How to Elevate any Salad
It’s official—summer salad season has arrived. As the weather heats up, nothing hits the spot like some fresh, crispy greens on a patio.
Too often, salads get a bad rap for being boring, flavourless and unsatisfying—but it doesn’t have to be that way. Make it your 2020 resolution to stop making boring salads. Here are all of our best tips to help you make some stunner salads this season
Add some seeds
Give your greens some extra crunch by adding some seeds—pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame are all great options. It’s amazing how such a small food can make such a big difference. To really get the flavour out of your seeds, make sure to roast them in a pan for a minute or two, and don’t forget to add a little salt.
Shake up your dressing
Avoid getting stuck in a dressing rut by trying out new options. With a few basic ingredients at home, you can make dozens of different dressings for every meal and palate. Are you making a fruity salad? Try a raspberry vinaigrette. Looking for something rich and hearty? A simple sesame garlic dressing will hit the spot. Want to add a little zing? Honey mustard never disappoints. Salad dressings aren’t tricky to make, and going with an exciting choice makes all the difference.
Never be afraid to add a little cheese to your salads. Remember, there’s no rules here—just choose your favourite. Grate in some gouda, sprinkle in some smoked cheddar, or pop on some parm. Oh—and if you happen to be a blue cheese fan, this is your moment. Nothing elevates a meal salad like a sharp blue cheese.
Change up your greens
There’s no need to ever make a boring iceberg lettuce salad again. With a world of greens available, why not try some new flavours? Switch up your routine by swapping in arugula, spinach, frisée or the ever-trendy kale. To add a little extra texture, you can also slice in some red or green cabbage in with your greens.
Tossing nuts into your favourite salad never fails to please crowd. Try almonds, pecans, or even peanuts. They pair well with fruit and a nice vinaigrette, but don’t feel too boxed into a sweet palate—a nice, crunchy walnut can work with nearly anything.
Pick your protein
Adding a piping hot protein is all it takes to elevate your side salad to a meal. Try using steak hot off the grill, your favourite crispy chicken recipe, or garlicky sautéed shrimp. For the vegetarians in the crowd, soft boiled eggs, marinated tofu, or crispy roasted chickpeas can take your greens to the next level.
Add something extra
Finish your masterpiece with a little extra zing. A stellar, last-minute way to jazz up your greens is to hit the canned veggies section of your grocery store. Think olives, sundried tomatoes, canned artichokes, or pickled peppers. An extra salty morsel will give your salad the perfect finishing touch.