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Five easy salad recipes

Homemade salad dressings, such as a simple honey red wine vinaigrette or a mustard dressing pack a huge flavour punch, and also do not wreck havoc on your waistline.

india Updated: Feb 19, 2012 01:26 IST

When was the last time ate a salad? We’re not talking about the calorie loaded enigmas that come smothered in mayonnaise, but the healthy options made with low-cal dressings. And, they don’t have to be bland and tasteless. Homemade salad dressings, such as a simple honey red wine vinaigrette or a mustard dressing pack a huge flavour punch, and also do not wreck havoc on your waistline. Meat, vegetable and fruits salads when had in large portions can serve as a full meal and are a great meal option for those who want to shed weight. Being a high fibre diet, salad also helps bring down cholesterol levels and prevent constipation. And the greener your salad, the higher it is on antioxidants such as vitamin C and E, lycopene, folic acid, and alpha- and beta-carotene that guard you from the damages caused by molecules called free radicals.

Here are a few easy-to-make salad options that you can try.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/orient-express-ham-salad.gifChicken salad with walnuts

Ingredients
3 large roasted chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces (about 3 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup roasted chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried cherries
1 Belgian endive, thinly sliced
1/4 cup roasted walnut oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon smoked salt to taste
Frisée lettuce for serving

Method
Place chicken, walnuts, cherries and endive in a large serving bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the walnut oil into balsamic vinegar and season with black pepper. Pour vinaigrette over chicken mixture and toss well to coat. Season chicken with smoked salt and toss gently to combine all of the ingredients. Serve over a bed of frisée lettuce.

By chef Devraj Haldar, Hotel Surya

Asparagus grape salad

Ingredients
30gm asparagus
25gm grapes
3 cherry tomato
5gm pine nut
120gm mix lettuce

Dressing
25gm fig
10ml white wine vinegar
10ml salad oil
5ml honey

Method
Wash and soak the figs in hot water until soft. Blend the figs with white wine, vinegar, salad oil and honey. Refrigerate the dressing. In a mixing bowl mix half the dressing with lettuce leaves and place the lettuce on the plate. In the same mixing bowl mix together asparagus, grapes, cherry tomatoes, pine nut with rest of the dressing. Serve chilled.

Parma dudel with herbs garden

Ingredients
4 coriander springs
4 mint springs
4 dill leaf springs
4 parsley springs
4 Parma ham slices
2 Prushoto ham slice
1 crepe sheet

Dressing
15ml vinegar
15ml pommery mustard
5gm seasoning to taste
20ml olive oil

Method
Mix all the sprigs together, leave in cold water for about 10 mins. Prepare dressing with vinegar, pommery mustard. Add seasoning and emulsify with olive oil. When all sprigs are well soaked and washed, drain the water. Crisp the ham slices. Mix them together and stack by layer and put the dressing aside. Garnish with cherry tomatoes. Serve chill.

By chef Rakesh Talwar, FBar and Lounge

Pickled duck salad

Ingredients
50gm duck meat
20gm French beans
10gm white onion roundels
120gm mix lettuce
2 cherry tomatoes

Dressing
10gm sweet lime pickle
10gm lime pickle
5ml vinegar
5ml sugar

Method
Blend sweet lime pickle and lime pickle together in a blender. Add vinegar and sugar. Set aside. In a mixing bowl mix half the dressing with the lettuce and place on the plate. In the same bowl add the duck meat, French beans, white onion and mix with the rest of the dressing. Place this mixture on top of the lettuce. Garnish with cherry tomatoes. Serve chilled.

By chef Shamshul Wahid, Smoke House Grill

Fruit salad

Ingredients
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoon diced onion
1 teaspoon Dijon-style prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
40gm shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup cashews
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 pear, peeled, cored and sliced

Method
In a blender or food processor, combine sugar, lemon juice, onion, mustard and salt. Process until well-blended. With machine still running, add oil in a slow, steady stream until mixture is thick and smooth. Add poppy seeds, and process just a few seconds more to mix. In a large serving bowl, toss together the romaine lettuce, shredded Swiss cheese, cashews, dried cranberries, apple, and pear. Pour dressing over salad just before serving, and toss to coat.