- x0x Salads
Found in different forms in almost every cuisine
in the world, salads are a number one preference
with healthy eaters.
The French eat theirs after the main dish... to
prepare their palates for the cheese to follow.
Turks and Italians consume this vitamin powerhouse
together with the main dish, especially if it's
fish. The English and the Americans tuck into
theirs as soon as they sit down at the table... to
stimulate their appetites. Yes, we may have
different ways of eating them, but it is salads we
are talking about. Salads, which are found on
dining tables almost all over in the world.
Unfortunately however salad has not yet found the
place it merits in the world of gastronomy.
Derived from 'sal', the Latin for salt, the word
connotes 'salted things' or 'the preparation and
consumption of raw vegetables with olive oil,
vinegar and salt'. Most of our data concerning
salads is obtained from documents dating back to
the Roman era and from French and English sources.
As such, it is information about the history of
salad in Europe. But salad has a past as old
perhaps as the history of man himself.
For, until the discovery of fire and the invention
of cooking, early humans met their nutritional
needs by consuming foodstuffs such as vegetables,
greens, fruits and nuts.In a sense, therefore,
salad could be said to constitute the backbone of
the earliest human diet.
EVERYTHING FROM POMEGRANATE SYRUP TO CITRUS FRUIT
Salad occupies a special place too in Anatolia,
whose fertile lands found favor with a variety of
different civilizations over the centuries. But
the flavors offered by a wide range of foodstuffs
in Anatolia from fresh greens to legumes do not
always go by the name of salad. In the Southeast,
for example, salad may sometimes consist solely of
fresh parsley and mint. Similarly, an abundance of
expertly chopped greens tossed with the pleasantly
tart syrup made from the juice of the Urfa
pomegranate may accompany a meal. Meanwhile in
Turkey's Mediterranean cuisine, 'tahina' (thick
sesame oil) and citrus fruit, both the juice and
the fruit itself, are used in salads, while olive
oil and the juice of unripe grapes play the lead
roles in the salads of the Aegean region.
I would like now to pass along to you a recipe for
a 'Green Salad' taken from the first Ottoman
cookbook, Melce'ut Tabbah'in (The Cooks' Refuge),
published in 1844. The mention in this recipe of
the Judas tree, which adorns the Bosphorus and has
a special place in Ottoman culture, is sufficient
proof, I believe, of how highly salad was regarded
in Ottoman cuisine.
FIRST THE OLIVE OIL...
Four people are required for the making of a good
salad... A generous person to add the olive oil, a
fair person to add the vinegar, a stingy person to
add the salt and, finally, a patient person to do
the tossing. Let us take a look now at some of the
pitfalls of salad making. If you want to make a
tasty salad, the washed ingredients must be well
dried, because any water left on them will dilute
the flavor of the dressing
Another important requirement is that the salad
materials must make the acquaintance of the olive
oil first... Only after the surface of the salad
greens has been coated with olive oil should the
vinegar or lemon juice and salt be added. Of
course, the most crucial thing for ensuring a
tasty salad is that you make it with ingredients
that are in season. Now the time has come to leave
you with some salad recipes, each one tastier than
Grilled Vegetable Salad
2 aubergines, 3 bell peppers (red, yellow or
green), 5 green onions, 10 cloves of garlic, 1
zucchini, 4 tbsp virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp
pomegranate syrup, 1/2 tsp salt
Preparation:Grill all the vegetables. Peel the
aubergines and core the peppers. Cube the
vegetables and place in a mixing bowl. Add the
olive oil, pomegranate syrup and salt and mix.
Transfer to a salad plate and serve
Cottage Cheese Salad
Ingredients:1 kg lor (a soft, white, curd cheese),
1 red or yellow pepper, finely chopped, 4 green
onions, finely chopped, 1/2 bunch dill, finely
chopped, 1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped, 8
cherry tomatoes, 4 tbsp of virgin olive oil juice
of one lemon
Preparation:Mix the cheese with the chopped herbs
and vegetables in a bowl. Add the olive oil and
lemon juice and arrange on a serving platter.
Ingredients:2 bunches of purslane, 1/2 cup virgin
olive oil, 4 tbsp yoghurt, 1 tbsp walnut meats, 1
tsp red pepper flakes, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 tbsp
vinegar, 1 clove garlic, crushed
Preparation:Tear off the purslane leaves, wash
well and drain in a colander. For the dressing:
Place the yoghurt, vinegar, salt and olive oil in
a bowl and mix thoroughly. The mixture will be
runny. Place the purslane in a bowl and pour the
dressing over it. Garnish with the walnut meats
and red pepper flakes.
Ingredients:4 tomatoes, 5 green onions, 1 bunch of
parsley, 1/2 cup tomato juice, 1/2 cup olive oil,
1 lemon, 4 long, thin hot green peppers (sivri
biber) 1/4 tsp salt
Preparation:Skin the tomatoes and remove the pips.
Chop the green onions, parsley, and green peppers
finely and mix together. Add the tomato juice,
olive oil, lemon juice and salt and toss again.
Remove to a salad bowl and serve.
Ingredients:500 g cooked green beans, finely
chopped, 2 tbsp yoghurt, 1 tbsp mayonnaise, 1 tbsp
virgin olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black
pepper, 2 tbsp walnut meats
Preparation: Drain the cooked beans. Add the olive
oil, salt and pepper and mix well. Beat the
yoghurt and mayonnaise in a separate bowl. Remove
the beans to a serving plate. Pour the sauce over
them and garnish with the walnut meats.
Ingredients: 2 thin slices of veal ham, 2 thin
slices of salami, 50 g poached chicken breast, 50
g yellow Kathar cheese, 1 tomato, 1 cucumber, 1
hard-boiled egg, 1/2 iceberg lettuce, finely
Preparation:Place the chopped lettuce in a salad
bowl. Cut the ham, salami, chicken breast, cheese,
tomato and cucumber into julienne strips and slice
the egg. Arrange over the lettuce and serve with
the dressing of your choice.