Salads are more than just the leafy green first course of a meal. Salads can be prepared with all types of ingredients and served as gourmet appetizers, side dishes or main courses. Spice up your next dinner party or special occasion with one of these quick, easy salad ideas.
Create a simple yet gourmet green salad by mixing arugula, pears and asiago cheese or mixed greens with strawberries and chives. Mix fresh spinach, sliced cucumbers, apples and curried pecans in a lemon and coriander dressing. Using a cheese like Brie or herbed goat cheese can give the everyday green salad a fancy touch. Serving your salad in a stemmed martini glass with a breadstick will make it more extravagant.
Chicken and Seafood Salads
A fresh seafood salad that is ideal for summertime is a mix of crab, mango, cucumber and fresh lime juice. Dress up a chicken salad recipe by serving it in a tomato or on top of cucumber slices with a toasted baguette. Serving the salad inside of a halved papaya or cantaloupe or alongside a fresh slice of banana bread can make it the perfect addition to your party or special event.
Toss together rotini, toasted walnuts, green beans and dill for a quick, delicious pasta salad and serve with freshly made Italian dressing. To give your gourmet pasta salad a Mediterranean twist, mix your favourite pasta with fresh mozzarella, olives and sun-dried tomatoes. Mix tricolored tortellini with celery, peppers, cherry tomatoes, onions and carrots with Italian dressing. After you toss the ingredients together, lay the mixture on top of a large romaine leaf and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.
For a tasty gourmet fruit salad idea, mix red seedless grapes, green apples and toasted walnuts together. Combining exotic fruits like mango, papaya, pineapple and passion fruit makes for a sweet, luxurious treat. For a twist on a your average fruit salad, mix fresh berries, melons and peaches with a ginger syrup, which can be made with water, sugar and fresh ginger. Garnish your fruit salad with mint leaves and serve in a decorative serving dish.
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