Making a good salad - part 2

Salad Ingredients

Salads can be made from many different ingredients - you don't have to be limited to ice burg lettuce, cucumber and tomato – just have a look at the list below.  If there are certain ingredients which you can't include, don't worry, there are plenty of others which can replace it.

  • Artichoke hearts – can be purchased in jars, and kept in the pantry/fridge.
  • Asparagus - Lightly steamed.
  • Aubergine – pickled in jars, just slice.
  • Avoc ado – cut up at the last minute to avoid it going brown, and squeeze a little lemon or coat immediately in some dressing once sliced.
  • Beans & legumes – a great way to increase vegetable protein in the diet.  Bean salads can be made in advance and last in the fridge for a couple of days.  Great for a lunchbox.
  • Bean sprouts – grow your own alfalfa, mung bean, lentil, chickpea.  Great to get children interested in growing food.
  • Beetroot – can bring colour to a salad either raw thin slices, grated or cooked.
  • Broccoli - raw or lightly steamed
  • Cabbage - Both white and red cabbage sliced finely – There are many different ways to make a coleslaw.
  • Cauliflower - raw or lightly steamed
  • Carrots – cut into rounds, diced, match-sticks or grated.
  • Celery – thinly sliced. Very nice with apple.
  • Cheese – grate, cut into cubes or crumble - cheddar, parmesan, goats cheese, feta or any other cheese you like.
  • Chicory – can be sliced or diced to add crunch to a salad.
  • Courgette – A little grated courgette gives a peppery flavour.
  • Cucumber - Some children prefer cucumber without the skin and seeds however it is good to be aware many of the nutrients are found in the skin so do try to encourage them to eat it.
  • Egg – hard boil then quarter or dice.
  • French beans – tops and tails removed, blanch in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, rinse under cold water then cut into one inch lengths.
  • Fennel –thin slices, Italian style or diced.
  • Fruit – doesn’t suit all types of savoury salad but can be great with some.  Apple, orange or clementine segments, pears, mango, pomegranate, nectarine, peach or sultanas.
  • Grains – rice, couscous, cracked wheat (bulgar), barley, quinoa or millet.
  • Green leaves - There are many different types of leaves that can go in a salad.  Lettuce, water-cress, spinach, rocket, radicchio, chard, just to name a few. Always wash leaves first to remove sand and pesticides.
  • Herbs – chopped basil, parsley, coriander, mint, chives, dill.
  • Mange tout and sugar snap peas - give a nice crunch.
  • Mushrooms – just slice and add.
  • Nuts - chopped walnuts, pecans, cashews, peanuts, pine nuts.
  • Olives – green, black or kalmata – remove the pips.
  • Peppers - Give great colour and flavour to a salad.  Red and yellow peppers are sweeter than green.
  • Potato – think potato salad or tuna Niçoise.
  • Red onion – think slices of red onion can give great flavour.
  • Seeds - Sesame, pumpkin, poppy, sunflower or linseeds.
  • Spring onion – both the white and the green parts.
  • Sweetcorn – handy to have in the cupboard.
  • Tomatoes - Large tomatoes chopped, cherry tomatoes whole or sun-dried tomatoes all work well in a salad.
  • White salad onion – mild white onion can be quite sweet even when raw and well suited to a salad.

Remember: Avoid giving nuts and seeds to children under the age of five as they run the risk of choking on them. Ground nuts and seeds are fine and are very nutritious.