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Tips For Making Salads

Tips For Making a Stunning Salad

POPSUGAR Photography / Nicole Perry

When building salads, it's far too easy to get stuck in a rut. You know what works, buy the same ingredients, and inevitably eat green leaf lettuce with black olives, sliced tomatoes, and shredded carrots everyday. However, with a little creativity and an open mind at the grocery store, you can enjoy a fabulous variety of healthful yet crave-worthy salads on a regular basis. To get inspired, take a walk around the produce section and be inspired by the vegetables and fruits you come across. Try a new lettuce or pick up a veggie you're unfamiliar with. Just remember: from crunchy to creamy to crispy, a good salad has an assortment of textures (and colors). Here are a few ways to shake things up in the salad department.

POPSUGAR Photography / Camilla Salem

Filling Proteins

  • Think beyond grilled chicken: Sliced steak, chunks of pork, and flaked fish are excellent additions. Deli meats, like salami, ham, and turkey are easily shreddable, too.
  • Don't forget cheese and nuts:To achieve the aforementioned crunchy and creamy textures, toss in goat or feta cheese and almonds or pine nuts. Hard cheeses, like manchego and parmesan, can be shaved onto the salad, or finely grated into the vinaigrette.
  • Grains are all important: Protein-rich grains like quinoa, brown rice, and barley add vegan heft to greens.
  • Repurpose leftovers: Toss leftover vegetables, grains, and proteins with greens the next day to make a one-of-a-kind salad.

POPSUGAR Photography / Camilla Salem

Flavorful Vinaigrettes and Herbs

  • Home-make vinaigrettes: The ratio of three parts oil to one part acid will never steer you wrong. Be creative and use different kinds of oil (like hazelnut oil or sesame oil) and acid (such as sherry vinegar or grapefruit juice), then season with extras like honey, mustard, tapenade, or Worcestershire sauce.
  • Add fragrant herbs: Herbs are a wonderful way to add fresh earthy flavor to salads. Use basil, parsley, and cilantro like you would a green, or scallions for extra bite.

POPSUGAR Photography / Anna Monette Roberts

Fruit and Veggies Galore

  • Use the season as inspiration: Incorporate produce that's at its peak, such as asparagus, Spring onion, peas, and radishes for Spring.
  • Don't be afraid of fruit: Berries, stone fruits, apples, citrus, melons, etc. are just as delicious in a salad as their vegetable counterparts. Fruit can also provide a necessary sweetness to balance the salad.
  • Turn to the canned aisle of the supermarket: Sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, garbanzo and kidney beans, and canned tuna are all ready-to-toss salad ingredients.
  • Combine raw elements with cooked components: Roasted or grilled vegetables — lik emushrooms, onions, asparagus, and broccoli — give salads a smoky depth.
  • Give it crunch: For added dimension, throw in homemade croutons, crumbled tortilla chips, or crispy baked pita bread.
lovesitc1 lovesitc1 6 years
I like adding marinated mushrooms and even slice up a pickle spear and throw that in my salad for some extra zing!
fuzzles fuzzles 6 years
Ooooh. For tomatoes, I toss in the uncut grape variety. Slices or wedges should be added at the table as well.
fuzzles fuzzles 6 years
I use the same technique as Katy--put the heavier, more moist ingredients on the bottom and then cover with greens last. It's a real time saver as well. I can make three days worth of salads at once. They keep for that time if wrapped and stored in the fridge. When ready to eat, just shake everything around and add dressing at the table.
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 6 years
I recommend getting a salad spinner. I hate soggy salads! I eat a salad everyday at work and I pack the lettuce and other veggies together but if I'm adding a protein I put that in a separate ziploc baggie. Of course, I don't dress it until I'm about to eat it.
Katie-Sweeney Katie-Sweeney 6 years
For taking a salad to work, pack the ingredients separately and assemble when you are ready to eat. Or layer the salad ingredients with the heaviest on the bottom, then toss before eating.
lauren lauren 6 years
When I take a salad to work, I never dress it until I eat it! If you don't dress it and keep the salad in the fridge the ingredients tend to hold up pretty well. If you dress it the night before or the morning of, all of the lettuce tends to wilt for me!I just bring my salad in a ziploc container and the dressing a smaller one for a perfect salad!
CoMMember1362709235722 CoMMember1362709235722 6 years
Do you have tips for packing salads at home for lunch and having them remain intact for lunchtime? All the components seem unwieldy for a packed lunch.
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