Whenever we visit our friends for dinner, we offer to bring a dish. 90% Of the time, they ask me to bring salad. They love my salads. Ironically, I don’t really even eat salad at home. But, because I belong to a CSA, I always have fresh organic veggies in my fridge that need to be used. So in the salad they go… whatever is in season!
How to be Neighborly: When someone asks for salad, make it a good salad.
So, what makes a good salad? Well, here’s a couple tips:
- A salad is not lettuce alone. It needs friends.
- Any good salad should have:
- Color (either multiple, or all one shade)
- Texture (nuts or homemade croutons)
- A featured veggie or fruit
- Something that supports the featured veggie
- Homemade dressing
I try to think of my ingredients like wine pairings. You want to pick foods that naturally go together. Here are some classic examples.
Classic Salad Combo’s
- Cantaloupe, Avocado, Cucumbers and Bacon
- Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella Cheese, Balsamic, Croutons
- Beets, Goat Cheese, Walnuts
- Cilantro, Pepita’s, Avocado, Queso Fresca
- Orange, Avocado, Walnuts
- Strawberries, Pecans, Goat Cheese, Balsamic
- Kale, Pine Nuts, Parmesan
- 3 tbsp vinegar or citrus or both(*)
- 3 tbsp olive oil (**)
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
(*) For sweet salads, I prefer balsamic, or vinegar sweetened with 1 tbsp honey. For more savory salads, I prefer champagne vinegar.
(**) For olive oil, I have amassed a huge collection of flavors, but my go-to flavors are basil, rosemary, citrus (lemon or orange) and regular.