Serious Eats: Talk
Why are salads usually lettuce-based?
Is your idea of a good sandwich a couple slices bland white bread, cheap deli meat, and a load of cheese and mayo for flavor?
Is your idea of a good steak a cheap microwave-cooked piece of meat, just saturated in barbecue sauce?
But then, is your idea of a salad a pile of lettuce, loaded with croutons, cheese, and fatty/oily salad dressing?
I'm wondering why this is so. Lettuce has such a weak flavor that people tend to load it up with fatty dressings and toppings in order to make it taste like something.
Also, lettuce has a fairly low nutritional value, lacking in important vitamins and minerals compared to other veggies. Complete with the dressing, your lettuce salad probably isn't any healthier than the burger you resisted.
When I make a salad, I mainly comprise it of more flavorful, more nutritionally valuable veggies such as tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, purple onion, carrots, olives, etc. For leafy vegetables I'll use things like kale or chard. I'll also throw in some fresh herbs and maybe just a light garnishing of nuts or cheese. It has enough flavor to stand its own, without even needing heavy dressing.
So, if you like your salads mainly comprised of lettuce, why?
And if not, what other kinds of interesting salads do you like?
Suggestions for livening up salads without heavy dressing?