Spectacular Salad in Six Steps
Making a salad is one of the easiest things you can do in the kitchen, and there are literally hundreds of options when making your own salad. You can make anything from a basic salad right up to something suitable for a gourmet meal. Salad can be a starter, a main course or a side dish.
Different Types of Salad
There are no hard and fixed rules when it comes to making salad. For example, it doesn't have to be lettuce-based, and it doesn't even have to be cold. There are classic salads such as Caesar, Cobb and Waldorf, along with creamy mixtures such as tuna, chicken or egg in a creamy mayonnaise dressing, which you can use as a sandwich or baked potato filling, or on a bed of salad leaves.
Then you have warm salad options such as chicken or beef hot off the barbecue, grilled vegetables boasting natural sweetness, fresh chopped fruit, berries, nuts, cheese, and so much more. Consider something with Chinese, Indian or French flair, or turn last night's leftover pasta or rice into something exquisite for your lunch. The sky is the limit when learning how to make a tasty salad!
6 Steps to Deliciousness
Everyone can be creative, even people who claim not to be. Preparing a salad is largely about throwing together a variety of ingredients with contrasting flavours, colours and textures, so you end up with something delicious. Let's take a look at the six steps involved in creating a mouth-watering salad for lunch or dinner. The key here is being creative and mixing and matching your ingredients!
Step 1 - The Base
The basis of many a salad is lettuce of some kind or another. Choose from rocket, baby spinach, romaine, red and green lettuce leaves, a bag of mixed leaves, or anything else you want to use. If you don't want to use lettuce, you can leave this step out.
Step 2 - The Hearty Layer
A salad made of lettuce and vegetables only isn't going to fill anyone up or give you enough energy to last until your next meal so, unless you're just looking for a simple side salad, you will need to add something hearty here. Choose from cooked rice, noodles, pasta, potatoes, quinoa, couscous, or another grain. Do you have some left over from last night's dinner? Perfect! That will do just fine.
Step 3 - The Meaty Bit
Cooked meat, fish, prawns, chicken, turkey, tofu or egg can go into the mix next. Just choose whatever kind of protein you prefer. If you're vegetarian consider tofu or beans, or omit this step and add some extra nuts, seeds or veggies later.
Step 4 - More Salad Components
Now it's time to add some colour and different textures to the salad, in the form of fruit or vegetables, cheese, olives, beetroot, beansprouts or anything else you want to put in there.
Step 5 - Tempting Toppings
The main body of your salad is now complete, so you just need something crunchy on top to offer a contrasting texture, or perhaps some raisins for sweetness or jalapenos for a kick of spice. Do you want to add croutons, nuts or seeds? Go ahead and throw some on. Crispy onions are nice too.
Step 6 - A Delicious Dressing
You can keep things simple by adding extra-virgin oil and vinegar or lime juice, choose a fruity vinaigrette or something creamy like classic Caesar, Ranch or Thousand Island dressing. You can toss the salad with the dressing or simply drizzle it on top, depending what you prefer.
Photo by Dutchbaby, on Flickr
- salad leaves - large handful
- cooked rice, noodles or another grain - small handful
- cooked meat, poultry, seafood, beans, egg or tofu - small handful
- cheese, fruit, olives, beetroot, avocado or vegetables - small handful
- croutons, nuts, bacon bits, raisins or seeds - 2 or 3 tablespoons
- dressing - 1 or 2 tablespoons
- Add the ingredients to a bowl or dish in the order they are listed, using your judgement to get the quantities right (this depends to some extent how hungry you are!)
- You can either toss the ingredients together or arrange them in layers.
- Toss the dressing with the salad, drizzle it on top or serve it on the side.