Creating a divine green salad is not difficult for the home gardener. It's about an unhurried ten-minute walk through the veggie patch plucking leaves of lettuce, a bit of this and that depending on your mood, and then adding some fresh herbs; and a few colours, of course.
This page was last updated by Bernard Preston on 5th November, 2021.
It is little wonder so many folk despise a salad; they contemptuously call it rabbit-food. And so it is, if there is only iceberg lettuce and a couple slices of tomato on your plate.
That is not a salad. Even adding a dressing overloaded with inflammatory vegetable oil, high in omega-6 fatty acids, and various preservatives and flavour enhancers cannot turn it into something tempting.
If you want a divine salad, then you have to grow it yourself; water the plants, nurture them with love, spice them with worm wee and you will have all the makings of a gourmet meal. It must be freshly-picked too.
Anything harvested yesterday just will not wash if you want your taste-buds demanding more.
Yes the average salad is boring beyond imagination, and probably not very nutritious. Yet, with researchers showing that those who consume eight or more coloured foods most days having a 35 percent lower all-cause of death, it is worth considering, not so?
But just iceberg-lettuce and tomato won't pass muster, will they?
As you wander through the garden, start the planning. What's your mood for today? Do you want something hot and spicy? Well, then some jalapenos or peppadews must be on your platter; red if you really want the heat, or some tender young green-fruit are delicious too.
Some like it hot; have you seen the movie?
And then of course as many different coloured lettuces as you have, plenty of herbs like sweet basil, tomatoes and peppers; now you have the beginnings of a proper salad.
Don't forget the spring-onions, or chives, a must in any salad worthy of its name.
Creating a divine green salad is about interesting flavours and adding colours.
There's such guilt and worry about our food in these times; gone are the days when we could actually enjoy what we are eating without trepidation about what the scale is going to tell us the moment we step in the door.
Banish the thought. Let's enjoy our food again; the good stuff that is not going to turn us into whales with painful arthritic knees and diabetes; and deep concerns about heart-attacks and strokes. Roll on the divine green salad.
Creating a divine green salad with added vibrant-colours is not for those who are burning the candle at both ends; it will not last the night in any case, so perhaps there is no point.
This is for folk who want to enjoy the privilege of going to their grandchildren's weddings with all their marbles intact.
Your salads are pretty grubby, believe you me; a good wash is in order.
Just notice all the colours; apart from the divine flavours fresh from the garden, that is what we are after. It is the phytochemicals in our salads that improve our eyesight, lower our blood-pressure and keep those nasty lumps in the neck and groin at bay.
Okay so it does takes time; spend half an hour plucking and preparing your salads, or fifty times as much visiting the pharmacy and the doctor. I would rather the unhurried wander through my garden than a rushed-visit to the ER; it is all about your philosophy of life.
On the other hand if it errs too strongly on the side of prevention of disease then you be on the verge of orthorexia. Look it up; it is a danger in my own ways.
And as I wash these gourmet-salads, my taste buds are getting excited and I am probably beginning to drool. The flavours will be divine.
Rinse your salads several times to get the grit out; if they are bought at the shop then you'll be hoping to get any pesticides and bacteria off them too. I don't need to tell you these are organic lettuces. They are grown in compost, watered with worm-wee and plucked, a leaf here and another there, with love and an unhurried sense of time.
Still wash them thoroughly; salads are the second most common cause of food-borne illness. It's not likely from your garden, but picked five-days ago on the farm, any number of things could have contaminated them.
You probably can't see it, but there are five different-lettuces here; okay, so the reds are getting a bit thin.
Spread them out nicely on your salad bowl; no lily-white iceberg here, even if it is nice and crunchy.
Now it's time to add the bitter herbs; Easter is coming up as I write. Here we have parsley on the left, cilantro and my favourite sweet-basil on the right, and of course some spring onions.
It's beginning to look like a proper green salad at last; all the ingredients to keep your colon happy are right here. No colorectal-tumours for you.
Now to add some colours; they are vitally important if you want to protect the prostate and the boob; reds are particularly important for the lycopenes, but enjoy whatever you can lay your hands on.
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I have concentrated on the tomatoes and peppers today, but on the morrow we'll have some raw beetroot, thinly-sliced and radishes perhaps; whatever tickles my fancy. Corn on the cob is a favourite in the summer and avocados through the winter and spring.
We have a glut of these baby-tomatoes at the moment and numerous different kinds of peppers; they are second only to citrus in their vitamin-C content.
The peppadew is my favourite and you really do take potluck. If our honeybees have just visited the jalapenos then they may have pollinated it with some really hot stuff; if they were last seen at the sweet paprika, as we call them in Holland, then you might have a very mild one. Now it is starting to look like a real-salad.
At the restaurant it is usually just iceberg-lettuce and tomato? Bah, that's not a salad.
I really do not promote weighing your food, counting calories, or wondering if you've had your complement of colours; that just ruins a hearty-meal. Just tuck in and enjoy.
But just for the record there are at least 15 different coloured foods already on this plate; it's a feast of anti-tumour delights.
If taking half an hour to create a divine green salad like this is too much trouble, well, I will be diplomatic and say no more. A Dutchman would retort, those who won't hear must feel.
No salad to my mind is complete without either hummus or pesto, and olive oil. Today is a garbanzo bean day; your salad needs some protein.
Our authentic hummus recipe takes me all of five-minutes, twice a week to rustle up; I make a big tub and it is as easy as puddin' and pie once you have got the ingredients together. It is made from garbanzos, also known as chickpeas, tahini and fresh lemon; cumin and olive oil too.
If you take nothing else from this page today, learn how to make hummus in your own kitchen; it's a huge step up to well-being, and it really makes any boring salad into something special.
Not shown on our plates, we've added feta cheese and ten or so
pickled olives; on the side is our delicious sourdough bread recipe that we
bake daily. That also takes only five-minutes; dinkum, including milling the flour.
Using 100 percent wholemeal flour and our sourdough bread recipe, and five-hours of course in the solar electric oven, it's really a breeze to make these delicious dishes. Slow food, made fast, is our motto.
You've probably heard that butter is back, and should never have been banished in the first place; no margarine if you value your nerves. Hence my interest as a DC. Hydrogenated-oils are toxic to the body.
It is so easy to throw together this warmed easy spicy olives concoction; all you need in the cupboard is a small bottle of fennel seeds and a lemon. It takes only ten minutes to prepare; use the artisanal bread to mop up the oil the way the Greeks do.
What's missing from this divine green salad of course is half an avocado; they were out of season when I printed this page.
Avocados have many virtues of their own, but one in particular is the fact that their fat content improves the absorption of other carotenoids from your salad. These are the vital-substances that provide so many benefits in the body, from better eyesight to less malignant disease and inflammation in the muscles and joints.
Read more about avocados at "Critical-Reviews in food Science and Nutrition, Vol 53, 2015."
Unfortunately many great-stories end prematurely because someone refused to eat a salad, but by all means have a Guinness with your lunch.
A Guinness was definitely the best of the half-dozen beers I sampled on a recent trip to the UK. But make sure you are sober when weighing up the advertising.
Better still is the honey brown-beer that I brew periodically; it's old name is a braggart. It certainly beats a Guinness too.
What's potting in the garden is Bernard Preston's delight once he has finished treating his patients for the day. Creating a divine green salad, with all those fresh, scrumptious, life-giving herbs and coloured greens really means taking an interest; otherwise you are totally reliant on wilted lettuce picked a day or often far longer ago; this summer vegetable garden page may have some ideas for you.
Worse says new research published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology which states that salads are the second most common source of foodborne illness via such routes as contaminated washing water, non hygienic equipment and human handling.
And, in particular, the leaf juice increases Salmonella growth by up to 280-fold over the typical storage time of five days.
From start to finish, picking, washing, and sorting may have taken a quarter of an hour in the Garden Cathedral, and another fifteen-minutes in our green kitchen; and then to enjoy a delightful meal. Just the palpable release of the spirit makes it worthwhile. One hour for your lunch from plucking the first sprig of parsley to mopping up the last vestiges of spicy olive oil on your plate is not so long.
Well there was five-minutes for preparing the dough in the early morning for our olive bread recipe.
The autumn veggie garden will tell you all about late summer and winter salads and a lot more.
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You may be surprised to read that creating a divine green salad like this will also help with depression and anxiety. Quite apart from the healing of the inner being that comes from gardening, Dr Karen Swartz, director of the mood disorders clinic at Johns Hopkins reports that people with low folate respond less well to medication for depression.
A green salad is one of the prime sources of folate.
Bernard Preston is a semi-retired DC with a background in physics and chemistry; he is passionate about growing and enjoying nutritious food, and preserving our environment for our children. He collects and stores solar power and rainwater, grows organic fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and bees. He is the author of four books.
Bernard Preston is without apology a kinky greenie; he hates the idea of tumours and pain, drugs and doctors. You can either enjoy growing and creating a divine green salad like this, or be sickly, and probably drop dead ten-years before your time. It's such a boon to take no medication at all in your eighth decade; nor does the good wife.
You too could enjoy a life without medication; it certainly has its merits.
Folk often think he is vegetarian; he's not, but they are trying to cut down on red meat to perhaps once or twice a week. The WHO is unequivocal on the subject. So we turn more to fish and fowl, and vegetable protein from chickpeas and broad beans, for example; the latter are a whole 25% protein. And provide L-dopa, a very important phytochemical that a part of the brain called the Substantia Niagra uses to manufacture dopamine; a deficiency causes Parkinson's disease.
If you have enjoyed this creating a divine green salad page, then you'll love the Bernard Preston books. Got a Kindle or tablet? They are dirt cheap; find them in the navigation bar above.
Few books have resonated with me recently like Love of a Rose has done; here just one passage on creating a divine green salad.
"Indeed, no banquet yet has ever tasted half as good to Papa Meilland as the crisp golden chips his mother used to pile high on their plates flanked with a mountain of green salad; or her steaming, thick vegetable-soup helped out with a thrifty salted morsel of last year's Lord Pig."
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