If you’ve ever ordered a salad from a restaurant before, then you’ve probably noticed that salads always seem to taste better when somebody else prepares them for you. Recreating a restaurant-style salad recipe at home just never seems to work out, does it?
If you’re looking to elevate your at-home salad experience, we’ve got a few practical tips that can help.
1. Invest in a Salad Spinner
Nobody likes soggy lettuce. If you don’t already have a salad spinner, grab one from your local home goods store. These are ideal for removing excess moisture after you’ve rinsed your lettuce and before you start assembling your salad. This results in crisper, fresher, and more delicious greens.
2. Think Beyond Iceberg
Speaking of lettuce, it’s time to think outside the box when it comes to your salad ingredients. If you tend to grab traditional iceberg lettuce to use in your recipes, it may be time to switch things up a bit. While there’s nothing inherent wrong with iceberg lettuce, you’ll get a lot more dynamic flavor if you incorporate some other types as well. Consider options like romaine, arugula, spinach, and even kale to take your salads to the next level.
3. Use Local Ingredients
Whenever possible, using locally grown ingredients in your salads can seriously elevate the flavor. Rather than grabbing your salad ingredients from your local chain grocery store, consider hitting up a local farmer’s market and purchasing things like lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers directly from nearby farmers. You’ll notice the difference in taste and you’ll be supporting local farms. It’s a win-win!
4. Make Your Own Dressing
If you’re looking for a way to seriously transform your next salad, try making your own dressing from scratch. Compared to a store-bought bottle of salad dressing, making your own dressing can pack more of a flavor punch while allowing you to customize your dressing to your own tastes.
If you’re feeling unsure about DIYing your salad dressing, it’s easier than you think. This is especially true if you stick to a basic vinaigrette, which typically includes no more than olive oil, vinegar, and some basic seasonings like garlic, salt, and pepper. Once you try making your own salad dressing for the first time, you may never want to go back to store-bought again.
5. Give It a Toss Before Plating
One of the best things about enjoying a restaurant salad is when you don’t even have to do the work of incorporating the dressing into the salad yourself. Many restaurants will take the time to toss dressing into a salad before plating it, which ensures that each individual leaf is perfectly coated in dressing. Give this a try at home and taste the difference for yourself!
Dig Into a Crisp Salad Today
After reading these tips, aren’t you craving a fresh and delicious salad? Instead of ordering from your usual restaurant, why not use these tips to whip up your own yummy salad at home? With a little time and care, your homemade salads can be just as delicious (if not more delicious) than the ones you order at your favorite eatery!