These are the last days of summer. Like in the USA, here in northern Italy, we are still facing some warm days. Let’s create a gourmet salad bar to celebrate and make the most of these final remaining outdoor days.
Guests visited us recently. The temperature was almost 90°F, everyone was hungry, but because of the temperature, a heavy meal was completely out of the question. I love mixed salads with fresh ingredients, fibers, vitamins, protein, good carbs, maybe some fruits as well, all on a light and colorful plate. So I thought, why not? I decided to make a salad bar.
On the table I laid out lettuce, radishes, baby arugula, grape tomatoes, cheddar cheese, buffalo mozzarella, grated carrots and beets, cucumbers, onions, bell peppers, homemade hummus, tuna, aged proscuitto di Parma, hard-boiled eggs, a mixture of quinoa and couscous, spelt tortillas, whole grain seeded bread, lemon wedges, extra virgin olive oil and spices, homemade tamari-honey-mustard sauce, homemade fig compote, and Italian seasonal grapes (we are in the middle of harvesting in my region; these grapes are so sweet!). I chose organic products, as I prefer them, and if you have the possibility of finding them close to where you live and reasonably priced, I recommend you do the same. However, more important even than eating organic is natural, clean eating. As much as you can, avoid processed or artificially modified food products.
Getting back to the salad and the supper party. I chose for my plate:
- A bed of lettuce with radishes and baby arugula
- 5 grape tomatoes
- 1 T. of chopped onions
- 1 T. of grated carrots
- 1 T. of grated beets
- 1 T. of red bell pepper
- 8 slices of cucumber
- 3 oz. of tuna
- 1 T. of chopped buffalo mozzarella
- Iona’s tamari-honey-mustard sauce
- 1 T. of hummus
I knew my plate had all the fuel my body needs to function well: vitamins, fibers, minerals, carbs, and proteins. The best of it? No artificial ingredients, no harmful fats, no preservatives, no health risks.
Salads are also a fantastic source of fiber, which helps your digestive system; green leaves contain antioxidants, help your immune system, and are very low in calories. Tuna is an excellent source of lean protein, Omega-3, magnesium and much more.