I don’t know about you, but salads I make myself never taste as good as when I order out. They seem pretty straightforward, but come lunch time I am never excited to eat them (I am much more interested in the two boxes of pizza and cake in the work kitchen). Here are 9 tricks that have helped me make a tastier homemade salad.
1. Wash and dry leaves thoroughly. Use a salad spinner to completely dry leaves, dressing won’t stick to wet ones. (Tip: after the first spin, empty water and spin once more – lay out on paper towels and store in ziploc for fresher leaves, longer)
2. Salt the dressing. I am no stranger to salt (I keep a bag of Maldon salt at my desk), but this is a common mistake many people forget to do!
3. Use varying textures. Use contrasting textures like crunchy nuts, creamy cheese, chewy dried fruit, etc.
4. Balance Flavors. Try to include salty, sweet, acidic, and bitter flavors. For instance, this salad.
5. Use seasonal ingredients. Ingredients that are in-season will taste better – plain and simple. Check your local farmers market to see what is in-season.
6. Toast the nuts. Toasting nuts boosts flavor and texture. 2 for 1.
8. Don’t forget herbs! There is nothing like fresh basil, cilantro, or parsley to freshen up a salad
9. Add a luxurious topping. Sometimes I treat myself with a perfectly poached egg or prosciutto and blue cheese from Monica’s Mercato.
*Photo above is an amazing salad I had recently at the Beat Hotel in Harvard Square. Hippie salad with Faroe Island Salmon (lettuce, organic sprouted greens, farros, chickpeas, raisins, herbed dijon vinaigrette)