I have always thought (although my husband will try and take credit for this) that you can really judge a cafe/restaurant/pizza bar or ‘your lovely friend who has had you round for supper’, by the quality of the salad which is presented to you.
Me personally, I love salad! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a super healthy, lettuce munching, yoghurt weaving kinda gal really, but the right salad can really go a long way in my opinion. Sadly, it seems not everyone has jumped on the bandwagon of the well prepared salad.
Commonly advertised as an accompaniment to a tasty hot melting panini, deep filled baguette or a humble yet heartwarming baked potato, we have all fallen victim of… “The Side Salad”
I know, and I’m sure you do too, that what will be served is some very sad looking, probably soggy, iceberg lettuce (not
unlike the ratty bits in the veg drawer of my fridge), cucumber cut into little uneven rounds with a blunting knife, and the salad tomato *shudder*. I struggle to find enjoyment in them, I mean how are they so dry? And never really red like a proper tomato? I like my tomatoes to be juicy, and sweet and full of fresh flavour.
My five year old particularly likes to pop them in her mouth so they explode in her mouth, usually resulting in the juice dribbling down her chin and the seeds propelled down her tutu of choice that day!
As I said before, and you probably can’t believe it now after that little rage against the tomato, I do like a good salad. And I really love to grow my own in my tiny little postage stamp garden tucked away in our little corner of Somerset. It really doesn’t take alot of space to grow a good crop of salad worthy goodies. Cut and come again salad leaves of assorted variety, edible flowers such as nasturtiums and calendula, and an abundance of herbs such as chives, basil, mint and rocket are all very easy to grow in pots in small courtyards, or do like I have and build some raised beds (OK I do have to allow my husband credit for these bad boys!) My kids have an absolute ball when I send them out, armed with a bowl and scissors, like a little army of salad seeking soldiers.
Just for your information, in case you wondering about the window photobomb, there were seeds underneath!
So, what I’m saying to you, is don’t be afraid to get creative next time you are putting together a bowl of greenery, try mixing it up a bit. Throw in some real curve balls by including some defrosted peas, maybe some sweetcorn? Even some steamed beans! We had such a glut of broad beans that I was in danger of turning my entire family from ever eating them again, however they were really yummy sprinkled with some sea salt and tossed with leaves, rocket, chives and nasturtium flowers. Get the kids picking too, even if you don’t grow your own perhaps gramps would oblige? Or a kindly green fingered neighbour? Let’s be honest, anyway we can get the kids to eat the green stuff is a win right?
What do you think then? Can salads be fun, interesting and delicious? Is it fair to judge a bank holiday BBQ by it’s salad? Should you judge a blogger by their salad photos?? I think so!