Healthy Cooking

The Best Vegetable Salads

Fresh salad vegetables in season are combined with a light or tangy dressing to make a delightful addition to lunch, dinner, or Sunday supper.

Here are the 15 best vegetable salads:

1. Simple Potato Salad

One and a half pounds potatoes, salted water, 6 chopped shallots, 4 chopped sticks celery, french dressing, salt, pepper, mayonnaise, chopped parsley or chives.

Scrub potatoes, cook in boiling salted water until just tender. Drain, cool slightly and peel. Cut into dice, mix while still warm with sufficient french dressing to moisten. Add shallots and celery, season to taste. Pile on to platter; spoon over-generous amount of mayonnaise. Sprinkle with chopped parsley or chives before serving.

2. Coleslaw

One shredded small cabbage, salt, pepper, 1 grated carrot, 1 grated small onion, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, french dressing.

Place shredded cabbage in a salad bowl with carrot, onion, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, pour over sufficient french dressing to moisten; toss lightly. Serve at once.

3. Cucumbers With Yogurt

Four cucumbers, ¼ cup chopped fresh mint, 3 x 220g containers yogurt, salt, pepper.

Peel cucumbers, cut into small cubes. Add the mint, 2 containers of yogurt, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix, chill 2 hours. Then drain off excess water and add remaining yogurt. Stir mixture, chill briefly before serving.

4. Avocado Tomatoes

Six medium-sized tomatoes, 1 large or 2 small avocados, 1 tablespoon very finely chopped green pepper, squeeze of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons grated onion, salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon very finely chopped celery, lettuce leaves, extra mayonnaise.

Peel tomatoes, scoop out centers. Sprinkle tomato cases with salt, turn upside down to drain. Halve avocados, remove flesh, and mash. Mix with mayonnaise, lemon juice, grated onion, green pepper, and celery. Fill tomatoes with this mixture, arrange on lettuce leaves. Top each tomato with little extra mayonnaise. Serve at once.

5. Swedish Potato Salad

One cup cold, sliced boiled potatoes, 2 medium-sized cooked beetroot, 1 lettuce, 1 tablespoon capers, 1 dessertspoon liquid from capers, 2 beaten egg-yolks, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon dry mustard, ½ teaspoon castor sugar, 1½ tablespoons olive oil, 1 dessertspoon vinegar, ¼ cup cream.

Peel and dice beetroot; tear lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Place in a salad bowl with sliced potatoes. Sprinkle over capers. Blend egg-yolks gradually with salt, mustard, and sugar, then slowly stir in the oil, vinegar, and caper liquid. When thoroughly blended, gradually stir in cream; pour over salad. Toss lightly before serving.

6. Potato and Egg Salad

Four large boiled potatoes, 4 quartered hard-boiled eggs, ½ cup sliced celery, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1½ tablespoons wine vinegar, salt, pepper.

Peel potatoes, cut into dice. Place in a salad bowl. Add eggs, celery, and parsley. Combine oil and vinegar, add salt and pepper. Pour over salad and toss lightly; serve well chilled.

7. Hot Potato Salad

Six medium-sized hot boiled potatoes, 4 rashers bacon, ¼ cup white vinegar, ½ teaspoon castor sugar, salt, pepper, 1 dessertspoon grated onion, 2 shelled hard-boiled eggs, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley.

Peel potatoes, slice while still warm. Remove rind from bacon, chop the rashers. Fry over low heat until crisp. Add vinegar, cook until heated through.

Place potatoes in a large wooden salad bowl. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, sugar, and onion; mix well. Pour over the hot dressing, then top with sliced egg and parsley. Toss gently before serving.

8. Zucchini A La Grecque

Four washed and trimmed zucchini, 1 tablespoon each finely chopped parsley and chives, pinch thyme, salt, and pepper, dash tabasco sauce, 1 bay leaf, 1 dessertspoon lemon juice, ¼ cup oil, 1 clove garlic, 1 cup water.

Cut zucchini into ¼ inch slices. Place in a saucepan with remaining ingredients. Cover, bring to the boil. Reduce heat, simmer until zucchini is tender but still firm. Cool, and chill. Drain; serve on lettuce leaves with a little of the liquid spooned over.

9. Bavarian Slaw

One large onion, 2 red apples, lemon juice; 4 cups shredded red cabbage (crisped in iced water), 1 diced pickled cucumber, french dressing.

Slice onion; separate into rings. Core but do not peel apples; cut into thin wedges, brush with lemon juice. Roll drained cabbage in a towel to dry. Combine onion rings, apple wedges, drained cabbage, and cucumber. Just before serving, pour over sufficient french dressing to moisten; toss lightly; serve at once.

10. Celery Salad with Nuts

Half cup chopped walnuts or cashews, 1½ cups chopped celery, 1 dessertspoon finely chopped crystallized pineapple or ginger, ¼ cup french dressing, salt, pepper, lettuce leaves, mayonnaise.

Combine the nuts, celery, crystallized fruit. Season to taste. Moisten with French dressing and toss. Place in a bowl lined with lettuce leaves, top with a dollop of mayonnaise. Serve at once.

11. Creamy Onion Salad

Three large mild onions, 1 cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon french mustard, salt, pepper, ½ teaspoon paprika, chopped parsley.

Peel onions, slice thinly into rings; place in a salad bowl. Mix the sour cream with the mustard, salt, pepper, and paprika. Blend well and pour over onions. Toss lightly; sprinkle generously with chopped parsley.

12. Artichoke and Avocado Salad

One lettuce, 1 small avocado, 220g can of artichoke hearts (drained), salt, pepper, sugar, french dressing.

Tear lettuce into bite-sized pieces, place in a salad bowl. Halve the avocado, remove seed and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Drain and halve artichoke hearts. Place in the bowl with lettuce and avocado, pour-over sufficient french dressing to moisten. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and little sugar. Toss lightly; serve at once.

13. Pepper Anchovy Salad

Four large red peppers, 110g green beans, salted water, 4 tomatoes, 3 finely chopped anchovy fillets, 2 very finely chopped cloves garlic, pepper, 4 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons wine vinegar.

Slice peppers, thinly, removing seeds and membranes. Top, tail, and string beans; cook in boiling salted water until just tender. Drain and cool. Place beans and sliced peppers in a wooden salad bowl. Peel tomatoes, and slice; add to beans and peppers. Stir in anchovy fillets and garlic, season to taste with freshly ground pepper. Gradually stir in oil, then vinegar. Toss gently.

14. Aubergine Salad

Two medium-sized aubergines (eggplants), salted water, squeeze lemon juice, ½ teaspoon grated onion, 1 cup sliced celery, ½ cup chopped nuts, salt, pepper, 1½ tablespoons oil, 1 dessertspoon wine vinegar, quartered hard-boiled eggs, stuffed olives.

Cut unpeeled aubergines into cubes. Place in a saucepan with boiling salted water to cover. Add lemon juice, bring to boil, cover and simmer until tender. Drain, cool, and chill.

Place aubergine cubes in a wooden salad bowl. Add onion, celery, nuts, salt and pepper. Combine oil and vinegar, pour over salad; toss gently. Decorate bowl with quartered eggs and sliced stuffed olives.

15. Cauliflower and Blue Cheese Salad

One bunch endive (or 1 lettuce), ½ small cauliflower, ½ cup sliced radishes, 1 white onion, 85g blue vein cheese, french dressing.

Wash endive or lettuce well, tear into bite-sized pieces. Slice cauliflower, radishes, and onion thinly. Marinate prepared vegetables in french dressing at least 30 minutes. Line bowl with the lettuce or endive, add the marinated vegetables, toss lightly. Tuck slices of the blue vein cheese in among the salad.

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