Sunday, 2 October 2011

Italian herb salad with sweet surprise

There is bound to be guilt after hogging unabashedly at a restaurant that offers unlimited starters, maincourse and desserts. And when the starters are barbecued to perfection, maincourse spread is delicious and the desserts are none other than the calorific cheese cakes, brownies, icecreams and the likes, noone can help but pig out. Add to it, a mojito or two here and there. All your calorie counts and cycling hours go down the drain. So what does the guilt ridden person do the next day? She prepares a low-cal salad!

Now, who can argue the virtues of a garden fresh vegetable salad? And what more could one ask for, if it is made tasty too? Its not my opinion alone, interestingly our fellow Aussie friends also think so. So what if they are talking of fruits? I feel that the song would have been equally endearing had it been 'veggie salad yummy yummy'....

The Italian herb salad that is in question today has evolved over time and is proudly a low-cal yet deliciously crunchy salad. Rest assured, the addition of sweet raisins to an otherwise salty salad imparts it a delicious twist :)

Italian herb salad with sweet surprise
Iceberg lettuce- 250 g
Green bell pepper- 1 medium sized
Roma tomatoes- 1 medium sized
Sliced Olives- 2 tbsp
Parsley- 2 tbsp (chopped)
Raisins- 8-10
For the salad dressing:
Oregano- 15-20 small leaves
Olive oil- 2tbsp
White vinegar- 1 tbsp
English mustard- 1 tsp
Low fat hung curd- 3/4 cup
Crushed black pepper- 1/2 tsp
Salt- 1/2 tsp

Deseed the tomato and the bell pepper and slice both into long thin pieces. Shred the lettuce. In a large bowl toss the tomato, bell pepper, lettuce, olives and raisins together. Next in a mortar, coarsely crush the oregano leaves so that their juices come out. Mix the crushed oregano with the other salad dressing ingredients. Top the vegetable bowl with the dressing and mix it well with the vegetables. Garnish with parsley, olives, raisins, slices of tomato, bell pepper and a twig of oregano leaves.

This incredibly easy and visually delightful recipe is packed with nutrients. Lettuce, bell pepper and tomato are  rich in Vitamin A & B and olives & olive oil are heart friendly. Since the usual salad dressing of sour cream or mayonnaise is replaced by low fat hung curd, it is also low on calories. Happy munching!


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