Thrifty Thursday - Salads

July 21, 2011

Do you get tired of eating salad? Maybe this basic list of components will help. What makes a salad fantastic is the way it combines crunch, sweet, sour, salty and juicy at the same time. Salads can be inexpensive, especially now that fresh produce is in season. Try some of these ideas to create the perfect salad. 

The greens
No matter if what type of greens you choose: leaf lettuce or a head, it must be crunchy and fresh. To freshen it up a bit, soak in ice water and then drain, drain, drain. Don't listen to the haters, you will love a salad spinner. Try to include some powerhouses like chard and spinach. 

Juicy bits
Try adding something that is juicy and will explode with flavor when you bit into it. Some ideas: Mandarin orange slices, apples, tomatoes, grapes, peaches, even pickles!

Give your salad some sticking power with protein. Any meats cut into bite size pieces, cubes of tofu, chunks of hard cheese, shell beans - there are so many options!

Crunchy stuff
Here is where a trip to the farmers market is going to pay off. Try adding a few different colors of vegetables and fruits that you find in season. Carrots, raw beets, peppers of every color and spicyness..the list goes on. 

Don't forget the dressing
With so many vinegars and oils to combine, why not mix up something fresh. Add some chopped herbs that are in season and you have a signature dressing. Creamy dressing are good as well, but that vinegar component is so important to bring all the flavors full circle. Try grapeseed oil if you have the chance. It is light and silky on the tongue, allowing all the flavors of your salad to come through. 

By no means exhaustive, try some of my ideas for making the best salad you have ever served. For more ideas, check out what other Foodista members suggest: 


Greek Salad

Priest Salad



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Kavitha's picture

Heyy Amy.. this is really interesting to me.. will try to shape my salad with those you suggested.. I am sure it's gonna be very tasty :)