On Making a Salad Better

On Making a Salad Better January 9, 2009

About 4pm on days I’m home I make our salad for dinner, and I like making salads … lots of folks, I suspect, are bored with making salads so they buy bags of pre-made salads and toss a handful or two of stuff into the bowl. I’ve got a few suggestions to make your salads better.

IMG_0807.JPGFirst, whether you use lettuce or spinach (we use spinach leaves), cut them up into narrow slices — makes the salad much easier to eat.

Second, buy lots of options … nuts and berries and broccoli shredded and broccoli florets and cheeses and tomato and carrots and onions. Vary these items daily.

Third, use a few different dressings … like olive oil and balsamic vinegar or blue cheese … anyway, vary the dressings.

Fourth, here’s a big one: toss the dressing into the salad at the end and mix thoroughly so that it’s not gobbed up on the top. (Well, of course, if everyone wants a different dressing it means a little extra work … but having the dressing mixed through makes the salad better.)

Who’s got other suggestions?

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  • Your Name

    Cut up pepperocini’s (I think that’s how they’re spelled) and scatter through out the salad. If people are ones who like things spicy hot, put a lot in, if don’t like spicy hot, just enough to enhance bites. And olives. But presliced ones. And bits of salami. Then balsamic salad dressing.

  • Craig Beard

    No suggestion at this point, but an AMEN to the “big one.” The folks at work sometimes make fun of me pulling my salad container out of the fridge, pouring on the dressing, and shaking vigorously. However, that DOES get more of the dressing on more of the salad. AND I find that I use less dressing.

  • Your Name

    oh, that was me, BeckyR.

  • Lance White

    Hey Scott,
    Here is something, not salad, but for scrambled eggs that I just started and it is awwwesome!
    Put some olive oil in the base of your pan.
    Take some eggs, scamble them, add some milk, add some feta cheese.
    Put the mixture into the pan with olive oil and put it on medium heat. Then use a spatula and continually, slowly scrape the bottom and sides until the eggs are nice and fluffy. I put some sea sale and ground pepper on top as well.
    I love em!

  • Pesto makes everything better!

  • When it comes to dressing, less is more. Really if you have the right mix of fruits and vegetables dressing is not needed and just adds unnecessary calories. Also, avocado is a great addition to most salads! And feta is always beta.

  • Sarah

    Feta makes everything better!

  • SNC

    My family has found that the freshness of the produce makes all the difference in the world. Growing your own vegetables or shopping at Farmer’s Markets provides a taste and a freshness that just can’t be replicated. If the core ingredients are not good, it will not matter what you put on top.
    Oh and growing your own or shopping at Farmer’s Markets supports the local economy which should be a priority for us all during this economic time.
    Once you’ve got your fresh produce adding nuts, feta and bacon makes a great salad.

  • dchristina

    I am prefer to dip my salad by forkful into the dressing on the side. weird, i know. but also i can make 2 days worth that way, and just add different ingredients the next day. olives, apples, mandarin oranges, chinese noodles are some of the things we like to add.

  • Wait. Are we talking about salad?

  • I also favor shaking up a salad with dressing, preferably in a large tupperware container so the dressing can spread evenly.
    I’m unclear, however, on what the consensus is regarding feta cheese. Does it make things better?

  • steph seefeldt

    emergency company’s coming recipe:
    romaine lettuce – bagged, in a pinch
    grocery store pre-done rotisserie chicken
    get as much of the chicken off as you can
    platter [verb 🙂 ] atop the lettuce
    1 drained can [large can] peaches – cut in chunks
    2 containers crumbled gorgonzola
    slivered almonds
    make vinaigrette – 2 parts oil to 1 part vinegar, lots of sea salt and fresh ground pepper
    pre toss.
    unbelievably good. the fruit with the gorgonzola is extraordinary!

  • H.S.

    Throw in a can of tuna packed in olive oil, some olives for instant salade nicoise, with vinaigrette dressing — this makes instant salade nicoise, and a one-dish meal with the protein and all. Great for summer.
    Of course I’m freezing my little bippy off, as it is January, but a girl can dream . . .
    Really, this time of year, among my people, we make chili.

  • Kyle

    Thanks Scot!
    Awhile back you posted your daily schedule (when at home) and I actually wondered how you varied your salads to share one each day with Kris. I’ve been thinking about how to eat more vegetables and fruit lately after watching the TED talk with Mark Bittman about how our animal consumption is hurting the environment and how our overall eating habits have changed in the last 100 years. It was fascinating. Anyways, so I’m trying to cut down on meat. We’re also in the middle of a move, so have already sold our toaster oven and microwave. Now, we just have a stovetop and a fridge so salads are a great idea for evening meals.

  • S.G.

    I’ve been waiting for a topic I can post intelligently about – here it is – my favorite winter salad…
    1/2 cup white sugar
    1/2 cup lemon juice
    2 teaspoons diced onions
    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2/3 cup vegetable oil
    1 tablespoon poppy seed
    Use food processor or blender to process first 5 ingredients. Add oil in a steady stream with processor running. Stir in poppy seeds. It’s a fantastic dressing tossed with a mixture of romaine, cubed baby swiss cheese, cubed pear and/or apple, dried cranberries and cashews.
    I could eat this as a main dish, too! Just make sure to have toothpicks, a mirror or someone that you trust will tell you if you have a poppy seed stuck in your teeth….