Dehydrated salad: from the future or the past?
Is it edible potpourri or algae?
No, it’s a salad, made of vegetables – quite simply the gorgeous leaves, stalks and peels with other dehydrated greens.
The best thing about desiccated veggies is that:
– they last for weeks,
– they’re easy to transport because they occupy minimal space and they don’t make a mess,
– they are so easy to prepare and the method is perfect for peels, leaves, stalks etc
– with desiccation, the taste is much more concentrated and at the same time more delicious,
– they’re crunchy,
– it’s a way of using up vegetables (or meat and fish) that you’d otherwise throw away (for example, if you’re going on holiday and have to empty the fridge) ,
– with very little energy one can make a large quantity of food that can be used as and when you need it,
– from a nutrition point of view, you maintain the vitamins, mineral salts and fibre.
Once you have desiccated your vegetables, you’ll be able to use them as a salad or in the preparation of pasta, risotto, soups, side dishes and even dessert!
You can vary your ingredients according to what is seasonally available and to what you have in the pantry. You can even desiccate in Spring, for example, and then consume the greens at a later stage – in Autumn. Take tomatoes – once they are desiccated and vacuum-packed, they’ll last for six months.
Ingredients for dehydrated salad
10 cherry tomatoes, or 4 large ripe tomatoes
Outer leaves of a lettuce (those ugly ones!)
The green part of a scallion (spring onion/shallot)
1 red onion
Outer leaves of 2 fennel
Olive oil, extra virgin
Salt and pepper
Wash well and dry the carrot peels, the lettuce leaves, the fennel and the scallion greens. Finely chop the onions. If you have cherry tomatoes, leave them whole, otherwise, cut in half, length-ways. Place the vegetables on the grill of the desiccating appliance and leave until they are totally dehydrated and crunchy. The tomatoes are done when they outer part is wrinkly but inside they are still juicy. Put all of the dehydrated greens in a salad bowl and serve immediately, seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper. I recommend adding a dash of balsamic vinegar (from Modena or Reggio Emilia if possible). Alternatively, you can also add aromatic herbs of your choice. As you mix, you’ll hear the crunch of your dehydrated salad, which won’t become soggy! You can even put the leftovers in the fridge and enjoy the day after – it’ll still be tasty and delicious. Pack it in the lunchbox or the picnic basket as a snack!