It really isn't just leaves!

Have you ever looked up the word salad in a dictionary? I did... for some reason people have a pre-conception that a salad is a bunch of leaves or 'rabbit food'. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I like a leafy salad but it is definitely not the be all and end all.

Who said a salad had to be leaves, leaves and more leaves? Seriously.... show me the person or book that says that and I'll tell them to go and give their heads a wobble. 

The Oxford dictionary (that's right, I wasn't kidding) actually defines a salad as:


Pronunciation: /ˈsaləd/ 


1A cold dish of various mixtures of raw or cooked vegetables, usually seasoned with oil, vinegar, or other dressing and sometimes accompanied by meat, fish, or other ingredients:
So why oh why do we reach for the iceberg lettuce and some salad tomatoes the minute the sun comes out and we have to start getting 'beach ready'. I was guilty of this too so you're not alone there. After three days of lettuce tomato and cucumber for lunch in one week a few years ago, I figured there was something just plain wrong with that! Why can't a salad be more?

This is where I got to thinking. The dictionary tells me the primary base for a salad is vegetables. I love my veggies so this isn't an issue but it definitely needed to get more exciting. So I started playing about with flavours and textures. The way you cook something can completely change its sensory qualities, one of the reasons I love to cook and experiment so much. I've got a mixture of grilled and slow cooked peppers in here for a mixture of smokiness and sweetness.

Kale has such an earthy flavour so I think it balances richer flavours quite well. In this salad it works brilliantly with the Asian flavours I use in my marinade like ginger, soy and chilli. It packs a whopping protein hit too as I've used chicken and an exotic bean mix... pat on the back for me! The look of food is so important to me and I think the more colourful a dish the more moreish it is. This definitely ticks the colour and flavour boxes. 

I'd love to know your favourite salad recipes so please share : ) x