Source: 10 Tricks For Better Homemade Salads
Do you ever find that your homemade salads just aren't as good as those in restaurants? Whether the problem rests in the prep of the salad or the choice of ingredients, these 10 tricks will have you tossing better homemade salads in no time.
- Wash and Dry the Leaves Thoroughly: Most people just rinse lettuce under the sink, but to really get all the dirt and grim out, fill a bowl with water and dunk the lettuce. Then use a salad spinner to completely dry the leaves. If there's any water remaining on the leaves, the salad dressing won't stick, resulting in a watery, bland salad.
- Salt the Dressing: No matter if it's just oil and vinegar, salt the dressing to taste to enhance the flavor of the salad. It's a step that a lot of people neglect to do, but that's why restaurant salads taste so good - chefs often salt their dressings.
- Use Varying Textures: Choose salad toppings that have contrasting textures like crunchy nuts, creamy cheeses, chewy dried fruit, etc. For instance, this salad has crunchy cucumber, creamy mozzarella cheese, and juicy tomatoes.
- Create Balanced Flavors: The salad should have salty, sweet, acidic, and bitter flavors from the meat, fruit, vinaigrette, and greens. Represent as many flavor profiles as possible. For instance this salad has salty prosciutto, sweet strawberries, acidic vinaigrette, and bitter salad greens.
- Opt For Seasonal Greens : Lettuce and other salad greens have their seasons too, therefore try to eat seasonal greens. Toss in hardy kale or arugula during Winter months and butter lettuce and romaine during the Spring and Summer.
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- Measure Equal Amounts of Toppings: Don't you feel cheated when restaurants only give you a little sliver of avocado or the most minute sprinkling of cheese? To make a memorable salad, don't skimp on any of the ingredients. Try to use equal measurements of all of the salad toppings.
- Toast the Nuts: Nuts are often used as a salad topping, but rarely do people toast their almonds, cashews, or walnuts. However, toasting nuts instantly boosts the nutty flavor and crunchy texture. Just be sure to cool them to room temperature before tossing them in a salad.
- Experiment With Different Oils and Vinegars: Balsamic vinegar and olive oil are dependable standards, but step outside the salad dressing box and try other interesting oils and vinegars like avocado oil, walnut oil, rice vinegar, sherry vinegar, or Champagne vinegar.
- Toss in Delicate Herbs and Flowers: A light sprinkling of mint, basil, parsley, fennel fronds, or dill add a fresh touch to any salad. If edible flowers are available to you, toss them in. They add a peppery flavor and bright color to the salad.
- Add a Luxurious Topping : A crostini with blue cheese, duck confit, quail eggs, and bone marrow are just a few luxurious toppings that suddenly make a unique salad. Place them on the top of the bed of lettuce for a dramatic presentation.
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