1. Be picky about ingredients
Most salad is served raw, so the quality of the produce is super important, leading to a simple question:
Is it fresh? If the lettuce looks wilted, stay away! Same thing for tomatoes with wrinkled skins and parsley with shriveled leaves. If things don’t look the way they should, they won’t taste the way they should.
So, when that’s the case, ask the store’s produce guy to check the stockroom for more recent deliveries. I make that request on occasion and usually wind up a happier shopper.
2. Don’t kill yourself
Rinsing, spinning, tearing, chopping…some call it therapeutic; I call it mind numbing. In contrast, I get a blissful sense of instant gratification from tearing open a box of organic greens and dumping them into a salad bowl. Some claim these products aren’t as fresh and healthy as the unpackaged versions. Okay; I’ll take a vitamin.
The question is: Are veggies labeled “triple washed” or “ready to eat” truly ready to eat? Without additional washing, what’s the chance of consuming dangerous bacteria such as e coli or organisms such as Lysteria? Lots of information about this issue can be found at websites such as this one: www.foodsafetynews.com/sections/food-recalls/
Anyhow…I do believe in short-cuts, except when it comes to bottled versus homemade dressing. Which brings me to the next tip…
3. Make your own salad dressing
It simply tastes better than anything you can buy at the store. Like the name of the blog implies, I like to eat salad everyday. So I try to keep the salad dressing recipes interesting, but simple. For most dressing recipes, there are three basic steps:
Mix ~ Taste ~ Adjust
A. Mix the dressing ingredients together in a blender or bowl.
B. Taste. This is the most important step! Dressing tastes very different on lettuce than it does on a spoon or your finger, so dip whatever kind of lettuce you’re going to use into the dressing, and take a bite.
C. Adjust the ingredients. Decide if it needs more oil; more vinegar; more garlic; salt, pepper, whatever. Add accordingly. Trust yourself. Repeat from #1 until you are happy.
4. Revive tired lettuce
A warm car ride home or too much time in the fridge can cause lettuce to go limp. As long as it’s not brown, it can be revived to look as pretty as new. Just give it a ten to fifteen-minute bath in ice water. Believe me, this really works! When bath time is over, spin dry the lettuce and enjoy its new glow and crunchy texture.
5. Make sure your ingredients are clean and dry
That goes for lettuce or any fruits or vegetables you put in a salad. Water dilutes the flavor and weighs down ingredients, making your salad a soggy mess. So when it comes to preparing salad, salad spinners and paper towels are your best friends.
6. Adjust recipes based on your preferences, imagination, & what’s available
The recipes posted here are not meant to imprison anyone’s idea about what to throw into a salad – just the opposite! There’s more on that in my e-book, which can be downloaded from this site.