The modern-day consumer is instantly inundated with a cornucopia of choices as soon as they enter a grocery store. And while this abundance of variety is a modern luxury not to be taken for granted, it can make the process of creating a deliciously tantalizing salad somewhat intimidating and overwhelming. Here are some simple pointers to help streamline the salad building process for consistently better and more interesting results.
Buy Quality Ingredients
Life gets hectic but with the abundance of better options out there, you needn’t settle for seemingly convenient but totally substandard produce. So skip those ethylene ripened tomatoes that look good but lack taste, translucent heads of lettuce, or another disappointing salad kit of wilting greens and stale wonton crisps. With some simple planning and prep, you can bring better to life. Opt for visually appealing, nutrient rich and colorful leaves (Pro Tip – the simpler the salad, the harder it is to hide lack luster ingredients so choose a base that brings distinction). Skip the sad and head straight for the happy—try our tender living butter lettuce, juicy-sweet vine ripened tomatoes, crisp and crunchy mini-cucumbers. The list goes on. The bottom line? A better salad starts with better ingredients.
The best bites are balanced. Sweet and salty, creamy and crisp, fatty and acidic; it’s the harmony of sensation that truly stimulates the tastebuds and why peanut butter and jelly will forever withstand the test of time. A great salad is no different in that it too is the sum of its parts.
Consider our Fattoush Salad. Brimming with crisp fresh veggies and herbs, sweet pomegranate and tart citrus, it’s a perfectly pleasant experience packed with a variety of texture and fresh flavors. And when you top high quality ingredients with the creamy richness of tangy yogurt dressing and oven-fried crispy pita, you’ve effectively offset acidity (and, in our opinion, taken a salad from good to really, really great). So, the next time you go to build your salad, first pause and consider the harmony of the whole. One easy step and you’re already off to a better start.
Play With Temperature
Salads don’t always need to be cool, crisp, and refreshing. In fact, salads don’t need to be anything. We challenge you to toss out any preconceived notions you may have on what a salad should or shouldn’t be and embrace the unknown. Point in case: our Wilted Butter Lettuce Salad with a Warm Bacon Vinaigrette.
Typically, wilted salad greens are a sign of neglect or maybe a heavy-handed pantry cook. However, in this lesser known but beloved southern salad, our tender butter lettuce is delightfully immersed in a sweet and smoky onion-spiked bacon vinaigrette, the results of which satisfy beyond any preconceived salad limitations we may have held. Of course, as with anything, balance is key and in this case is easily discovered with a healthy smattering of crisp raw onion and crunchy radish. TL;DR: Cook your salads!
Use Greens as a Garnish
This needs to be said: sometimes a big bowl of greens just doesn’t cut it. The good news is it doesn’t have to. Your salad base is your oyster (quite literally if you want, its your salad). It’s not limited to a mountain of spring mix, though we’d never knock it. For a more substantial salad, consider heartier options for your such as roasted or grilled vegetables, whole grains, beans, pasta, poached seafood, or even bread.
In our Farro Salad with Parmesan, Cherry Tomatoes, and Arugula, we let the hearty grain take center stage and use our peppery arugula in a supporting role to help provide some needed freshness. Shaved parmesan and toasted sunflower seeds help accentuate the farro’s natural nuttiness. Warm garlic and rosemary infused olive oil and a runny fried egg make for a truly substantial and satisfying salad situation.
Salads For Any Occasion
Look beyond thoughts of a power-lunch or diet-dinner and start to see our salads for what they truly are: an exciting and satisfying anytime addition to busy workdays and the go-to for worry-free weekends. Sublimely simple or creative and complex, cool and crisp or warm and smoky, these versatile menu stars can be as hearty or light as the occasion calls for.
Ultimately, a salad is a blank palette to incorporate healthy and vibrant foods and flavors into your life, so why not start with what many have dubbed the most important meal of the day? With just a few small adjustments a classic cobb salad can glide effortlessly become a Breakfast Cobb Salad. Jammy soft-boiled eggs, crispy golden potatoes, and bacon’s arguably more flavorful Italian counterpart make this salad wholly satisfying and substantial enough to fuel your entire morning and beyond!
There are countless ways to bring a new salad favorite to life to take a lead or supporting role at your next meal. Use our tips to creatively embrace your health by incorporating high quality and colorful foods throughout your day with versatile and flavorful salad solutions. Healthy should be fresh, fast, and above all else, delicious.