I’ve been a vegetarian now for about sixteen years, and for many of them I’ve not been a fan of salads.
That’s because what constitutes a salad in a restaurant used to be browning iceberg lettuce (flavourless), chunks of raw onion (not a fan), tomato, and if you were lucky, cucumber.
Yet, recently I’ve been converted to the joys of a good salad. Here’s small side-salad I made for myself today.
What would have made it more excellent was avocado, which I adore, but it wasn’t ripe enough. I was too lazy to scrape a carrot for shavings, which would also have been nice.
I love carrots. I think I would pick it as one of my desert island vegetables.
Now, I find myself scanning the salad section of restaurants looking for something different. Vegetables are so versatile, and there are so many of them, you’d think think chefs would be more inventive. It’s getting a lot better, although my options are often limited by the addition of meat to a salad dish.
For instance, here’s a grilled courgette, sweet pea, toasted quinoa, and goat’s cheese salad I had in The Kitchen in Galway recently. It was delicious.
This fuzzy photograph doesn’t do it justice, plus I demolished a third of the plate before I thought to take a photo.
The emporium of salads in Galway these days in Mixgreens. Where you can assemble whatever you want from their fantastic range of components. Whenever I yearn a plate of green and fresh food, that’s where I go.
It also helps that you can get a interesting variety of local organic salad leaves, which form a tasty base for any salad. Beechlawn Organic Farm or Green Earth Organics are two great supplies of organic veg in Galway.
The funny thing is that once you succumb to the joy of a proper fresh salad, you come to crave it.
It’s not boring at all – as long as it has the right combination of elements to delight and wake up your palate.