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How To Make The Perfect Salad

During the summer, I often find it difficult to make a warm meal - it's often too hot to cook, or I arrive home too late to grill. When that happens, I find myself inventing lovely salads full of a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. The best part is that since you don't actually cook anything, it almost feels like cheating. To celebrate the summer salad, we thought we'd present an entire week based on salad and salad accoutrements. To start off, here are some basic salad tips - check them out, just

  • When selecting ingredients for your salad, be sure to use the freshest options available. You want your greens to be fresh and your fruit to be ripe.
  • Don't be afraid to experiment with flavors and textures. Add crunch with edible snap peas, celery, toasted nuts, ramen noodles, potato chips or seeds.
  • Salad recipes are easily modifiable. Don't be afraid to substitute your favorite fixings for other ingredients.
  • Simple seasonings can really jazz up your basic green salad. Consider adding chives, fresh herbs, paprika, fresh black pepper.
  • For a heartier salad add cooked chicken, beef, tuna, tofu or hard-boiled eggs.
  • Salads don't have to include leafy greens. You can try a simple combo of shredded carrots and celery, or peas and nuts.
  • Although you can put whatever ingredients you like, consider letting one ingredient do the talking.
  • Try not to drown your salad in dressing. You only need a little coat. If you find you're using dressing to mask the flavor of the salad, try mixing up your ingredients until you find something you prefer.

Do you have a great salad tip? Let us know below!

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lexichloe lexichloe 8 years
I would be really pleased to see a topic on how to properly wash and prepare salad ingredients. I'm very anal when it comes to washing my produce, (after having a terrible allergic reaction to a salad many years ago). What do you guys do, and please be specific. I'm pretty positive I already scrub my ingredients to death already...
aSLAMMINhottie aSLAMMINhottie 8 years
I usually do salad for at least one meal a day, and I'm all about texture and contrasting flavors. I like hearts of romaine for the crunch, pumpkin seeds for some healthy saltiness, and honey or cinnamon roasted sunflower seeds add great sweetness with a surprisingly low amount of sugar; about 2 grams/serving. Also, some tips I picked working as a server: always lightly salt your veggies to bring out the flavor (try eating one unsalted and then one salted piece of your favorite veggie; you'll be AMAZED at difference), and to mix your ingredients and dressing for consistency, put everything together in a big ziplock bag and shake the heck out of it-everything gets evenly coated and mixed.Now I'm hungry...
aSLAMMINhottie aSLAMMINhottie 8 years
I usually do salad for at least one meal a day, and I'm all about texture and contrasting flavors. I like hearts of romaine for the crunch, pumpkin seeds for some healthy saltiness, and honey or cinnamon roasted sunflower seeds add great sweetness with a surprisingly low amount of sugar; about 2 grams/serving. Also, some tips I picked working as a server: always lightly salt your veggies to bring out the flavor (try eating one unsalted and then one salted piece of your favorite veggie; you'll be AMAZED at difference), and to mix your ingredients and dressing for consistency, put everything together in a big ziplock bag and shake the heck out of it-everything gets evenly coated and mixed. Now I'm hungry...
sophlb sophlb 8 years
TJ's has incredible Thai Spice cashews that are awesome in salads...I chop them up & add them in, but they're really spicy so I like to add something sweet with it, like grapes.
Leilanic1 Leilanic1 8 years
oh and make sure the olive oil is extra virgin!
Leilanic1 Leilanic1 8 years
my favorite salad is a classic greek style:romaine lettuce choppedgrape tomatoes, cut in half (my preference because I'm always afraid of them squirting out of my mouth!)english cucumbers, choppedpepperoncini's, choppedred onion, very thinly slicedfeta cheese, crumbledkalamata olivesI make a very simple dressing:3 T red wine vinegar3 T olive oil1 tsp minced garlic1 tsp oreganoin a large bowl wisk together the ingredients for the dressing, then add the salad ingredients and toss. yummy with toasted pita chips and hummus for that whole greek island feel :)
Leilanic1 Leilanic1 8 years
my favorite salad is a classic greek style: romaine lettuce chopped grape tomatoes, cut in half (my preference because I'm always afraid of them squirting out of my mouth!) english cucumbers, chopped pepperoncini's, chopped red onion, very thinly sliced feta cheese, crumbled kalamata olives I make a very simple dressing: 3 T red wine vinegar 3 T olive oil 1 tsp minced garlic 1 tsp oregano in a large bowl wisk together the ingredients for the dressing, then add the salad ingredients and toss. yummy with toasted pita chips and hummus for that whole greek island feel :)
c0rkie c0rkie 9 years
the salad in the photo looks so cute!
amandachalynn amandachalynn 9 years
Ramen noodles right out of the package aren't actually raw. They're deep-fried before they're packaged. That's why there so high in fat. I saw that on Unwrapped on Food Network. I love to use marinated artichoke hearts and hearts of palm in salads. My favorite is when I do tomato, red onion, hearts of palm, atrichoke hearts, feta and fresh basil in olive oil. Yummy!
syako syako 9 years
my fave salad as of late: Spinach leaves Arugula Roma tomatoes Chopped parsley Chopped cilantro Green onions sliced Salt and Pepper A dash of red wine vinegar Small drizzle of Extra Virgin olive oil The juice of half a lemon Toss it all together, and delicious. Add feta cheese or parm cheese for a nice touch.
syako syako 9 years
my fave salad as of late:Spinach leavesArugulaRoma tomatoesChopped parsleyChopped cilantroGreen onions slicedSalt and PepperA dash of red wine vinegarSmall drizzle of Extra Virgin olive oilThe juice of half a lemonToss it all together, and delicious. Add feta cheese or parm cheese for a nice touch.
Green Green 9 years
i do drown my salads in dressing...not sure why- it defeats the purpose of eating a salad when I do that.
krystalmak krystalmak 9 years
Thanks for the tips. lol the second tip... totally got me.. Don't be afraid to experiment.. by putting in random stuff.. yeah I go with cliche now I know not to :)
krystalmak krystalmak 9 years
Thanks for the tips.lol the second tip... totally got me..Don't be afraid to experiment..by putting in random stuff.. yeah I go with cliche now I know not to :)
Rockerchic13 Rockerchic13 9 years
I love chopped salads. For some strange reason I wont eat it unless it is chopped really well. My fav. salad is very simple.. Lettuce, Tomatoes, Onions, Celery, Cucumbers and Hot Pepper Flakes chopped well with an tiny splash of Tabasco sauce and F. Free Italian Dressing... simply divine!
Ejmcmis Ejmcmis 9 years
Cool recomendations... I will definately keep it in mind...
Ejmcmis Ejmcmis 9 years
Cool recomendations...I will definately keep it in mind...
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
i hope you feature some salads typical of those from other countries - i have 2 from india that I use sometimes and came across whilst in India quite often: 1) Kachumber - this is generally called a salad in India but my family/relatives have always used it as a side, to add to a rice dish or with paratha... anyway: 1 tomato 1/4 onion 1/4 cucumber add vinegar, salt and optionally, carrots. i like mine sorta runny as i eat it with rice and dhal but as a salad on its own it'd be better with big chunks. 2) Spicy Peanut Masala - as a starter, often to replace a salad with greens etc broken up pieces of fried papad (or papadum) peanuts to taste on top of whole salad tomato(not a lot) one small chilli (thai green or similar) cut finely onion oh...also, in India I got carrots and cucumbers cut up in slices on a plate with lime juice that had chillis infused in it splashed on top. I make that one a lot as its so easy and yummy. I love limes.
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
i hope you feature some salads typical of those from other countries - i have 2 from india that I use sometimes and came across whilst in India quite often:1) Kachumber - this is generally called a salad in India but my family/relatives have always used it as a side, to add to a rice dish or with paratha... anyway:1 tomato1/4 onion1/4 cucumberadd vinegar, salt and optionally, carrots. i like mine sorta runny as i eat it with rice and dhal but as a salad on its own it'd be better with big chunks.2) Spicy Peanut Masala - as a starter, often to replace a salad with greens etcbroken up pieces of fried papad (or papadum)peanuts to taste on top of whole saladtomato(not a lot)one small chilli (thai green or similar) cut finelyonionoh...also, in India I got carrots and cucumbers cut up in slices on a plate with lime juice that had chillis infused in it splashed on top. I make that one a lot as its so easy and yummy. I love limes.
ilovecheese ilovecheese 9 years
I use lots of sprouts in my salads, just a dash of salt and lemon add a lot of flavour! You can sprout almost all lentils..my favourite is Green mung beans. Cucumbers always give a lot of bulk to any salad..and fresh tomatoes too! Yummy now I'm hungry :D
kiddylnd kiddylnd 9 years
I make a Chicken Salad Salad. I set up field greens and cucumber with carrots and bell pepper. I scoop a serving of chicken salad on top and then don't need any dressing. Delish!
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 9 years
I don't think I want to eat raw Ramen. I'll get my cruch from veggies...
Brooklynbee Brooklynbee 9 years
I made a cucumber salad last night - very refreshing in humid weather.
Brooklynbee Brooklynbee 9 years
I made a cucumber salad last night - very refreshing in humid weather.
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