I have to admit, I’ve never been a big salad lover. Too bland, too boring, too healthy… I just always found it more appealing to have some “real food” with “real flavors”. But my neighbor recently surprised me with such a good salad, that I just had to learn how to make a salad myself that would completely satisfy my salad-averse taste buds. So, I’ve been on a mission in the last few weeks and finally (after some OK-versions) mastered my salad making skills.
For those of you who make salad regularly this might be nothing too exciting. And I certainly don’t claim I found something ultra special that no one else has done before. All I want to do here is share one way (my way) of making a great summer salad.
I found that mixing a variety of greens makes every salad more interesting. Usually I opt for a mix of red oak leave lettuce, butterhead lettuce, arugula, baby spinach, lettuce hearts or radicchio.
Add something fruity. Thin slices of nectarines, peaches or pears work great, but feel free to experiment (raspberries or strawberries might work, too).
Add several kinds of seeds or nuts (I usually try to use at least two of the following: pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds). You can roast them briefly (in a pan without any oil added) to intensify the flavor.
Add something for the extra kick: thin slices of scallions or red onions, or any herb you like (I sometimes use fresh mint, chive or cilantro), or, for a heartier version, some briefly sautéed bacon cubes.
Salad Dressing (for a big bowl of salad):
¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
freshly squeezed juice of one lemon (mixing with lime or orange juice works great, too)
if you want, a splash of balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
2-3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (I prefer the coarse one)
salt and pepper to taste
If that doesn’t make a great salad?