This is how a recent conversation with my mom went:
Really, Mom?! I spend hours laboring in the kitchen on some things and what stands out are my salads?!
I do really enjoy a good salad and have a habit of turning 75% of my meals into a ginormous salad bowl. So for a simple Sunday post I will share with you how I build the perfect salad.
1. Pick a base- spinach, kale (be sure to massage well!), arugula whatever green you like.
2. Pick your main vegetables including one starchy vegetable or a fruit (this is where a salad can really shine). If its winter I love to add squash or sweet potato to my salads, for summer I love fruit. I usually pick one or two main vegetable stars, I think this is usually where salads are ruined by adding too many things that don’t compliment each eachother , less is more here so the veggie star can really stand out.
3. If this is a main meal salad, pick a grain. My mom loves quinoa salads, I also like wheat berry or couscous.
4. Pick a good cheese. Goat cheese is my go to with everything but feta is also good, blue cheese, shaved parmesan, etc.
5. Pick a nut. Sliced almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, pecans.
6. Pick a dressing. I like making my own simple dressings by combining ingredients in a small tupperware and shaking it up, here are some ideas (I eyeball my ingredients for these and adjust to taste):
half balsamic, half olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper
half balsamic, half maple, a touch of olive oil and a little dijon mustard
half honey, half dijon mustard, a touch of balsamic
As you can see Balsamic Vinegar is my favorite flavor for dressing, you can always experiment with other vinegars.
To build I like to toss greens with grain and then layer veggies, nut, cheese and drizzle dressing or have on the side if serving for others.
Some of my favorite salad combos are:
This one from a few nights ago,
spinach, roasted beets and brussel sprouts, red quinoa, sliced almonds and goat cheese with a balsamic honey dressing
On thanksgiving I made a kale, butternut squash, walnuts and goat cheese with balsalmic drizzle
A favorite for strawberry season is spinach, strawberries, goat cheese, almonds with balsamic reduction
Another perfect summer salad is a simple arugula, watermelon and feta with a mix of lemon juice and olive oil for dressing
My biggest tip when it comes to salad making is keep it simple! Pick one or two star vegetables/fruits, whatever is in season, on sale or looks good and work from there.
Happy salad making!
What are your favorite salad combos?