Many of us know that a salad a day is what really keeps the doctor away. Still, sticking to a plate of plants for your lunch has a bad image: salad is boring, especially when you eat it every day. And we have to agree with you on this one. Having what most people see as the “typical salad” is boring. Some iceberg leaves, watery tomato and cucumber are just not going to cut it. For no one. And besides lacking in taste, these kind of salads lack in other departments as well. Not providing enough nutrition and calories to tie you over until dinner, the typical salad will not only leave you bored but undernourished at the same time.
At Rå we specialize not in making salads but in making a healthy, delicious and nutritious rainbow party on your plate. Whenever you want you can choose one of our finely selected signature salads from the menu or design your own. And we have got you covered with our best tips for boss-salads at home too.
Play with the temperature
Did you know that salads do not always have to be cold? Many types of salads exist, from really cold and fresh cucumber and watermelon salads that are great in summer to warm salads with grilled vegetables like zucchini and pumpkin that are amazing when the fall weather comes around. And in between? Imagine a lukewarm lentil salad with Moroccan spices. Not only is playing with the temperature a great way to mix up your salad, some vegetables are also better eaten at a certain temperature. Carrots for example contain three times as much antioxidants and their beta-caroteen is best absorbed and made into vitamin A in your body when they are cooked instead of raw.
Adding fruit is a great way to make a salad summer proof, exotic and just a little bit different than what you would normally expect. Sure a salad is typically a savory dish, but that does not mean it always has to be! Our favorites are mixing strawberries or oranges with spinach, mango with quinoa, rocket with apple or pear and walnuts and pineapple with an asian style salad. It has a bonus too: fruit often contains a high dose of vitamin C which, when eaten together with other ingredients, can help with the absorption of other nutrients.
Adjust to the seasons
Eating with the seasons is not only good for your tastebuds, it is also better your health and for the environment. Seasonal products usually have higher nutrient rates and are easier to produce locally, cutting down on export emissions and preserving our beautiful nature. For seasonal salads we would suggest a French salad with boiled potatoes, radish, apple and dill in a yoghurt dressing for spring. In summer it has to be a salad with pasta, grapes, leafy greens and feta while in autumn we would go for grilled zucchini, carrot and sweet potato with lentils and rosemary. In winter we prefer a heavier kind of salad with grilled brussels sprouts, pear, walnuts, pomegranate and maybe a little bit of blue cheese.
Go for the rainbow
Remember our typical iceberg-tomato-cucumber salad from the beginning? Yeah that one. Do you know what it is lacking? Color! There is a saying in Danish which, when translated, would say something like “Your eyes eat with you.” and we think that is completely true. To make your salad an optical bomb all you have to do is to put in as much color as you can. Lacking inspiration? Turn to the rainbow and pick a fruit or vegetable from each color of the palette. Red for tomato, orange for carrot, yellow for sweetcorn, green for spinach and purple for red onion. Easy as that!
Okay, this is a serious salad-hack we use in our own kitchen to make our salads so addictingly delicious but we are going to share it with you. Of course dressings make a salad taste yummy but what is even better is seasoning everything separately when you can spare the time. At Rå we do this by grilling our champignons in soy sauce, the chickpeas with curry powder and our shrimps in lemon. To get some time back you can easily make a bit more and leave some in your fridge for the next day.
Get inspiration from different cuisines
A great way to get more inspiration for salads is by eating out. Other chefs make other salads and you can get a good dose of inspiration on how to construct and present a nice salad from that. We also love to think in terms of cuisines when we make our menu salads. We have a Moroccan-inspired bowl, the nordic Viking Bowl and an asian bestseller, the Tokyo Teriyaki Bowl. And if we had to come up with a new one from the top of our heads, a mexican bowl with tomato, red onion, corn, black beans and some optional cilantro would definitely do good too.
Written by, Maritza Kolenbrander, Food Psychologist at Plantifulplan