What is the secret to a good salad?
Other than flavour and quality ingredients it’s all about look and texture. Flavours and texture combined create a dance party in your mouth, the look and texture makes you salivate and want more. Cooking can become instinctive and most of the time you can create something delicious from the fridge. If you prefer using a recipe use this as a guide and substitute what you have already. You may find you create a completely different dish in the end and then have a new recipe of your own for next time. You don’t necessarily need to go to buy one particular ingredient to make a recipe delicious you can simply look at what is in your fridge. In the fridge, I had some spring asparagus and staples, broccoli, zucchini and onions. I also had a can of cannellini beans in the pantry.
Instinctive cooking comes with thinking outside the box, substituting when required and using your touch, taste and feel. Use these ingredients as a guide. I have included the amount of vegetables per person so that you can adjust depending on how many mouths you are feeding. When I was single I would be put off making things as recipes, as they were always made for 4. If you are single double the recipe to make a dinner and lunch for the next day. If you are a couple you can 4x the ingredients for a dinner and lunch next day combo.
Ingredients (per Person)
~ 1x zucchini
~ 1x small onion peeled and cut in half with the grain (see pic below)
~ 4x spears of asparagus cut into 4
~ 3-4 whole mushrooms
~ ¼ of a can of cannellini beans, drained
~ ¼ of a broccoli (head cut into florets and stalked roughly diced, see pic below)
~ ½ tbsp of balsamic vinegar
~ ½ tsp of tamari
~ ½ tbsp of olive oil
~ Coriander and black sesame top
~ Couple of stalks of coriander
~ 1x spring onion
~ 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
~ ½ tbsp of sesame oil
~ ½ tbsp of olive oil
~ Salt and pepper to taste
~ Place the mushrooms and onions in a bowl, toss through tamari, balsamic vinegar and oil. Place in a baking tray and bake for 20 min @ 180°c. Once cooked place in a large bowl.
~ Steam the asparagus and broccoli florets and place in the bowl with onion and mushrooms.
~ Use a peeler to create long strips of zucchini and add to the bowl with the other vegetables.
~ Add raw broccoli stalks and cannellini beans to the bowl with the other vegetables.
~ Put all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake, toss through the bowl of vegetables.
~ Place in a bowl and top with coriander and black sesame seeds.
To demonstrate my thoughts in creating this salad to ensure a variety of texture and a balance of flavour,
Crunch ~ Broccoli stalks, sesame seeds, and raw zucchini
Smooth/Soft ~ Cannellini Beans, onions, mushrooms
Moist ~ Steamed asparagus
Other textures that can improve the ‘dance party’ in your mouth. Gooey and crumbly.
Salty ~ Tamari
Sour ~ Balsamic
Umami ~ Tamari
Other flavours that can improve the ‘dance party’ in your mouth. Bitter and smokey.
Enjoy spring and all it has to offer xx
Words by ~
Anita La Forgia
Multipotentialite, lifestyle elevator and initiator of Levata
Growing up in a family restaurant and admiring her two grandmothers create food and even soap from scratch, Anita is passionate about food and nourishment made with quality ingredients, knowing the source of your food and cooking it with love. Like many, she has been on a journey to find her ‘purpose’ in doing so created Levata, a lifestyle brand with inspiration to elevate a purposeful, mindful, eco-lux lifestyle.