Everyone loves a good old salad! The crunchy crispiness of raw veggies, the wafting smell of the dressing, the visual appeal of the colorful conglomerate of ingredients and the wholesome nutrition quotient of a bowl of salad makes it an irresistible appetiser for all. But inspite of how much we might love salads, we aren’t really aware about the many types of it.
Specially in our part of the country, salads are almost always some cucumbers and carrots and tomatoes finely sliced or diced thrown into a bowl, dashed up with some salt and mustard oil and garnished with some coriander or such other green stuff. Salads are almost always a way to eat our veggies raw or in some cases gobble up a colorful array of fruits at one go. However, salads don’t tend to be so basic all over the world. Be it the method of preparation or the many diverse ingredients that can go into making a salad, this is one dish that can be quite diversely interpreted.
From being a veggie based salad or a fruit based one, salads can diversify to also include non veg additions. So there can be meat salads as well as fish salads and egg salads even as fancier ones like pasta salads and more unlikely ones like cooked veggie salads also tend to be popular. There also can be cheese salads and rice salads and even dessert salads and some bread salad as well! And of course herb salad is one accompanying side in almost every Indian meal that which the whole country cheers upon as chutney.
Let’s explore more about the different types of salads in the world you can make your pick from the next time you are craving a bowl of goodness-
The salad more common in the western world, green salad is one that incorporates a number of leafy greens in its fold. Of course other vegetables almost always find their own way into a green salad. However those types of salads that are composed entirely of veggies would categorise as a vegetable salad. A garden salad is the most common and perhaps most authentic type of a green salad that is made with leafy greens topped with other veggies. In being merely tossed with a dressing, green and vegetable salads also almost exclusively qualify to be prepared as tossed salads.
A rather exotic looking among the many types of salads, fruit groupings is what lead to a fruit salad. But while this is the very basic understanding of what we call a fruit salad, this particular variation takes fancier forms the world around. From the most elemental fruit salad called a fruit cocktail to assorted ones, here’s listing some pretty fruit salads-
A fruit cocktail is a salad where cut pieces of any variety of fruits are served either in their own juices or in a syrup. Perhaps in being a diced serving of fruits in some juicy base, fruit cocktail emerges as a distinctive type of fruit sald.
Literally meaning food of the Gods, an ambrosia salad is a fruit salad popular in the United States. A classic side dish served cold, ambrosias are generally a compilation of fruits like pineapples and mandarins with some marshmallows and coconut, topped off with some dairy agent like sour cream or sweetened whipped cream.
This salad from Malaysia essential means ‘mixed’ and that’s exactly what Rojak tends to be. But even in its ample veggie incorporation alongside the fruits, it still is traditionally the Malaysian spicy fruit salad. A fusion of flavours in being spicy and sweet, sour and salty at the same time, Rojak is a rather eclectic form of the many types of salads. Assorted tropical fruits and vegetables are dressed in a spicy palm sugar sauce for this salad dish that is also a staple in Indonesia, Singapore and Sri Lanka. Among the popular street foods of Bali, Rojak has many different interpretations, each of which makes for a really unique tasting, diversive salad.
It might be peculiar to call jello salad a fruit salad when the essential ingredients it flaunts tend to be carrots or some other vegetables. However, in being a gelatin based serving, this among the types of fruits salads is a definite hit. Jello salads can be different textures depending on the condiments you choose to dress it up with. Most common elements however happen to be some fruits and fruit like veggies, with cottage cheese, cream cheese, marshmallows, nuts or pretzels.
Som Tam Phonlamai
A Thai fruit salad, Som Tam Phonlamai is a rather extravagant dish as far as preparations are concerned. With fruits such as pineapple and guava, as well as apples and grapes, this salad has everything from dried fish and shrimp sauce to pounded garlic and chillies, as well as sugar and lime juice with finally some chopped roasted peanuts as the garnish. Needless to say, with such an extensive list of ingredients, Som Tam Phonlamai remains more a local delicacy of Thailand and is one less popular among the many types of salads.
Be it pastas or noodles, even your favorite indulgent dish can effectively round up as a delicious salad side. Pasta salads are particularly popular, usually served chilled and can even make for an entire meal. Whether it be a single pasta variant or a get together of macaroni and spaghetti and fusilli or what not, pasta salads are among the types of cooked salads. Pasta is cooked and then tossed in a vinegar, oil, or mayonnaise-based dressing. Additionally vegetables and meat can be incorporating of as per preference to make for a meal that can be appetising, filling and indulgent all at once.
With rice as the main ingredient in salads as these, these types would classify more as melas than as sides. While rice salad can be a fruit base preparation, it can also be a delectable mix of veggies and meats. Italian and Mexican rice salads are popular but the most distinctive sounding is again a Thai variety, the Khao Yam.
A spicy rice salad, Khao Yam is native to the southern region of Thailand and is quite a feast for the eyes. Tart and salty in essence, this salad prominently uses sour raw mangoes, kaffir lime leaf, lemongrass, as well as the citrus fruit Pomelo to render its characteristic taste. Labour intensive no doubt but worth it for all its magnificent burst of flavours, Khao Yam is quite inventive a recipe for a salad!
If rice can find its way into salads, can lentils be far behind? In steps therefore the Kosambari, a pulses salad from the southern part of India. Generally a dish that predominates festivities and offering in the Indian state of Karnataka, Kosambari is a multi pulses salad dish. Split bengal gram and split green gram is mixed with grated coconut, coriander and chili with some veggie incorporations and tempered with seasonings. Healthy and unique, Kosambari goes well as a snack or as a side dish with meals.
Essentially a bread salad from Lebanon, fattoush is a sour tasting salad that is a favorite in its region of nativity. Toasted or fried stale pieces of Arabic flat bread khubz are chopped and combined with mixed greens and other vegetables such as radishes and tomatoes and mandatorily given the sumac touch in the most traditional of fattoush recipes.
Now this is one salad that sounds too good to be true. Yet it very much is and in quite a few types of being among the most delectable of salads. Obviously sweet and never leafy greeny in essence, such dishes that abound in jellos (jellies), whipped toppings, fruits, vegetables, mayonnaise, and various other ingredients classify as dessert salad. In their ambiguity therefore, or rather in their inexhaustive inclusivity, fruit salads often overlap into the realm of dessert salads. And while dessert salads are far from being healthy options, we are totally not doing away with them just because!
The most exciting form of dessert salads, cookie salads are also native to the states. With ingredients as droolsome as buttermilk, vanilla pudding, whipped cream, mandarin oranges, and fudge stripe shortbread cookies, you can only imagine the level of divinity this delicious sounding dessert salad would have you slurping of!
A dessert salad made from pistachio pudding, canned pineapple, whipped topping, crushed pecans and marshmallows, Watergate Salad or Pistachio delight is a green looking salad all right. But that’s where its uncanny similarity to a green salad ends. Watergate Salad would be more resemblant of an Ambrosia in being the fruity sweet delight that it is.
Despite the name, Snickers salad is as much an apple salad as it is a candy derivation. A mix of Snickers bars, apples, whipped cream and often pudding or whipped topping is what makes up this delectable bowl of sugary sweetness. Light, creamy and crunchy, the Snickers salad sure sums up all our dessert cravings!
Frog Eye Salad is a really comprehensive salad. In being a dessert salad and a pasta salad or even a fruit salad for that matter, this is a all-in-one serving of delicious goodness. Small, round acini di pepe pasta, whipped topping and egg yolks make this salad, done further up with generous fruit and marshmallow additions.