For some reason it always seems fun to get an interesting salad from a restaurant. They use ingredients I haven’t thought of or have on hand normally. They make me think that what they’ve done must be too difficult to do on my own.
Thankfully creating restaurant quality salads is easier than replicating steaks, fish and so on.
Below I’ve listed some ideas for ingredients. Feel free to add or subtract anything you’d like. That’s the best part about salads. You can add whatever you want to them!
1. Start here:
- Keep some handy ingredients in your pantry and fridge
- Make or buy some tasty salad dressings
- Take 5 minutes or less and prepare your salad
2. Ingredients I like to have around:
- Canned beans: white beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, etc.
- Cheeses: Parmesan, goat, feta, cheddar, blue
- Greens: romaine, iceberg, spinach, butter lettuces
- Nuts and seeds: walnuts, pine nuts, sliced almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
- Meats: salami, pepperoni, ham, turkey
- Veggies: cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, red cabbage, sweet onion, red onion, peppers,
- Fruits: Dried cranberries, raisins, fresh peaches, blueberries, strawberries
- Olives (I prefer jarred olives): green, kalamata, Greek
- My favorite dressings: Balsamic Viniagrette (this one from Emeril is super easy and tasty!), and my newest favorite is a creamy basil dressing I made: bunch of fresh basil chopped, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup full fat Greek yogurt, 2 tsp. lemon juice, pinch of salt and pepper to taste, 2 cloves fresh minced garlic. Mix all ingredients together in bowl or jar and spoon onto your salad. It’s thick!
- Pick a few of the different ingredients that you have on hand and put them together. I usually bring the dressing along in a separate container if bringing it to work.
- Here are some of my favorite combos:
- romaine, red onion, peaches, pecans, cucumbers, tomatoes, goat cheese, balsamic dressing
- iceberg, salami, green olives, feta cheese, tomatoes garbanzo beans, balsamic dressing
- romaine, red cabbage, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, black beans, sweet onion, cucumbers, carrot (shredded), tortilla chips
Great ideas from other blogs / websites:
- Crunch-Crunch: A Week of Make-A-Head Spring Salads in Mason Jars
- How to Build a Salad Bar in Your Fridge in 5 Easy Steps
- Interactive “Create Your Own Salad” from Fine Cooking
Have a favorite salad blend? Let me know in the comments!