It’s easy to make salad more interesting and get everyone to eat more healthy salad.
Packaging is everything, the saying goes. Whether it’s an everyday dinner salad or a special occasion, the same ingredients that look flat on a plate or in a bowl sparkle in glass.
Use small cuts. Cut ingredients into smaller pieces that fit into a rocks glass. Thin-sliced vegetables not only fit into the glass better; they look elegant. Cherry and grape tomatoes can be cut in half.
Vary the greens. Add mystique with something different. Vary the standard iceberg and romaine lettuces with baby arugula, baby spinach, curly leaf lettuce and whatever else you can find.
Add an herb. In addition to a pinch of salt and some fresh-ground pepper, snip some fresh herbs into the mix. Any herb will do. If you don’t have fresh herbs, try oregano, rosemary or thyme from the pantry. (Basil and parsley, two of our fresh favorites, don’t have as much panache as some other herbs when dried.)
Add a surprise ingredient. Beans, beets, cheese, corn kernels, fennel, slivers of fresh or dried fruit, nut halves, olives and pickles are just a few items that add different flavors, textures and colors.
Curly leaf lettuce, radishes, kirby cucumbers
and quail eggs get a dual garnish of chives
and dill. Photo © Sarsmis | Fotolia.
Use a vinaigrette. Heavy dressings don’t work here. Keep the sparkle going with this simple recipe: three tablespoons of heart-healthy olive oil or avocado oil to one tablespoon of vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice or verjus taste right on fresh greens. Add a pinch of prepared or dry mustard or some hot sauce, or flavored oil or vinegar, to change it up.
And what if your family loves the mini salads so much they want more? Pass the salad bowl and tongs!
Find more salad recipes in our Gourmet Vegetables Section. And post your favorite salad tips.