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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!

Join The Conversation
lexichloe lexichloe 10 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 10 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 10 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 10 years
oh and make sure the olive oil is extra virgin!
Leilanic1 Leilanic1 10 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 10 years
the salad in the photo looks so cute!
amandachalynn amandachalynn 10 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 10 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.
Green Green 10 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 10 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 10 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 10 years
Cool recomendations... I will definately keep it in mind...
beingtazim beingtazim 10 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.
ilovecheese ilovecheese 10 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 10 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 10 years
I don't think I want to eat raw Ramen. I'll get my cruch from veggies...
Brooklynbee Brooklynbee 10 years
I made a cucumber salad last night - very refreshing in humid weather.
lanilovespeaches lanilovespeaches 10 years
awesome tips! i love salads!
shafiii shafiii 10 years
these are awesome tips, im always looking of new ways to create my salads =)
ALSW ALSW 10 years
Uncooked Ramen noodles are great! I've used them on broccoli cole slaw and it really adds a little something.
caitlinelise caitlinelise 10 years
add some cilantro. it's totally deeelish.
CamillaCat CamillaCat 10 years
Looking forward to seeing the salad recipes/tips. I love a good salad, but I find it hard to make a salad like I eat in restaurants. Mine usually end up too bland, so I need these tips!
psangel psangel 10 years
If you put you salad in a wooden bowl... rub the whole bowl with olive oil or flavored oil (e.g walnut oil) and garlic, it brings more flavor to the salad.
rothchild rothchild 10 years
When I make salad, I take the lettuce out of the fridge and let it sit a little bit because I find that when it is too cold, the flavors don't come through as much. Also, when I went to Italy, I noticed that they salt and pepper their salads. So I will usually mist mine with a bit of water then season. It adds so much flavor to the greens and if you are on a diet, it really doesn't need that much dressing anymore..
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