It's all in the dressing
It could be the heat, or maybe its days spent at the beach showing off my spare tire. But the humble salad has grown more and more heroic in my mind.
I was on the Mediterranean coast for the summer, and shock therapy has begun. All these perfect bodies, no fat to be seen, and there I was, trying to hide under a beach wrap, a hat, an umbrella, a newspaper — all the while wondering why I wasn’y getting tanned.
As much as I’d like to lose some weight, I would never want to go to the extreme I witnessed here: two girls, thin as rails. Skeletally, unhealthily, shockingly thin. It made me think about what society considers beautiful. I concluded that we took a wrong turn somewhere. Society seems to be bouncing between two extremes, obesity and anorexia. We need to redefine what it means to eat and what we should eat. We’re never going to cook like our grandparents did; our way of living, and eating, has changed too much. But it doesn’t mean that we need to feed ourselves frozen, pre-cooked foods from cans, bags, tubes and boxes.
Salads represent the antithesis of our frozen/manufactured/pre-made food culture, which is at the root of many of our food-related neuroses. Salads can contain any number of ingredients, from nearly any vegetable to pasta, fruit, potatoes and rice. They’re fresh, alive and should be bursting with flavor. The dressing is actually the key to making delicious salads more than just a collection of ingredients.
Humans spend eight-to-10 years of their lives just eating. Don’t waste any more time counting numbers on cardboard boxes. Do your body a favor and take a small step in reversing the negative eating trend you’re stuck in. Celebrate the seasons, health, nature and variety with creative salads.
Here are a few recipes for dressings I love. Experiment with ingredients until you find the right combination for you.
Typical Spanish dressing
Combine 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar (you can substitute red wine vinegar), salt and black pepper.
Mix one mashed avocado, the juice of two lemons, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, several drops of balsamic vinegar, salt and black pepper.
Mix a cup of plain yogurt with a tablespoon each of lemon juice, olive oil, salt and black pepper. Add more yogurt for a thicker consistency. To add a special touch, add a pinch of curry.
Put in equal parts of the juice of one orange and sherry vinegar with sunflower oil or any other smooth oil. Add salt and black pepper.
Mustard and parsley dressing
Mix 1 tablespoon of mustard, 3 of tablespoons white wine vinegar, 6 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 of tablespoon chopped parsley, salt and black pepper.
Add chopped hazelnuts to the dressing above.
- • To thicken the dressing, add an egg yolk.
- • Beat the dressing vigorously with a fork, or put it into a bottle and shake.
- • Don’t add the dressing until just before you eat the salad.
- • The amount of ingredients depends on your taste — feel free to change them!