The feel good/look good food.
Yes, we all know that salad is not chocolate, but there is something about it that cheers us up a bit. You only have to look at it. What other food has such an array of bright cheery colours. What other food can make us feel smug because we think we have been terribly healthy. What other food has such a variety of separate flavours despite being so mixed up together.
To many people it is just lettuce cucumber tomato and maybe celery, spring onions too. Most people, unsurprisingly regard them as boring, tasteless and unappetising, but you can do so much more. The combinations are infinitesimal.
However, I must say that I wouldn't go as far as saying that eating a salad would make anyone laugh hysterically
You could of course just grab everything you have in the fridge or vegetable rack, chop it and grate it and mix it in a bowl. Or make up a combination of stuff that needs using up pretty soon. This usually works quite well and you don't have to think about it. It is rare for any combination to be totally disgusting. Mostly it turns out pleasantly palatable and every now and again you will come up with a real gem - so keep a notebook handy in the kitchen drawer to make a record of the ingredients in case you want to repeat it.
On the other hand, minimalist is and has been the fashion for some years now, so go for just two or three ingredients. Take the stuff you like the most, mix them up and see what happens.
Here are just a few ideas, just to get you started
Diced tomatoes and grated carrot on a bed of green leaves
Peel and dice an orange, mix with sesame seeds or flaked almonds and chopped fresh mint leaves.
Shredded iceberg lettuce, cubed cucumber and fresh cherries
cooled couscous, lemon rind and chopped sweet red peppers (capsicum)
My favourite is a very odd, but surprisingly tasty combination of chicory, peaches and black pudding as introduced to me in the book Three Good Things on a Plate by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall (UK residents click here)
You can of course add whatever herbs and spices take your fancy and your own choice of dressing or sauce, but really if you want to keep your food as real as possible you are better to do without - just taste the naked food itself and appreciate each flavour's own personality. If you really must have something over it, try just a spray of vinegar and a dribble of oil.
Or if you want to be eating salad for health reasons, but just can't get excited about the prospect, you can always add it to your lunchtime sandwich
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