Tossed salads are more than simple combinations of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and dressing. A fresh tossed salad recipe containing cheese, chicken, tofu, and other protein-rich ingredients can be a meal in itself. A tossed salad full of flavorful additions is the perfect accompaniment as well as the perfect beginning to any delicious meal.
Tossed salads are generally low in calories, but they don't have to be low in flavor and appeal. The key to creating the perfect tossed salad is combining fresh crispy greens of various types with tasty, colorful additions, toppings, and savory dressings. It's easy to create delicious tossed salads that are guaranteed to impress.
Begin With Fresh Greens
All good salad recipes begin with a combination of fresh and tasty greens, and any edible greens can be used to create freshly tossed salads. Consider combining mild, flavorful greens such as romaine, Boston, bib, or iceberg lettuce with stronger choices such as escarole, arugula, radicchio, or watercress. Combining a mild variety with a more pungent variety balances the flavor and creates contrast to please the eyes as well as the palate.
When buying salad ingredients, always choose greens that are crisp, and free from blemishes and discoloration. Iceberg lettuce with a white cast is overly mature and should be avoided. Always choose fresh high-quality ingredients to create the perfect tossed salad every time.
Ordinary toppings and additions are for ordinary tossed salads. Turn an otherwise ordinary tossed salad into an extraordinary side dish or meal by adding other things to the recipe like fresh ingredients such as snow peas, red radishes, green onions, avocado, walnuts, artichoke hearts, and olives.
Prepare additional toppings such as cooked cubes of chicken, ham or turkey, extra-firm tofu, chickpeas, and fresh salad shrimp. Providing a number of high-protein choices will enable salad lovers to create their favorite combinations.
If you really want to impress guests with color and design, garnish tossed salads with edible fresh flowers such as rose-colored angelica, nasturtiums, and pansies. Edible flowers not only add color, but they also add flavor, interest, and appeal.
Greens and fresh topping should always be washed before preparation and serving. Rinse greens and fresh toppings thoroughly under running water, or wash them in a clean bowl of water. If washing greens and fresh toppings in a bowl, change the water at least twice. Dry the greens in a salad spinner, or gently blot them with paper towels.
Place the greens and fresh toppings in separate bags in the refrigerator to keep them cold and crisp until ready to serve for up to twelve hours. Toss fresh toppings with greens shortly before serving.
Dressing for Success
Provide various types of salad dressings to meet individual tastes and preferences, and chill them well before serving. Optionally you can prepare your favorite homemade dressing or a vinegar and oil combination to toss with the salad right before serving.
Plan on using approximately 2 - 3 tablespoons of salad dressing for each serving. Pour a suitable amount over the salad in an oversized shallow bowl, and toss it thoroughly by lifting the ingredients from the bottom with a large salad fork and spoon.
Toss the salad approximately five times, and check to see if it's evenly coated with the appropriate amount of dressing. If it isn't, continue tossing, and if necessary, add additional to create the perfect tossed salad.
And what is the perfect compliment to the perfect tossed salad? How about a free giant soup sampler. Visit our "Free Food Samples" page for details on how you can get your hands on some free samples of great tasting soups.