Mumbai: Who wants rich masala sloth-inducing food in this heat when one can bite into a light crispy salad? Summer and salads go hand in hand, advises chef Joy Bhattacharya. He tosses up a few reasons why a fresh, crunchy salad is the best fun diet for this season and some tips on salad-making:

Beat the heat

Summer is all about eating light, refreshing food. Watermelon, cucumbers sell a lot during this season. And that's what our system needs, food that will energise us. A good salad, which includes fruits and vegetables, and a healthy oil that is high in all nutrients and fibre, is filling and healthy all by itself.
As Indians we don't experiment much with our salads. We stick to the cucumber, tomatoes, green chillies, onions with some lemon.

Or there is the raita, which also uses the same vegetables. We stay away from the fruits and vegetables. At the most, we use lettuce these days. But I have also noticed that when a unique salad is on the menu, we tend to enjoy that too. My restaurant sells almost 30-40 portions of salads in a day. 

Mix and match

For some strange reason, we associate salads only with leafy vegetables. One can make a tasty salad with only green asparagus and green beans. One can use turkey meat, roast chicken, soft boiled eggs, cranberries and other ingredients to create a fun salad.
 
Citrusy or tangy fruits like pomelo, oranges, grapefruit or even tomatoes work better than pulpy fruits like papaya or mango in salads. The juice bursts will moisten your palate. One can also use a little rice to make it a light but wholesome meal. There are no limits to how much you can experiment. The only thing is to use a dressing that will complement the vegetables and fruits one has used.

Can't do without

Lettuce makes a good ingredient for salads. It goes with most dressings, adds volume to the salad and is very nutritious. Eggs or sprouts are also good; they're filling. Different cresses add colour and pungency. Sesame, flaxseed, extra virgin olive oil are all rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and taste fantastic in salads.

Courtesy:Mid-day.com