I'm not a HUGE fan of salads, but when I do eat salad, it has to be GOOD! I believe that the dressing plays a huge role in making the salad tastes good. One of my favorite dressings on a salad is extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Always choose a good balsamic vinegar.
It's nice to eat healthy...
To make the dressing, it is very simple. Just mix 6 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and 3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar. Season with a small amount of soft brown sugar (you can omit the sugar if you like but I feel it makes it taste much nicer) and salt. You can always add more balsamic vinegar if you like the dressing to be a little more tart. Finally, add 1 finely chopped shallot to this mixture and mix thoroughly. Simple, right?
Salad with olive-balsamic dressing, cherry tomatoes and toasted pumpkin seeds
There is no rule as to what you can put in your salad - romaine lettuce, coral lettuce, rocket leaves... take your pick. A must for me is some good quality cherry tomatoes (and sundried tomatoes if I can get my hands on some). Last weekend, when I was shopping for the salad, I decided to grab a box of organic pumpkin seeds too.
Pumpkin seeds add a nice nutty texture to the salad. Other than that, it is said to be a rich source of minerals, protein and monounsaturated fats as well being able to lower your cholesterol level. Though pumpkin seed is pretty nice eaten just like that, toasting it makes it all the nicer. To toast, you can either place it in a 160C oven for 15-20 minutes or toasting it in a pan on medium heat for approx. 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Do keep an eye while toasting as you just want to lightly roast/toast them as overroasting destroys some of their nutritive value. Other than pumpkin seeds, you can also use pine nuts.
I find toasting in a pan more convenient if you're doing it in small amounts
My kids love munching on them!
To assemble the salad, just place the salad leaves in a bowl, pour over 3/4 of the dressing and toss the salad leaves to evenly coat the dressing. Top the salad with halved cherry tomatoes and toasted pumpkin seeds and drizzle the remaining dressing on top. You can serve this salad on its own or with your main meals.
Healthy eating doesn't have to be boring!
A colorful, inviting salad
Surprisingly my kids love this salad, especially Baby C.
Full set of photos available to view here.