Salads are a good option when dieting, right? After all they're mostly lettuce and other greens, so they can't have many calories. Um-humm.
We all know that often salads are, in fact, not good choices when one wants to shed a few kilos (or pounds). The greens might have very few calories, but what goes with them, well that's another story.
All of this was brought to mind by a recent article I read in one of the blogs in the food section of the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper. The journalist who writes the blog, Marcelo Katsuki, describes a meal he had at a restaurant called Rosa's Churrascaria in the city of Santo André, which is near São Paulo. On the restaurant's menu, it's called Salada de Escarola, which translates as a very innocuous-sounding Escarole Salad. One might even wonder why such a prosaically-named salad is the most famous and most-ordered dish on the menu. Well this salad is no bowl of greens, and is a dieter's disaster, not a dieter's salvation.
The salad (which costs R$28.00, or about USD $16.00) does have escarole leaves, and plenty of them. However, it also has a mountain of torresmo - the fried pork rinds that Brazilians adore. Plus lots of hearts of palm (palmito) and a red-wine vinaigrette for tossing it all together. Look at the photo below, taken at Rosa's - there must be about a thousand calories-worth of torresmo, and although the salad isn't yet dressed, the quantity of vinaigrette required to moisten all that escarole would be significant calorically.
So if you ever find yourself at Rosa's Churrascaria and want to watch your waistline, or just don't feel that hungry, whatever you do, don't say "Acho que eu vou só comer uma salada " ("I'll just have a salad")!