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Your go-to bowl of greens may be a good salad, but is it the best salad? Some of the best cooking tricks can be applied to salad making. Here’s five salad tips that will help you bring your greens game to a new level.
1. Season it
We season everything else, so why skip your salad? A pinch of coarse sea salt and a few grinds of pepper enhance the flavors in salads, too. But don’t stop there! Spices can amp up the natural sweetness of vegetables both raw and cooked. Try a homemade toasted spice blend to upgrade ho-hum salads, sprinkle nutritional yeast on slaws for a savory boost, or add herby-tart za’atar on a cucumber-tomato salad with feta.
Err on the side of underdressing your salads. You need less dressing than you think, and you can always add more, but you can’t remove dressing from a soggy salad. As a general rule, add ½ tablespoon of dressing, gently toss, taste, and add more until the ingredients are very lightly coated. Another option for chronic over-dressers, pour out small amounts of dressing (about 1 tablespoon per person) into a small ramekin and dip your fork into it before each bite of undressed salad.
3. Hands on
Toss your salads with your hands in a large bowl, this helps coat all the ingredients with seasonings and dressing and it’s gentler on tender greens. If you’d rather not get your hands dirty, use kitchen tongs to evenly toss things together.
4. Balance textures
Try to choose a balance of elements – fluffy leaves, creamy elements like avocado or cheese, crunchy items like nuts or seeds, something substantial like roasted squash, tofu, or portobello mushrooms, and juicy or crisp elements like apple, tomato, or celery. And remember, we eat with our eyes, so arrange elements artfully for a more satisfying meal.
5. Herbs are salad leaves, too.
Herbs are a mainstay of salad dressing, but they are also delicious by themselves tucked into leafy salads. Fresh, tender herbs like basil, cilantro, dill, basil, parsley, and mint blend right in with lettuce plus they add little pops of fresh flavor that are unexpected and make salads more interesting. Make sure to remove any tough or stringy stems, concentrating on the leaves instead.
From Clean Eating