The purpose of this post is to teach you three simple trick to make a salad with the drop of a hat without needing to follow any instruction at all. It’s a single tip that is so diverse and easy to use that I’m calling it the easiest salad recipes. If you noticed the plural on the word ‘recipe,’ it was intended: this will work with almost anything you have on hand…
Here are your tips:
- Tip #1 try to add at least 5 different colors and 3 different textures from the 3 main groups of ingredients that you can add to a salad (all 3 aren’t required of course). Each should be treated differently:
- A protein. Meats nuts or other things (including some cheeses). I typically add these at the end.
- Leafy greens (mix them up for the most interesting salads and be willing to try adding ‘new’ ones; sprouts, dandelion leaves and other less common lettuces are great additions).
- Other ingredients (typically fruit and vegetables).
- From your list of ‘other ingredients’ (fruit and vegetables), there are 4 subcategories; treat each differently:
- Watery vegetables (such as cucumber, zuchini or tomato) make for wet salads. To avoid this, cut them first and place them together in a bowl wish a scattering of salt. Let them rest for 10-15 minutes before draining the water (in the case of tough veggies like zuchini and cucumber, I squeeze them).
- Dry vegetables (the others like peppers, onions, mushrooms). These have a water content as well but are less prone to release them. Chop them up and no special treatment is needed.
- Watery fruit (this is most fruit; berries and melon that release water easily). Add these to a bowl, add a touch of sugar (or stevia) and allow them to sit for 10-15 minutes to release the liquids. Unlike the vegetables, you want to use this liquid and add it at the end.
- Dry fruit. It’s truly not dry but it’s less likely to release liquid – grapes and raspberries and unsquashed blueberries can all fit into this category.
- The easiest salad recipes: the dressing. I’ve been overly detailed in these instructions – once you’ve done this a few times it should take less than a minute and it’s made in the salad bowl (1 less dish!)
- While your wet fruit and wet veggies rest, add your dried leafy greens (if they are wet from washing, the dressing won’t stick to them) dry fruit and dry veggies in a large bowl.
- Add a flavorful oil; generally olive oil and toss the bowl. Everything should have a light coat of oil. If there’s a pool at the bottom, you added too much. If there are dry spots, add a bit more (a little goes a long way).
- Taste your salad.
- Add a touch of acid. This means about a quarter lemon (or about 1-2 teaspoons of vinegar) per person. You can always add a little and add more later.
- Taste your salad.
- The salad should have a slight tang (or a lot if that’s what you like!). Add more vinegar if needed.
- Drain your ‘wet’ vegetables (they will still have some moisture).
- Add the ‘wet’ veggies and wet fruit (including juice) to the salad. Taste. If it’s not sweet enough, add a little honey.
- Add protein (if using).
- Taste a final time, paying attention to salt. Add a bit if needed.
What’s your trick for an easy salad and what are your favorite ingredients?