Well, this salad does not even need a recipe. It is such a simple combination of veggies and dressing. In fact, I am sure several of you will have tried out some version of this salad. I made this salad to accompany the Low Fat Creamy Pasta. The salad, pasta and fragrant garlic bread comprised dinner last weekend. Quite a combination of textures, colours, flavours and tastes. It was a very satisfying meal.
Taking some time to plan, shop and create good meals is so fulfilling. The happiness I feel when I sit down with loving family members eager to sample the latest creations and finding their faces light up with joy and hearing those happy exclamations – these make all the effort of cooking worthwhile. Well let me also admit that I go through my good share of disasters, and food that no one wants to touch. But thankfully, these happen lesser than the former.
As I said, this salad is a simple combination of dressing, veggies and tossing them together.
For the veggies -
- Iceberg lettuce – 1 small head
- Cherry tomatoes – 22-25 numbers
- Cucumber – 1-2 medium (really, your choice)
- Ice cold water – enough to dunk the lettuce in (approx. 4 cups)
- Balsamic vinegar – 1 tbsp
- Extra virgin Olive Oil – 4 tbsp
- Crushed black pepper – 1-2 tsp
- Salt – 2 pinches
- Sugar – 1 pinch (optional)
- Wash the lettuce head, tear leaves apart by hand into bite size pieces and keep immersed in ice cold water until needed.
- Dunk the cherry tomatoes in a bowl of water for 5 minutes, drain, pat dry and cut into halves. Place in a large mixing bowl.
- Rinse the cucumber thoroughly with the peel on . You can retain the peel on the cucumber or partly peel them too. If there are too many seeds along the middle of the cucumber, you may want to discard them. If so, cut into half lengthwise, remove the ‘seedy’ parts and slice into half circles. Else, if the seeds are tender, you can slice the cucumber into thin disks. Place along with the tomatoes in the mixing bowl.
- Pour the balsamic vinegar into a bowl. Pour the Olive oil in a thin drizzle whisking with a fork all the while. Continue to whisk well until all the vinegar and oil have blended into an almost homogenous mixture. Add the crushed pepper and salt now, whisk them in too. Dressing is ready.
- Now is the time to drain the lettuce in a colander – drain it well, shake up the colander and coax the last drops of water out! Add the lettuce to the mixing bowl, pour the salad dressing on top and mix well, toss, shake – do whatever except spilling the contents!
- Chill the salad for at least half an hour before serving so that it is at the right temperature and the flavours settle well.
- You can add pitted black olives, walnuts, coloured peppers (capsicum), rocket leaves or any preferred vegetables to the salad. Use dressing in proportion to the vegetables used.
- Using fresh tender vegetables, and chilling well before serving help to enhance the taste of the salad.