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It is wonderful that whether dining in or out, tasty and exciting salads feature on our menus. Long ago are the days of lettuce leaves, tomato and cucumber in a bowl, sometimes jazzed up with a few radishes or a handful of cress!
Nowadays, our salads contain medleys of exotic leaves, fresh herbs, nuts, fruits, seeds, pulses and grains, drizzled with imaginative dressings. They also contain salad spices and seasonings.
Over the years, our options of salad seasonings have expanded from vinaigrette and mayonnaise to American-style creamy dressings such as Thousand Island, Blue Cheese and Caesar.
Infused oils, used alongside vinegars, provide an inspiring backdrop to spices. Balsamic vinegar is very popular but there are now fabulous artisan vinegars available, made from fruits, berries and herbs.
Enliven your salads with light yet flavourful dressings, inspired by international cuisine! For an Italian style dressing just mix a crushed clove of garlic with 6 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar and large pinches of oregano, crushed fennel seeds, celery salt and cracked black pepper.
Experimenting with salad dressings and spices in salads can be great fun and limited only by your sense of adventure in the kitchen! For instance, try infusing your oils with unusual herbs such as Australian Lemon Myrtle or Mexican Oregano for a dressing with a difference.
If you and your family favour more traditional salads, you can still jazz them up with relative ease. For instance, take the humble coleslaw, usually a simple mix of finely shredded cabbage and carrots bound together with mayonnaise. This staple side salad can be elevated to new heights by simple variations to the basic recipe.
To make a tasty and vibrant Mexican-style spicy coleslaw, just stir a couple of teaspoons of Fajita seasoning into your mayonnaise before adding to shredded cabbage and carrots mixed with finely sliced red, green and yellow peppers, that’s it!
Rice or couscous-based salads offer themselves wholeheartedly to the addition of spice blends, along with a plethora of finely chopped fresh herbs and diced tomatoes, olives, spring onions and more. Our favourites are Middle Eastern Zahtar, Moroccan Ras-el-Hanout and Iranian Sabzi Ghormeh. All are wonderful used as salad spices.
Certain spices and spice blends lend themselves to being used as salad seasonings when simply sprinkled over salads, not only being aesthetically pleasing but also adding flavour and texture. African Tsire powder, a spicy mix containing crushed peanuts, works wonderfully on salads as do crushed Sumac berries, imparting a fruity lemony flavour and vivid colour.
The seasalt and sesame seeds in Japanese Goma Shio add texture and bring out the flavour of salad ingredients, especially leaves and tomatoes. Additionally, nutty Middle Eastern Dukkah traditionally eaten with bread and oil, is also superb as a salad seasoning.
Last but certainly not least to consider in your salads are our Knead the Seed mixes. For ultimate crunch and flavour you can sprinkle either of our nutritious seed mixes into a salad. The glorious selections of seeds give every mouthful a wonderful surprise! You can choose between the five seed mix of chunky pumpkin seeds, sunflower, chia and linseed or the finer eight seed mix of tiny seeds such as chia, poppy, linseed, sesame and nigella seeds.
No matter how you choose to use spices in salads, we are sure that you won’t return to a plate of undressed lettuce leaves ever again!
As some of you older “Pioneers” may know – Mark Steene founded Seasoned Pioneers back in the 1990’s from his flat in Toxteth, Liverpool. He handed the reins to me...Read More