1. Not washing and drying your greens thoroughly.
A good salad is all about getting the right balance of flavor and texture. There are really only three textures that we seek out in food; creamy, crunchy, and chewy.
The two textures you definitely don't want in your salad: gritty and soggy.
This is important for people shopping at farmers markets. Some farmers wash and dry their lettuce before market, some don't. You're definitely more likely to find some dirt on your lettuce at the farmers market than at the grocery store.
2. Cutting ingredients too large.
One of the reasons a lot of people dislike salad is that they're cutting their pieces too large. It makes it difficult to enough pieces on the fork to get a good bite.
The worst salad I ever ate had such large pieces, I had to eat it with a fork and knife! Don't do that to your family. Cut the bits into bits.
For super fast prep - cut the lettuce with a pair of scissors right over the bowl. A good pair of kitchen shears make prep so easy!
3. Under dressing.
Under dressing the salad makes the whole thing difficult to eat. The dressing is an important textural element that literally combines all of the individual components into one, cohesive dish.
Vinaigrettes are easy to mix into a salad. It's the creamy dressings that can be difficult.
Adding a thick, creamy dressing on top of dry lettuce is very difficult to mix in. Try adding a little bit of olive oil to coat the lettuce, then add the creamy dressing on top. You'll get all the flavor from your creamy dressing, while the olive oil improves the overall cohesiveness and texture.
4. Not including enough stuff!
This can ruin your salad in two ways; serving too little or not including enough flavor.
Serving too little. Some people find salads unfulfilling because they're just not eating enough! Salads are indeed low calorie, but you need calories to live! Your salad should fill a big cereal bowl at minimum.
Too few flavor ingredients. Not including enough ingredients just makes for a boring salad. A plain salad every now and then isn't terrible, but over time they become terribly tedious. There are so many delicious, interesting ingredients that are perfect for salads!
If you're using mild flavored ingredients like celery or cucumber, you're going to want some extra ingredients to make the salad more interesting. On the other hand, super flavorful ingredients like tomatoes or oranges don't need as many supporting flavors.
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A good salad is an adventure in flavor and texture!
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