The first is just a salad:
Most restaurants serve this as an appetizer. I think that is a mistake and a good salad is a great side in itself.
We Americans really like just throwing in everything we can find into a salad. That is great, I like doing that now and then myself.
Let us learn from our European brothers and sisters. First they use fairly few greens. They shred carrots, and slice onions, cabbage, some greens layered into pieces that are going to take a bite to eat. A few use green beans and even peas. They keep them all separated and let set in vinegar bath mix with spices. Then place these on a plate, still separated so you can really enjoy the taste of each vegetable. This is really the best way to have a salad.
The other thing to consider is a salad dressing. I am going to get real biased here. There are really just two salad dressings: the rest of that junk throw in the trash and never buy again, most of them are packed with sugar, a bunch of other extra preservatives, and produce that was unfit to sell in a market.
A very simple Salad dressing that will please most of us Americans is use a jar. Fill that jar to the ½ mark with vinegar. Fill another quarter of the jar with a good quality olive oil. Go wild with any spices you have shake well and pour over the salad.
The European method – I really do not know – I suspect it is just vinegar with a equal part water and some light spices. As far as I could tell they do not use oil in their dressing, and they let those vegetables marinate for a few hours.
Ok I will concede a little – Store bought Italian dressing will do ok.
Salads are a great side with Fish, or any “game meat” such as boar, deer, rabbit, and Goose. Do serve as a side. The contrasting taste between the meat and salad will keep your mouth/taste buds very satisfied.
Original Recipe Idea: All the places in the World I have been