Tips For Making An Incredible Salad
1. Fresh Ingredients Matter
Quality ingredients that are fresh and in-season are going to taste 1000 times better than any veggie or fruit that was picked before its prime and then shipped from halfway across the world. If youve been following me over the past year, , then you know that Im a huge advocate for shopping seasonally, particularly from local farms or farmers markets. When you shop local, youre getting the freshest, most seasonal food. Youre enjoying food thats essentially grown in your backyard. And this freshness is reflected in the taste.
If you can, get out of the grocery store this season and find a local farmers market, farm, or a produce stand. Here are a few ways to find local farms and farmers markets in your area:
- Weston A Price Chapter Leader: There are various leaders throughout the country. These leaders are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to finding local food sources in your area. And dont feel weird about reaching out to a leaderthis is their passion and the reason their contact information is listed on the website.
- Localharvest.org: An online database for farms and farmers markets. Find farmers markets, farms, and CSA communities in your area.
- Eatwild.com: Another online database for farms and farmers markets, dedicated to helping people find local grass-fed meat, eggs, and dairy.
2. Avoid Packaged Greens and Veggies
3. Make your own salad dressing
Hold on, stick with me
4. Mix Your Greens
5. Dry Your Greens Thoroughly
Easy Steps To Making This Salad
1 – PREPARE YOUR GREENS
Wash your salad leaves, remove any wilted or damaged ones, either pat dry with a clean kitchen towel or spin dry in a salad spinner.
Wash your cucumber, trim, then peel, leaving alternate green strips. Then cut into rounds.
Wash and peel your avocado, dice and squeeze some lemon juice on top to prevent browning.
- WASH YOUR SALAD MIX
- EITHER PAT OR SPIN DRY
- CUT YOUR CUCUMBER INTO ROUNDS
- DICE AVOCADO & ADD LEMON JUICE
2 – SHAKE UP YOUR DRESSING
Finely dice your French shallot, place in a glass jar with the remaining vinaigrette ingredients, season with some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Shake your dressing until it emulsifies .
- ADD INGREDIENTS TO JAR
- SHAKE UNTIL EMULSIFIED
3 – ASSEMBLE YOUR SALAD
Place your salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl, pour the dressing over the salad, season and toss well to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your liking.
Arrange in a salad bowl and serve immediately.
- ADD INGREDIENTS TO MIXING BOWL
- TOSS WELL TO COMBINE
+ Green Salad Recipes
These easy green salad recipes are loaded with texture, and flavor, and are anything but boring! Enjoy them as a meal on their own or serve them as a side to just about any main dish from grilled meat or seafood, to pizza and pasta, or soup.
If there is one thing I know for certain its this: far too many containers of mixed greens go unused and are left sitting sad and lonely in the back of fridges everywhere. But not anymore!
With this collection of mixed green salad recipes, youll never throw out a sad lonely container of lettuce again. Instead, youre going to be serving flavor-filled and texture-loaded salads alongside main dishes and even as your main!
These simple salads range from bold and vibrant flavors that are hearty enough to stand on their own as a main dish .
Others are more go-with-the-flow and can be mixed and matched with whatever main dish youre serving up, from salmon to shrimp, to stuffed mushrooms, to lasagna, or flatbreads. Many are vegetarian or vegan and can be tossed for a crowd or a dinner for two.
So, lets get to the salads now, shall we?!
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How To Make This Simple Salad
We simply toss all of the salad ingredients together in a serving bowl, then whisk up the vinaigrette dressing ingredients in a small jar or jug. The KEY thing here is not to pour the dressing on the salad until right before serving – otherwise the salad leaves will go soggy.
PRO TIP Double or triple the salad dressing – it keeps for a week, covered, in the fridge, so it’s worth making enough for further salads during the rest of the week.
How To Prepare A Simple Green Salad
Great green salad recipes start with great greens. Though I love a good kale salad or mixed greens salad as much as the next person, when Im making a simple, refreshing side salad, I like to use lettuce as the base.
Look for lettuces that have soft leaves and crisp stems with no discoloration. I especially like the flavor and texture of Butter lettuces like Boston and Bibb, but tender leaf or romaine lettuce would work well here too. Use whatever looks best. The more varieties, the merrier!
When youre ready to make the salad, pull the lettuce leaves apart, and wash and dry them well. To avoid bruising or tearing the leaves, I recommend using a salad spinner for this step . With it, youll be able to get the leaves almost perfectly dry in no time!
If you dont have a salad spinner, spread the washed lettuce on a kitchen towel to dry while you prepare the other salad components.
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Use Two Types Of Lettuce
The main ingredient in a green salad is the lettuce. But just as lettuce by itself is not enough for a salad, using only one kind of lettuce in a salad can be dull. Consider a dull salad a missed opportunity.
A salad generally comes at the beginning of a meal, so it should wake up your taste buds and stimulate your appetite. Make it vibrant and enervating. One way of achieving that is to use different varieties of lettuce to highlight contrasting flavors, textures, and colors.
The most common types of lettuce for salads include iceberg, green leaf, red leaf, and romaine. A good rule of thumb for a salad is to feature any two of these. Try one leafy variety and another that’s a bit more crunchy.
Romaine is especially versatile since it’s leafy at one end and crunchy at the other. Bibb , arugula, frisée, and even fresh spinach are excellent choices for second lettuces.
You can certainly add a handful of bagged salad greens for contrast. Even though most prepackaged salad greens are prewashed, it’s still a good idea to check for bugs.
The Best Vegetarian Green Salad Recipes
Ingredients: tomatoes, basil, garlic, shallot, balsamic vinegar, croutons, romaine lettuceIngredients: white balsamic vinegar, honey, lettuce, basil, pine nuts, nectarines, burrataIngredients: MAKE THIS RECIPEIngredients: yogurt, dijon mustard, lemon, honey, greens, crouton, celery, eggIngredients: blueberries, balsamic vinegar, pistachios, blue cheese, spinachMAKE THIS RECIPEIngredients: chickpeas, parmesan cheese, romaine lettuce, lemon MAKE THIS RECIPEIngredients: butternut squash, wild rice, arugula, cranberries, almondIngredients: dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, spinach, dates, blue cheese, pecans, shallotMAKE THIS RECIPEIngredients: soy sauce, ginger, honey, peanut butter, kale, broccoli, carrots, bell pepper, peas, cilantroMAKE THIS RECIPEIngredients: asparagus, peas, arugula, almond, lemon, mintMAKE THIS RECIPEIngredients: apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, spinach, strawberries, corn, sunflower seeds, Dubliner cheeseIngredients: romaine lettuce, black beans, red bell pepper, corn, avocado, jalapeno, tomato, cilantro, feta
Also Check: Is Eating Salad Everyday Healthy
The Best Way To Store Greens
Store both washed, dried leaves and intact heads of lettuce wrapped in moist paper towels in a partially open plastic produce bag or zipper-lock bag. Never store lettuce in the refrigerator without any protection, as it will rapidly go limp.
Lettuce wilts because it loses water, so the key to reviving it is to put the water back in. A 30-minute soak in ice water will usually restore crispness.
Vegetables To Put In A Salad
Once you have your base, add even more vegetables. Remember that they can take many different forms. Try adding roasted veggies for sweeter flavor, raw vegetables for crunch and marinated or pickled veggies for flavor.
Some ideas for you
- Roasted beets, asparagus or brussels sprouts
- Diced or sliced cucumbers, peppers, carrots, broccoli, onion, celery, mushrooms and radishes.
- Pickled onions, kimchi or sauerkraut.
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What To Put In A Salad
What it really comes down to then is what to put in salad, right? If youre looking for a helpful breakdown ofo how to build a healthy salad, youll love this post: What To Put In A Salad. It gives you all sorts of ideas for salad bases, healthy proteins, carbs and fats to add to your salad to keep you full and satisfied.
If youre looking for the ultimate list of salad topping ideas, youre in the right place here! There are hundreds of healthy salad toppings. You can really put almost anything over a bed of leafy greens and call it a salad. Of course there are traditional salad toppers like veggies, grilled meat and cheese. But what about things like fruit, beans, seeds and fresh herbs? Have you tried them?
To help break you out of your boring salad rut, I made a list of salad toppingssome traditionaland some you might not have thought of! Maybe it will inspire you to spice up your salad!
Simple Green Salad With Vinaigrette Dressing
A simple, vibrant, crunchy green salad with easy vinaigrette dressing. A great go-to side dish to serve with dinner. Easy to whip up in 10 minutes.
It’s always great to have a simple, quick, go-to salad to serve alongside dishes to bulk them out a little, and to get some fresh vegetables into everyone!
This is my go-to version – with lovely leafy greens, plus lots of crunch and flavour. The simple vinaigrette dressing really takes it to a another level – meaning you can even eat this salad on its own for a light lunch.
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Fresh Salad With Fruits And Veggies
This is a great side dish to serve with hotdogs and hamburgers, barbecued chicken, or any picnic food. You can serve this as a main entree for a light, meatless, oven-free meal.
Love this recipe? Awesome! Please give it a 5 star rating below! And if you make this, snap a photo and tag me on Instagram. You can find me at DizzyBusyandHungry or #dizzybusyandhungry!
Farmers Market Vegetable Salad
Farmers Market Vegetable Salad is a chunky chopped veggie salad with a tangy tarragon/anchovy/lemon vinaigrette. Hit the market, raid your garden, or clear out the fridge, this is a summer must-make.
One of the little moments I look forward to every summer is the appearance of the first yellow wax beans. You have to understand that its taken me decades to shrug off the memory of the squeaky wax beans from a can that my mom served ALL the time. With every squeaky bite youd get a squirt of the canning liquid. Yuck.
Once I realized there was an actual fresh, delicious version of wax beans, Ive been obsessed with them. I always try to have a plan in place so when I spot them every summer I can whisk them home and immediately set to making something amazing.
I make lots of mixed vegetable and bean salads in the warmer months, and to keep them from becoming boring I challenge myself to come up with a distinctive dressing for each one. This one is a tarragon/anchovy/lemon vinaigrette that I think youll like. I use my immersion blender to blitz it into a creamy emulsion. Leave out the anchovy if youre not into fish, or vegetarian.
I loaded this salad up with color, but in all honestly it was a clean out the fridge salad, so feel free to improvise. The fresh beans are the stars, and I think the corn adds a needed sweetness. The feta gives it substance, and the olives and marinated peppers give it zing. Other than that, add what you like.
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The Ultimate Green Salad Guide: How To Make A Salad That Doesnt Taste Like Crap
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I often joke that real food isnt just about a green salad. Because I think most people associate real food with kale, green salads, and more kale. But thats not what real food is all about. I also think most people associate these salads with punishment or some sort of torturous healthy obligation they must fulfill.
Friend, Im here to say that, first of all, real food is about so much more than just salads or kale. Were not going to dive deep into this chat today, but if you want to learn more about what food is, what food is not, and what real food looks like, I created this blogpost for you.
Second, green salads shouldnt be boring, gross, a punishment, or consumed out of obligation. A salad should be something thats incredibly delicious, satisfying, and desirable.
So many salads just arent that desirable. Most of the time, theyre made with the same four ingredients: a few super dry shredded carrots, a couple of huge grape tomatoes , and a sea of romaine lettuce leaves. Then, to top if off, salads are usually served with a dressing thats far from fresh and flavorful.
Maybe youre reading this and thinking, Man, this girl has an issue with salad.
Or, maybe youre nodding your head and saying, Yes, girl! Whats up with tasteless and boring green salads?
Green Salad Serving Suggestions
Because youre working with tender lettuces and avocado, which has a tendency to brown, this salad is best if you assemble it right before you eat. If you want to get ahead, you can wash and dry the lettuce a day in advance and store it, well-wrapped, in the fridge. You can also roast the nuts ahead of time and store them, loosely covered, at room temperature. The dressing is make ahead-friendly, too! Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Serve this green salad as a side dish with almost any meal a weeknight dinner, a special occasion dinner, a festive brunch, or a summer cookout. It pairs well with just about anything. I love to make it for dinner when Im serving pasta, pizza, or cookout fare like veggie burgers, black beans burgers, or BBQ jackfruit sandwiches.
If youre serving it for brunch, try pairing it with any of these savory recipes:
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Grow Your Own Lettuces & Salad Greens
Lettuces and salad greens are perhaps the easiest of all vegetables to grow. Picking a beautiful salad from your backyard minutes before a meal is deeply satisfying. Start head lettuces indoors 6 weeks before the last frost date and transplant outdoors 3 weeks before the last frost date. Sow other types of lettuces and salad greens directly in the soil in early spring or fall. Choose a site with loose, well-drained soil, enriched with compost, in sun to part shade. Keep the soil moist, cool and free of weeds. As seedlings grow, thin to 4 to 6 inches apart .
Harvest lettuces and salad greens when they reach the desired size. Cut head lettuces about 1 inch above the lowest leaves. As soon as loose-leaf and romaine lettuces are big enough to spare a few leaves, snap off individual leaves from the outer edges of the head. Baby lettuce blends or mesclun can be cut with scissors about 1 inch above the lowest leaves.
Famous French Green Salad With French Vinaigrette
In our loaded version of this classic French Bistro Salad, we have combined fresh leafy greens, cool refreshing cucumbers and healthy fat avocado and smothered them in our super delicious classic French vinaigrette for a salad that suits anything and everything.
Not the green salad you had in mind? Then pop over to our Ultimate Green Salad Collection for even more inspiration.
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Serve It As A Side Salad
This Mexican salad we created to be a side salad you can use with a Mexican or Latin-style meal. Its great with tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, nachos: you name it! Here are some of our favorite dishes to pair it with:
- Black Bean EnchiladasFull of incredible flavor, everyone loves these zesty enchiladas. .
- Epic Vegetarian Fajitas This Tex Mex dinner is full of big flavor and beautiful colorful fajita veggies.
- Shrimp Tacos, 5 Minute Tacos, Jackfruit Tacos, or Cauliflower Tacos Our favorite tacos recipes, from seafood to vegan.
- Veggie Quesadilla or Chipotle Quesadilla This Mexican salad is perfect to round out a meal if youre serving quesadillas.
What To Serve With Green Salad
Like I mentioned earlier, this easy green salad can be served with ANY meal. It is the best basic side salad. We call it our house salad because it is a family favorite and we make it all of the time! If you wanted to make a meal out of the salad, you could top the salad with grilled chicken, salmon, shrimp, beef, or beans!
If you need some ideas on what to serve with our easy green salad, here are a few of our favorite recipes, but really, you can serve this green salad with ANYTHING!
Also Check: Simple Grilled Chicken Salad Recipe
It Easily Makes A Meal
While French salads make ideal sides to almost anything , this French classic can easily be transformed into a meal adding some protein such as:
- For pescatarians try it with some BBQ shrimp prawns
- For poultry lovers try Grilled Chicken
- For carnivores try it with Pulled Pork or Seared Skirt Steak
- For vegans and vegetarians you can’t go wrong with some Crispy Tofu.