoes to the salad. Non-vegetarians can enjoy it with some grilled chicken or fish; choose your protein. As for the dressing, I mostly go with a simple extra virgin olive oil & lemon dressing along with a sprinkle of pink salt and some crushed black pepper. That’s because the pickled onions and beets really help in cutting down on the need for a dressing. However, sometimes I do get a little naughty and add a dash of smoked tabasco on the salad (not so healthy I know! But so tasty 😀
10 – 12 leaves Lollo Rosso (Red Leaf Lettuce), washed and pat dried
16 leaves Butterhead Lettuce, washed and pat dried
¼ C boiled Green Peas
1 small Pickled Onion (separated in rings)
8 – 10 Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
2 Boiled Eggs, halved
3 tbsp Pom Arils
Juice of Half a Lime
2 tsp – 1 tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
Salt and freshly cracked Black Pepper to taste
A few leaves Fresh Mint
Please increase or decrease the ratio of ingredients to taste
Wash and soak the lentils in sufficient water for half an hour.
Boil water in a pot and add drained lentils along with some salt. Cook till the lentils are a just a wee bit al dente. (you need to keep checking for done-ness while they are cooking)
Strain the lentils and discard the water (I usually do not discard the water and use it for making soup) Allow the lentils to cool.
Start building the salad by first laying a layer of red leaf lettuce (use two bowls since this salad is meant for two) followed by the butterhead.
Next add 4 – 5 tbsp of cooked lentils (adjust the amount to your liking) followed by green two tablespoons of green peas.
Now, haphazardly arrange the beets and pickled onions in the bowl along with tomatoes.
Sprinkle the salad with some salt and black pepper. (At this point, sprinkle some more lentils over if you wish to)
Finish off the salad with a drizzle of the EVOO lemon juice dressing.
Place a halved egg on each salad bowl and serve.
Note – Feel free to use the leafy greens of your choice. Try to use organic if possible
Note – If the weather is too hot, keep the greens in a bowl of chilled water till you are ready to serve. Pat dry them with a kitchen towel before using.
Note – You can add some roughly chopped walnuts or almonds on the salad if you wish to.
Note – I always pickle the sliced onions and beets together coz beets lend their beautiful hues to the onion.
Serves – 2