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Easy, quick and healthy: a delicious salad

(post, Agnes Abplanalp)


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Whenever I invite friends for dinner they ask me to make a salad. To be precise, they ask me to make the very same salad as they had the last time (and the times before) at my house. 

It is fresh, crunchy, tasty and has a broad variety of textures and flavors. But the most important thing - it has my own special dressing that is made of only the best ingredients. So we usually end up dipping bread into our plates and when the bowl of salad is empty we have an almost fondue-like dipping of salad dressing.

My appreciation and craving for salad originates for sure from Switzerland. Having grown up in that very health-conscious country and having tasted hundreds of different salads and dressings a salad is a must with every lunch or dinner. When I cook for myself I usually end up making a spontaneous mix of greens and vegetables and then adding grilled chicken or tuna fillet. I put it directly on top of the salad, still hot and sizzling. A piece of fresh bread with it and my meal is complete. 

So here is how one of my favorite salads is made (just nice for 4 people):

- Half an iceberg lettuce (or if you like it softer and more tender 2 baby butterhead lettuces)
- around 10 small red radishes cut into very thin slices
- 1 large cucumber or 2 small japanese cucumbers, peeled and cut into thin slices, salted
- 1 or 2 carrots cut into thin slices, cubes or fine stripes (depending on how you want the salad to look)
- a few cherry tomatoes, cut in half, lightly salted
- some sweet corn (best if cooked fresh and peeled of, cooled)
- herbs (parsley is great, basil gives it a fresh and real good taste, a bit of dill is also a good option)

I mix all the ingredients in a large decorative bowl. It also looks real good in a glass bowl where you can see all the ingredients. Then I add the dressing and mix it well. So all the leaves and vegetables are covered in dressing. It is important not to put too much dressing. Otherwise it will be drowned and overwhelmed by oil and vinegar. A good measure for this amount of salad is

4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 - 2 tablespoons of aceto balsamico (aged, high quality. This way it will not be sour)
2 teaspoons of mustard (I personally love Tony mustard, the red one, which is a bit spicy and hot)
Pepper to taste (plenty!)
half a red mild onion cut into tiny pieces (let it "breath" for a while adding salt. This way it will not be so dominant in taste and much milder)
Parsley chopped very finely
(if desired 1 or 2 teaspoons of water, or lemonjuice can be added. This makes the dressing lighter)

Mix all the ingredients for the dressing well until it is a smooth sauce. 

If presented with good quality fresh bread  or even better different types of bread this salad is a true feast!