Wednesday, June 3, 2015

How to Make a Seasonal Salad

There is no secret to putting together a tasty and elegant seasonal salad that will delight your family any night of the week, and impress your guests on weekends. It is, essentially, nothing more than a thoughtful layering of seasonal ingredients and topping with a dressing to complement.

Not a day goes by that I can't assemble a pretty salad. It helps, I think, that I always keep a variety of fresh greens on hand, as well as an assortment of nuts (stored in the freezer to maintain freshness), a package or two of
Melissa's French Country-Style Red Beets In Balsamic Vinaigrette, and have, in my repertoire, a variety of dressings both savory and sweet. If you get into the habit of doing the same, assembling a salad will become second nature. If making your own fresh dressing doesn't fit into your busy schedule, feel free to purchase two or three good ones. Many bottled dressings are excellent, with long shelf lives when properly stored in a cool pantry before opening, or a fridge thereafter.
Here is my method of assembly, from bottom to top:

Fresh greens (spinach, spring mix/mesclun, romaine, Boston, or red leaf lettuce)

Vegetable (beets, cucumber, mushrooms, red onion, peas, sprouts)

Fruit (use whatever is in season - melon, berries, orange slices, mango, apple, pomegranate seeds)

Cheese (feta, bleu, Gorgonzola, Parmesan)

Nuts (toasted pecans, toasted walnuts, toasted hazelnuts, peanuts, pepitas, sunflower seeds)

Simply select one or more item from each category, layer from the bottom up, and top with the dressing of your choice.
Poppy seed and vinaigrette dressings are my favorites for this type of salad, but a creamier type such as ranch, Caesar, or creamy Italian work well too.

The salad pictured contains romaine lettuce, cubes of Athena melon, cubed beets, crumbled blue cheese, toasted walnuts, and poppy seed dressing. I store my salad dressings in icing bottles so that I can squeeze it onto the top of the salad in delicate little stripes. It is so easy, and quite impressive.

When you use this little formula for making salad it is easy to make one or ten by just lining up chilled plates and layering ingredients. Try it yourself, and be bold in choosing your layers. It is as much about fun as it is about experimentation and taste.

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Unknown said...

Stopping over from #FullPlateThursday. Love how you explained the steps in creating your salad.

Morsels of Life | CJ Huang said...

Love the variety of salads you can create - yummy and beautiful! Thanks for stopping by and sharing this on Five Friday Finds!

Rattlebridge Farm said...

A wonderful guide to the art of the salad!