5 Steps to Better Salads

If I were a supehero...

I would be Salad Girl. 

I know it doesn't sound like the most impressive superpower, but let me explain.

We all want that one reliable side dish we can whip up at a moment’s notice, right? And it doesn’t get much more reliable than a quick salad.

Making a well-balanced, eye-catching, star-of-the-table kind of salad is not quite as simple as the Ina Garten’s of the world make it look.  

Maybe you’re not sure which ingredients pair well with which cheese. Or maybe you’re not entirely clear on which dressing will work best with the combination.

Either way, there’s something standing in the way of you and the art of salad creation.

But I can help.

Fun fact: I’ve been making salads since I was a kid and Barbie dolls were my only customers.

I’ve been called Salad Girl around the kitchen more times than I can count, and it’s because I’ve spent years perfecting the precise blends of flavors, textures, and dressings that make certain salads just work.

So today, I’m sharing my superpower with you.

First things first: pick three or four recipes you plan to perfect. Pro tip: many salad add-on’s keep phenomenally well in the freezer, so you can buy in bulk and always have the necessary ingredients on hand.

Case in point: I stock up on dried cranberries, candied nuts, and goat cheese and keep them at the ready in my freezer.

Next, invest in a dressing that goes with well with most salad combos. My personal preference?

My personal preference? Our signature WBV. It goes with everything and once you’ve tried it, you’ll never go back.

And lastly, put a few gold-standard salad tips to good use. 

Here are my top 5:

1. If you're making a salad for a group, use a separate bowl to toss your greens. 

2. LAYER the Goodies

To get the perfect balance of greens and goodies, approach it in layers. Spread a small portion of your greens on the bottom of the bowl and top with any add-on's (nuts, berries, cheese, etc.), and a little salad dressing. Then repeat. 

3. Toss spring mix right before serving

Spring Mix, in particular, does not hold up well for long. If you're using it as a salad base, make sure to toss right before serving. 

To add a little longevity, you can add some chopped romaine to the mix. I like a ratio of 1/2 romaine to 2/3 Spring mix. 

4. If you're using apples, toss with dressing first

Apples pair well with a variety of salads but have the nasty habit of turning brown if left out too long. 

Good news is, this can be avoided entirely by simply tossing your cut apples with a little bit of salad dressing beforehand. That way, you won't be faced with deciding whether to cut them right before serving or leave them off entirely. 

Slice apples and coat with dressing

5. Use gloves

I like to use (kitchen-approved) gloves and toss the salad with dressing by hand, to ensure every leaf is coated but not overdressed.

Those are my top 5 tried and true tips. Did I miss any? 

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