22 January, 2017
How To Make A Salad – Tips And Tricks For Your Greens
How To Make A Salad
In this post on how to make a salad, I am going to talk about how to prepare the leaves for your salad. If you are making a green salad, the leaves are the most important part, and the way in which you prepare them will either make or break your salad.
The first thing that you will need in your quest on how to make a salad is a salad spinner.
Why A Salad Spinner You May Ask?
Believe it or not, a salad spinner will change your life and is the answer when it comes to how to make a salad perfectly every time.
A salad spinner is very effective for flicking residual water off salad greens or herbs without crushing the delicate leaves. There is nothing like a salad spinner for this job.
You can find many varieties of salad spinners online at reasonable prices, just like this one:
- Easy, one-handed operation with patented pump mechanism and brake button.
- Soft, non-slip knob locks down for storage, and a non-slip ring and wide base keep bowl steady on countertop.
- Elegant, clear bowl is perfect for serving, and the basket can be used separately as a colander.
- Clear, flat lid allows for convenient stacking when not in use, disassembles for easy cleaning, and parts are top-rack dishwasher safe and BPA Free.
- Capacity 6.22 qt bowl, 4.95 qt basket, Dimensions 10.5” x 10.5” x 6”.
- Recommended by America’s Test Kitchen.
Or even this one:
Gourmia GSA9240 Jumbo Salad Spinner Manual Lettuce Dryer With Crank Handle & Locking Lid, Durable BPA free food safe material
- FAST SALAD DRYER – Home Food Preparation Device Quickly Dries Your Freshly Washed Lettuce, Spinach, Cabbage, Vegetables, Fruits & Other Salad Ingredients.
- EASY MANUAL OPERATION – Convenient Crank Style Rotary Handle Lets You Turn Spinner Basket; Comfortably Designed for Both Right & Left Handed Users.
- EXTRA LARGE BOWL – Device Features Clear Multipurpose Container for Spinning, Tossing & Serving Salad; Basin is Comprised of Dishwasher Safe BPA Free Material.
- SUPER SAFE & EFFICIENT – Ergonomic Design Includes Non-Skid Base for Stability, Durable Heavy Duty Parts & Lockable Lid to Keep Ingredients from Spilling.
- BUILT-IN DRAIN – Unique Cover Incorporates a Helpful Spout for Filling or Draining Liquid from the Bowl; Gadget Boasts Bold Green Color for Your Modern Kitchen.
What If I Don’t Own A Salad Spinner?
If you don’t own a salad spinner, the other method is to drain the leaves in a colander, shaking them around really well so that you get rid of most of the water.
Next spread the leaves over a clean tea towel and cover them with a second tea towel and dry them as you might a newborn baby – very carefully. After gingerly patting them dry, roll up the tea towels with the leaves between them. As you can see this method is far more time consuming than just using a handy salad spinner like the ones above.
How To Clean Salad Leaves
Fill a clean sink with cold water and then add the leaves and swoosh them around. Leave for a moment to let any bits settle on the bottom.
Don’t soak the leaves for too long or they will absorb water.
If you get the leaves straight from the garden dissolve lots of course salt in the water to kill any bugs and shake the leaves well. While submerged dislodge dirt, scoop the leaves out and drain in a colander.
Add the leaves to your salad spinner and give it a whirl. Doing this in small batches works best. Between the spins empty out the water that you see it collecting in the base. Spin again to make sure all the water is out.
If you are not making the salad right away, store the leaves in tea towels on the lowest shelf of the fridge until you are ready to use them. This shouldn’t be longer than three to four hours tops.
Dressing a salad
Believe it or not, the rinse, spin and dry process is what makes or breaks your salad. All successful salads come down to how you treat your leaves.
The salad leaves are the carriers for the dressing, but to do this they need to be clean and bone dry, otherwise the droplets of water will dilute the dressing and prevent it from clinging to the leaves.
Leaves need to be crisp, perky, and free of any damage caused by manhandling and age. This is why you should choose whole heads of lettuce over pre-packaged lettuce, as it is a fresher place to start.
From the moment the leaves come into contact with the dressing, they start to become limp and eventually turn into seaweed. Only dress your salad minutes before serving.
Unroll the leaves from the tea towels and tear up any large leaves dropping them into the bowl as you go. Add the dressing a little at a time then toss and check whether it’s right. Don’t be stingy but don’t drown them either. Each leaf should glisten with a thin film of dressing without there being a puddle at the bottom of the bowl.
Sprinkle the leaves with sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper when dressing the salad. Taste a leaf after your first toss and add more until it tastes right.
The best leaves for a salad include sweet rocket, wild rocket, butter lettuce, baby gem lettuce, iceberg lettuce and romaine lettuce.