Easy salad recipes are always worth knowing about because salad is a versatile dish. It can be served as an appetizer, a snack, lunch, dinner or at a party or buffet. Salad can be served on the side, with fish, poultry, or meat, or it can be a complete meal.
Nuts are a wonderful ingredient for making easy salad recipes. They are delicious as well as nutritious and you can choose from cashews, pistachios, walnuts, peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts and more.
You can use whole nuts, chopped nuts or even powdered nuts in salad recipes, depending what kind of flavor and texture you are after, how you want the salad to look and whether the nuts are being used for flavor or simply as a garnish. Walnut halves are often used as a garnish but peanuts are usually used to enhance the salad’s taste.
Combining Nuts with Other Ingredients
Use your own judgment when deciding which nuts to use. Walnuts are great with goat’s cheese and sun-dried tomatoes. Cashews are nice with Asian style salads, as are peanuts. Almonds are good in Middle Eastern type salads, with rice or couscous, with maybe raisins and chopped dried apricots.
Use chopped nuts to garnish any salad recipe. From a chicken and bacon salad to a basic green salad or even a ham, cheese and spinach salad, using nuts adds to the overall look of the dish and adds a mouthwatering crunch.
Rice Salad with Nuts
If you want to make a very simple salad, stir some mayonnaise into some chilled, cooked rice. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in a handful of peanuts or chopped cashews, some raisins and a few diced, dried apricots or diced fresh berries.
Add some cinnamon or nutmeg for a great flavor. You can add nuts to a chicken rice salad, if you like, or a tuna rice salad. You do not have to use the sweet ingredients if you prefer something more savory.
Recipe for Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad
This is quite a simple salad recipe, blending lettuce, walnuts, blue cheese and a dressing, but you will definitely be impressed with the flavor of this salad. It is special enough to serve as an appetizer at a dinner party, yet easy enough to prepare in under ten minutes. The following recipe serves four people.
What you will need:
- 2 chopped hearts of romaine lettuce
- 2 cups trimmed arugula leaves
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup lightly toasted walnut halves
How to make it:
Chill four salad plates. Mix the romaine and arugula leaves and divide them between the chilled plates. Scatter the walnuts over the top. Whisk the olive oil with the vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the blue cheese, then pour this dressing over the salad and serve immediately.