Summer eating calls for something light, fresh, yet still packed with great flavour.
While the word salad may not exactly have you running to the table, you may be surprised by what’s on offer. No longer seen as ‘rabbit food’, there are umpteen variations, with some salads more filling than others.
By throwing in the element of travel, salads take on the different flavours and influence of its home country. It may not be obvious, but observing the different salads around the world may actually give you a bit of travel inspiration to see more.
Without further ado, bear these combinations in mind the next time you’re at a restaurant with a great salad bar!
France – Salade niçoise
Originating from the French city of Nice, the Salade niçoise is full of crunch and flavour. It’s traditionally made with hard-boiled eggs, anchovies, tomatoes, olives and lettuce. The dressing usually consists of olive oil with all the seasonings. If you’re not keen on anchovies, replace them with tuna instead.
Baby potatoes, French beans and onions are other ingredients you can add if desired.
Italy – Caprese
A simple yet superb taste of the Mediterranean comes in the form of Caprese salad. The ingredients are simple, so it’s essential to pick the best quality produce you can afford.
Consisting of mozzarella, tomatoes and fragrant basil leaves, it’s probably the most patriotic salad too, as its colours resemble the Italian flag!
Germany – Kraut salad
If you love red cabbage, you’ll definitely love Kraut salad. It’s packed full of cabbage, red onion and beetroot, so don’t be surprised if you end up with semi-red lips after eating!
Red wine vinegar and plum jam is also added to the salad to give the nice sweet and salty balance of flavours.
Greece – Greek salad
No list of worldly salads would be complete without mentioning the Greek salad. I must confess, I’m completely in love with this one, simply because it transports me to Greece the second I eat it!
Generous cubes of fluffy Feta cheese, mixed with plump Kalamata olives, cucumbers, tomatoes and lashing of good Greek olive oil. I enjoy mine with plenty of fresh parsley on top, and with a large glass of white to soak it all up.
Lebanon – Tabbouleh salad
A salad that came long before the ‘superfoods’ phenomenon, Tabbouleh has been a firm favourite in Lebanese cuisine for decades.
The main ingredient is bulgar wheat, which isn’t only good for you, but will also keep you fuller for longer. Mix in plenty of chopped parsley, mint, cucumbers, tomatoes and plenty of fresh lemon juice and seasoning for a fresh taste of the Middle East.
Thailand – Phla Kung salad
For something completely different from those mentioned so far, the Thai salad packs in plenty of heat and fish/meat too.
Phla Kung is a salad containing prawns, thinly sliced lemongrass and chillies. The dressing typically consists of fish sauce, lime juice, chillies and shallots. The dish will almost usually be served with nam phrik phao, a sweet roasted chilli paste to add even more flavour.
Australia – Octopus salad
With coastlines aplenty, it’s little wonder that adding seafood to salads is popular in Australia. An octopus salad is a tasty way to get the nutrients you need, as well as an additional texture from the octopus.
There’s so many good things in this salad, it’s hard to know where to start. Along with asparagus, the salad has cherry tomatoes, courgettes, chickpeas, lemon juice, olives, rocket salad and of course the cooked octopus.
Russia – Olivier salad
Lucien Olivier first created this Russian classic salad in Moscow in the 1860s. There’s different variations of the salad according to where it’s being made, but needless to say, they’re all delicious.
A classic recipe typically contains boiled potatoes, carrots, peas, hard-boiled eggs and pickles. It’s all then blended together under a blanket of mayonnaise, seasoning and plenty of dill to top it off. Who’s getting hungry?!
USA - Cobb salad
Did someone say bacon?! Yes, this American classic is super delicious, and relatively healthy — albeit the bacon thrown in there!
Containing the ingredients of a garden salad, Cobb salad has plenty of Romaine lettuce, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, endives, tomatoes, chicken, bacon and Roquefort cheese.
Despite the mammoth list of ingredients and flavours, Cobb salad is also served with a vinaigrette dressing of white wine and olive oil. No-one does it bigger than the Americans, even when it comes to salads!
Brazil – Salpicão
Otherwise known as a chicken salad, Salpicão is a Brazilian favourite and it’s easy to see why. Combining shredded chicken with apples, raisins, lime juice and mayonnaise, it gives salad a whole new meaning.
Good eaten solo or between 2 slices of toast as a sandwich, this is one dish that won’t stay too long in the refrigerator!