Salad is definitely one of the more popular meals today (mostly because of the massive health kick that Carnival gives to the entire Trini population). In a world where there’s more lettuce than the good stuff, it’s comforting to know that there are ways in which you can spruce up your salad. It’s amazing how simple ingredients can make the world of a difference with salads. These simple but gourmet additions work for homemade salads but, can also be used to jazz up the often boring, store-bought salad .
#1 Broiled Feta
Feta is already great in salads, but can you imagine basted, broiled feta? Baking feta completely transforms the flavour and texture of the briney cheese. Brush your slices of feta with olive oil and honey and then, broil on high for 4 to 6 minutes, turning halfway in between. Crumble over your salad or leave whole. The sweet and salty feta turns into a charred, melt in your mouth piece of gourmet delight. Experiment with broiled feta by basting it with different seasonings.
#2 Crisped Quinoa
We all know about fluffy quinoa salads but, do you know about crispy quinoa as a textural element in salads? Instead of having the usual steamed quinoa with your salad, stick it in the oven for 10 minutes, tossing intermittently and watch it turn into crunchy morsels of deliciousness. Sprinkle over your salad as a healthier alternative to croutons.
#3 Charred Brussels Sprout Leaves
Charring your brussel sprouts completely transforms the flavour of the often boring ‘steamed’ vegetable. Halve your brussels sprouts and pick the leaves apart so that you get 10 to 12 leaves per sprout. Then, sauté in olive oil and season with salt and pepper (or whatever other seasoning you like!). Allow the leaves to become golden to dark brown and crisp then, toss onto a paper towel to let the excess oil drain. Add to your salads for a meaty and smoky bite. You can also char your brussels sprouts in the oven.
This deserves almost no explanation. Peppery, salty chow is the perfect acidic element to salads. It brightens the entire meal and adds excitement and complexity to salads which can usually get monotonous. Our favourites to use are: pineapple (core removed), cubed mango, coconut jelly and cucumber chow.
Bonus: Chow also doubles as a yummy salsa substitute for pairing with meats.
#5 Roasted Fruit
Roasting fruit brings out their natural sweetness and concentrates their flavours. It’s a yummy addition to salads and adds a pop of sugar without all of the unhealthy extra substitutions. Roast pears, apples, grapes and plums with olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt and balsamic vinegar. Pair with salads containing walnuts, Blue cheese, olives and red onions for an explosion of flavour.