I have a confession: I am terrible at making salads. Even though I can follow a complex recipe, and even occasionally improvise and come up with something quite tasty, putting together a salad stumps me every time. Somehow putting together complementary salad components is a tad overwhelming, so I always end up staring at a pile of greens in a bowl, wracking my brain for a way to make it more enticing and exciting.
And then at last, during our trip to Austria, I found a way to add pizzaz without any extra effort. Different oils (hazelnut and almond pictured here – the labels are in German) are a fabulous way to put a new twist on a simple bowl of greens.
Friday night, I served leftover lasagna with a bowl of greens tossed with almond oil, with a little salt and pepper, and it was delicious, different, and so ridiculously easy. I’m sure that, oh, 90% of the population has already figured this trick out, but at least I made it to the party, even if I’m late.
Different oils can also have health benefits; according to Deepak Chorpa, MD, almond oil is great for digestion, including relieving symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. In one study, it also lowered “bad” cholesterol for 26 men and women. Almond oil contains B vitamins, and Vitamin A and B along with essential fatty acids. Hazelnut oil has similar health benefits as olive oil, but has a stronger flavor so you can probably use less.
Now my salads are more interesting, without being more work!