This Fresh Vegetable Salad Recipe is a healthy vegetarian salad from the cookbook "Laurel's Kitchen".
Serve them before your main course, as most Americans do, or afterwards, in the Italian tradition, but don't fail to serve a truly splendid salad with every supper. Green salads should be the general rule. Raw leafy greens are an important source of B vitamins that are sometimes lost in cooking . . . the darker green, the better, as a rule.
Variety is the key to serving salad bowls that get emptied every night, to the last leaf. Never be mechanical about the salad course, because there's always some little thing you can add at the last minute to give it heightened appeal. Here are our suggestions for the perfect green salad:
Use lettuce that is fresh, crisp, clean, cold, and dry. We dry ours gently on a clean terry towel. You can wash and dry lettuce and put it in a bag or crisper in the refrigerator, then cut and dress it just before serving.
Try several varieties of lettuce in one salad: romaine, red leaf, butter, and loose leaf make good combinations. You can probably grow them all in your backyard garden. Fresh spinach, watercress, and young, tender beet greens are all nice additions.
Don't toss salads until you're ready to serve the meal. Use dressing at room temperature; it spreads further and coats the lettuce evenly.
To make a salad into a light meal, select some of these additions: Cooked, marinated garbanzo beans (or other beans), small chunks of cheese or tofu, lightly cooked vegetables like fresh corn, string beans, sliced carrots, broccoli flowers, or beets (chill vegetables with or without marinade and add to salad before tossing), raw vegetables such as thinly sliced zucchini, celery, cucumber, cabbage, green pepper, parsley, finely grated carrot, fresh green peas, or avocado, and croutons.
Fresh herbs add so much to salads, and to other dishes as well. Grow them in a window box or in a plot near your kitchen that is shaded for part of the day. Mince fresh herbs thoroughly to bring out all their flavor. When using dried herbs, crush them first by rolling them between your hands; otherwise, the flavors stay locked in.
Read more about vegetarian meals: Laurel's Kitchen: Vegetarian Meal Recipes.
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