Happy Holi and just the right time to post a recipe that looks colorful. Making your food look fancier than it is adds to the overall taste( given that we eat with most of our senses). And if cooking for children tricks them into actually eating more. Usually the more colorful your food, the healthier it is. Simple, you need to add more greens to add more color. Compare a macaroni with cheese and mushroom to one with macaroni, tomatoes, yellow/red bell pepper and beans. You got it?
Plating which translates into serving your food elegantly and artistically is a complex process. Master chefs on cookery shows say that it is not as difficult as it looks or sounds. It basically means getting the colors and balance of composition right.
Someday I shall be there. For now I follow some basic color rules.
- Planning the menu well so that each ingredient adds color to the dish and to the table.
- Making sure that no two dishes being served look alike, this automatically ensures that there is a fair variety in terms of ingredients, recipe types and taste
- Use of colorful garnishes like cream or yoghurt for soups, ginger juliennes for the daal, fresh corriander for the rich gravies, nuts for the salads etc.
Meanwhile the recipe that follows is the result of one such attempt. Very proud of it as I created it out of party leftovers. The source of inspiration was the lettuce I had leftover from Pinacorn salad made for lunch. I also had some herbed cottage cheese that I had used as cracker topping. Decided to combine the two along with some cherry tomatoes. Incidentally my kids love eating cherry tomatoes, must be to do with the size/form. Instead of making a regular salad, I decided to make these into tiny wraps. They looked quite exotic and tasted nice.
Lettuce Wraps( Serves 4)
Lettuce: 1 bunch(refresh the lettuce in ice cold water to which a few drops of vinegar have been added)
Cheery tomatoes: 12/15, halved
Herbed cottage cheese: 200 grams( This is available off the shelf as ' Masala' paneer, you can very easily make your own with some roasted cumin seeds together with fresh mint, green corriander, green chillies- all chopped fine, some salt)
Choose the bigger leaves. Lay them out on a plate.
Place the herbed cottage cheese in the middle.
Fold in lengthwise and then widthwise.
Place half a cherry tomato on top and secure with a toothpick.
Serve along with a spicy, hung curd dip.
The lettuce gives this a fresh, crunchy feel. A light summer starter and an anytime snack for all those weight watchers.
Bon Apetit and Happy Cooking!