The largest component on my table for any meal consists of vegetables – especially salads…and I am not talking about just one vegetable component, two to three contorni (side plates) are the norm.
A vegetable side dish is called a contorno. It helps to shape and define the meal and is
intended to complement the main course. Main courses are generally served on their own with
vegetables as a side dish so that all the flavours are distinctive and do not swamp one another.
From my first book, Sicilian Seafood Cooking
We do not always have meat or fish but I ensure that there is always protein present: eggs, nuts, pulses, cheeses, drained yoghurt, grains. I really enjoy making salads because I can be as creative as I like.
So if the largest part of any meal is the vegetable component and I always enjoy making them why do I write about meat and fish mainly?
I have asked myself this and it is because I think that interesting salads are very easy to make and who wants to read about those?
But maybe some do.
In this post there are some photographs of some of the salads I make and obviously I have not taken photos of all my salads.
Ingredients vary, recipes (especially weights and measures) are never followed.
I enjoy combining cooked ingredients with raw, not just vegetables but meat and fish also.
It is a great way to use up leftovers.
And although I write mainly about Sicilian food what you see below are not necessarily Sicilian or Italian.
I often include fruit in salads and make different dressings with spices and ingredients from different cuisines especially Italian, Moroccan, Middle-eastern and Asian cuisines.
French, Greek and Spanish are there also, but they are similar to the ingredients used in Italian cuisine that I almost forgot to mention these cultures – silly me!