Vegetable salad made the easiest way with fresh colorful vegetables, herbs and basic pantry essentials. Every person’s definition of a vegetable salad may be different. But there is always one thing that goes into it & that is plenty of colorful fresh vegetables. This is what makes a veggie salad healthy & nourishing!!
A vegetable salad can be made in many different ways – with raw vegetables, with boiled or steamed vegetable and also with grilled veggies. Whatever way you make it, a vegetable salad is absolutely great for your body as it increases the intake of your veggies.
In the simplest form it is simply fine chopped raw veggies tossed with some spices and herbs. Optionally a lot many ingredients can be added in the form of a salad dressing, a sauce consisting of various ingredients like lemon juice/vinegar, oil, salt, herbs and spices.
Again so many other ingredients like mayonnaise, garlic, flavored sauce, yogurt or sour cream are also used depending on the kind of salad.
Vegetable salad is made almost daily at my home for lunch for myself and my 4 year old son. Without eating a bowl of freshly made vegetable salad our meal is incomplete. This is one of the habits I picked up from my mum and continued it for years now.
Since phulka, bhakri or millet rotis are made for lunch in my mum’s home, she makes a salad or a variety of kosambari to go as a side along with a dal or curry.
About this recipe
My recipe of vegetable salad is pretty simple which you can make under 15 minutes. Apart from adding nutrition, a vegetable salad also helps to digest a meal better. So my recipe uses basic pantry staples. I have also shared a lot of tried and tested tips which will help you customize it further to suit your diet and taste.
What you need
Vegetables – Carrots, onions, cucumber, tomatoes, beetroot, zucchini & green chilies are the basic veggies that go well. Raw bell peppers like tomatoes are actually a fruit but are consumed as a vegetable. So they can also be eaten raw. But if you have digestive issues, they are better sautéed or grilled for a short while.
To use cabbage, shred the cabbage and blanch it in hot water for 2 minutes. This step helps to get rid of any worms hidden in the leaves. Drain and rinse well. Drain to a colander. Do not leave it longer in hot water as they lose the crunch.
You can also add slightly sauteed spinach or a hand ful of methi leaves to this vegetable salad.
Oil – Using oil is optional in the recipe and you may skip it for a oil free vegetable salad. Cold pressed oils apart from being a great source of antioxidants they are also heart healthy. So I take this opportunity and use cold pressed oils like extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, flaxseed oil or sesame oil.
For a nutty aroma you can also use toasted sesame oil. If you have any diet restrictions, please use oil that is beneficial (recommended) for your health.
Lemon juice/ vinegar – Apart from adding a tang to your salad, lemon juice and vinegar are a great source of antioxidants and vitamin C. I mostly use fresh lemon in vegetable salad. Balsamic vinegar or apple vinegar are great too.
Spices – ground black pepper, cumin, cayenne, chilli flakes, chaat masala, ground mustard or red chilli powder can be used as a topping on your salad.
Seeds and nuts can be added for some crunch. Soaked or toasted nuts & seeds go well. We sometimes add soaked and peeled almonds, sesame seeds or flax meal. You can also add any others like melon seeds, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- ¾ cup cucumber (1 medium)
- ½ cup carrots (1 small, grated or chopped)
- ¼ cup onions (1 small or 3 to 4 shallots)
- ¼ to ½ cup tomato (1 medium, ripe)
- ¼ cup beetroot (grated, optional)
- ¼ cup cabbage (shredded, optional)
- 1 green chili (or crushed black pepper as needed)
- ⅛ teaspoon salt (as needed)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or apple vinegar/ balsamic vinegar)
- 8 to 10 mint leaves (chopped finely, optional)
- 2 tablespoons coriander leaves (chopped finely)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (cold pressed oil, or avocado or flax oil )
- ¼ teaspoon yellow mustard powder (optional)
- 1 tablespoons sesame seeds or any other nuts (soaked)
- Wash all the vegetables thoroughly under running water. Wipe them dry.
- Optional – If using cabbage, shred it and add to hot boiling water. Leave for 2 minutes. Remove and add them to cold water and rinse well. Spread it in the colander and set aside to drain completely.
- Optional – If you want to reduce the pungency in onions, cut the onion to quarters and soak in water for 20 minutes. Or chop it and soak in some lemon juice for 20 minutes.
- Peel and chop the other vegetables to bite sized pieces. Grate beetroot and carrots. Add them to a large serving bowl.
- Deseed the green chilies or crush black pepper and set aside.
- Add all the prepared vegetables, mint and coriander leaves to the bowl. When you are ready to serve the salad, add salt, lemon juice and black pepper. Toss them well. Lastly sprinkle oil and toss.
- Garnish with seeds or nuts. Serve vegetable salad immediately with any meal.
- Cabbage can sometimes have those little bugs hidden in them so blanch for a brief period and rinse them well. This helps to get rid of the bugs. Do not leave it in hot water for too long as cabbage loses the crunch & bugs will settle back on the leaves if the temperature of water drops.
- To reduce the pungent taste and smell of onions, chop them and squeeze some lemon juice. Set aside for sometime. To remove the strong smell from cabbage, add little more lemon juice. Set aside for a while. Drain off excess lemon juice if any, before adding to the other veggies otherwise the salad turns sour.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes