The Art of the Salad

6 Aug

Salads seems easy enough and they are but with a little finesse they are all the better.  Do you ever wonder why restaurants seem to offer salads that are more delicious than what you can whip up at home?  There are several key elements to make a salad as good as it can be.  Here are a few things to keep in mind to move closer to those restaurant caliber salads:

  1. Include several different tastes.  Strive for the inclusion of a combo that includes a variety of hits to the palette: sour, sweet, salty, and bitter.
  2. Balance textures.  Several mushy ingredients like soft cheese, tomato, and avocado are not what makes a fabulous salad.  I mean where is the crunch?!  Raw veggies, croutons or crushed pita chips, nuts etc. really liven up your salad.
  3. Start with a protein item and build out a salad based on what’s in for the season and hitting your points above (tastes/textures).  
  4. Consider getting in a number of your necessary nutrients by adding various colors of fruits/veggies.

Here are some salads that I love that meet the mark on the perfect balanced salad.

Brown Bag’s Roasted Chicken Salad (my favorite). Mixed Greens, chicken, Craisins, dates, sugared pecans, tomatoes, goat cheese and lime-cilantro vinaigrette.

Wiinkys Hawaiian Salad. Teriyaki chicken, romaine lettuce, red cabbage, pineapple, and peanuts.

Astor Mediterranean’s Greek Salad with Gyro or Chicken Kabob.  Romaine, mixed greens, red cabbage, carrot, cucumber, tomato, feta, kalamata olives, grape leaves, beets and pepperocini with house vinaigrette.

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