With December on the foot of our door steps, it’s time for us South Africans to embrace our heritage of salads and side dishes. Thanks to our love of a good braai, there is a rich legacy and history of these side dishes, deeply rooted in the traditional potato salad, coleslaw, sambals, beetroot, three bean dishes and more. Local hoteliers from the Radisson Hotel Group share their secrets on how South Africans can perfect their salads this summer. Variety, variety, variety!When tossing your veggies together this summer, the importance of variety cannot be stressed enough.
Think:Variety in texture: Make sure to include some type of crunchy ingredient in your salad. This will help to create a variety in texture for each bite.Variety of flavors: Think about including a blend of flavors such as sweet, salty, umami, bitter, and/or spicy.Variety of colors: When you look at your salad, you’ll want to see a variety of different coloured vegetables to get a wide array of nutrients.
A good place to start when it comes to creating variety in your salads is to shop at your local farmer’s market. By doing so, you are guaranteed variety in your vegetables because the farmers only sell the produce that is currently in season. This means that the vegetables that are available to you will change every time the season changes. PS. Seasonal fruits and vegetables have more nutrients in them and usually have more flavour, too!
Next, it’s important to think outside of the box. Remember that salads don’t always need to be made with raw vegetables. If you are someone who prefers cooked foods, you can create a few variations of cooked vegetable salads. Or, you can do a mixture of some cooked vegetables and some raw vegetables in your salad.
When coming up with new salad creations it can be helpful to think about three distinct categories for the types of salads.
Remember to layer the heavier ingredients on the bottom and the lighter ingredients on the top. For example, chickpeas, quinoa, or almonds would be on the bottom, and spinach, sprouts, or radishes would be on the top.
Get your leek on!As you can see, there are endless ways to create variety when it comes to preparing salads. Now it’s your turn to take action. Using the guidelines above, note down three new salad recipes that you’ve never made before. Next, include the ingredients for one of the salads you created to your shopping list for you to make this week. Do the same for the following weeks. And be sure to use these for any hosting you do this summer season. It will undoubtedly impress any and all guests that come to visit.