Salad 101 – How to create and craft your own tasty salads
© Chef Michael Smith 2018
There are many, many ways to serve up healthy vegetables but perhaps none as easy or versatile as a classic salad. Here’s how to transform a few simple ingredients into a memorable salad that will easily fill more than Half Your Plate with homemade goodness!
Serves 4 to 6 with leftovers
For the salad greens base
A handful of any mixed or baby greens for everyone
Lots of fresh herb leaves, basil, dill, mint or parsley
Shredded carrots or red cabbage
Your favourite tomatoes
Cauliflower or broccoli florets
Thinly sliced radishes, onions or cucumbers
For the salad dressing
1/2 cup of your best olive oil or any vegetable oil
1/4 cup or so of any vinegar, white, red, cider, balsamic, sherry, rice, etc.
1/4 cup of maple syrup, honey, jam, jelly or marmalade
1 heaping spoonful or more of your favourite mustard
1/2 teaspoon of salt
For tasty toppings
1 cup of pumpkin or sunflower seeds
1 cup of your favourite nuts
A few handfuls of croutons
A handful of fresh sprouts
Fresh berries or sliced tree fruit
Fill a festive salad bowl with enough greens and garnishes for everyone. Toss in lots of fresh herb leaves for bright bursts of flavour. Add whatever vegetables you have on hand. Cut or prep them any way you care to. The sky really is the limit!
Craft your dressing. Loosely measure your choice of ingredients into a mason jar or small mixing bowl. Shake or whisk the works together until smooth. The mustard will help the oil and vinegar combine smoothly.
Add about an ounce (2 tablespoons) or so of dressing per person to the greens. Lightly toss the works until thoroughly combined. Finish with your choice of toppings. Gather your family and friends, serve and share!
A salad recipe is really more an idea than a set of precise steps. You don’t need to worry about exact measures and you have a multitude of options to fill your bowl with goodness. Experiment, try new flavours. Tangy arugula? Hearty baby kale? Sweet baby spinach? All those different lettuces? All awesome and worth a try!