5 Salad Hacks
Calling all salad haters- yes you heard that right! Do you hate salads? If so.. ask yourself why? Is it because you are anti- vegetables? Is it because you find them boring and synonymous with diet culture? Or maybe it’s because you were raised on soggy iceberg, celery and ranch dressing passing as salad. (Spoiler alert- that’s not salad, that’s disappointment in a bowl!)
Whatever the reason, I’ve got FIVE simple tips that will turn you into not only a salad lover, but an exceptional salad artiste!!! Prepare to amaze yourself, family and friends alike with your salad skills after this!
Top Five Salad Hacks:
1. Use a Variety of Greens
I enjoy mixing a variety of greens to add depth, flavor, texture and variety to the base of a salad. Often I’ll mix spinach, kale and green leaf lettuce together. I also love adding butter leaf, Raddichio, cabbage and Mesclun greens occasionally for variety. And for the love of all things holy— don’t even entertain the idea of iceberg! Haha.
2. Try Fresh Herbs
One of the most simple ways to elevate your salad is to add fresh herbs — and add them generously! Basil, and mint are great for summer, and rosemary and thyme are lovely additions in the fall and winter months. I add chives all year long!
I also try to pair the herbs to the style/cuisine type of salad I’m making. For instance, Basil works great with Italian flavors, parsley and mint for more middle eastern salads, and cilantro for Mexican, southwest or Asian inspired salads.
I learnt this tip from my beloved Grandma Willma, and is it ever a game changer! My Gram would always make the most incredible salads for me and the wildest part- she NEVER used salad dressing. Instead, she used onions (and a variety) to flavor the salad.
She would mix the greens, herbs and onions together several hours prior to serving so that the salad would “marinade”. The result was always spectacular!
I like to use a combination of shallots, red onion and green onion- depending on what I gave in my house. Again, I match based on the salad I’m making. For instance, shallots and red onion work great with Italian/ Greek/ Middle salads, and green onion is ideal for Mexican, southwest or Asian inspired salads.
4. Season your salad
Another hot tip from Grandma Willma, prior to “marinading” your salad season your greens/herbs/ onions generously with salt and pepper. What a difference maker!
One of the surest ways to ruin a salad is by adding ingredients too soon before eating it, which leads your salad to be soggy or mushy. Think salad dressing, cheese and toppings. I NEVER dress a salad until seconds before eating. If I’m serving a large party, I always leave the dressing on the side and let people dress themselves. There’s nothing worse than a salad with too much dressing on it! Same goes for cheese, nuts or other toppings like pasta or other grains. Leave it all on the side until just before eating. This is also helpful if you have left overs, you won’t have to throw it all out! Simply store in separate containers until you are ready to eat the next day!
Give these hacks a try and be sure to let me know just how much of a professional salad chef you’ve become!
And, if you STILL don’t love creating on your own, have no fear.. I’ve got all the fresh & delicious salad inspo here with some of my all time favorite salad recipes!