With the holidays fast approaching, family holiday dinner menus are being planned all over the country and the world. No holiday meal is complete without this basic, yet beautiful and delicious dish on the table. In this article, I will teach you how to make a beautiful and delicious tossed salad.
Start with the lettuce, of course. There are several types from which to choose. Iceberg, romaine, and radicchio are just a few different choices. You can save money and buy your favorite lettuce by the head. You can also opt for convenience and buy pre-washed bagged lettuce. The darker green the lettuce, the more nutritional value it has. No matter which type of lettuce you choose, make sure you wash it thoroughly, even if it is pre-washed. I usually start with romaine.
Thoroughly wash and prepare additional vegetables. Your choices here are almost limitless, depending on your tastes. Cucumbers are always a crowd favorite. You can serve the cucumber in a salad with or without the skin. You can also decorate the skin by dragging the tines of a fork down the cucumber lengthwise, all the way around the cucumber. Slice the cucumbers and add them to the salad.
I love to add tomatoes to my salads because they add so much color contrast against the green of the lettuce. There are several different types of tomatoes, and several ways in which they can be presented in a tossed salad. Grape and cherry tomatoes are both small enough to serve whole in a salad. They just need to be washed. Large tomatoes can be cut either into slices or wedges. Either is equally attractive in a salad. One thing to remember about sliced tomatoes is to add them last because they can wilt your salad. So if you are making your salad ahead of time, prepare the tomatoes as you normally would, but don’t add them to the salad until just before you serve it.
Some other vegetables that I like to add to my salads are green peppers, celery, carrot slices or shreds, radish slices and chopped green onions. The combination of vegetables that you choose is completely up to you. When I make a tossed salad, I select vegetables that both taste delicious and look beautiful together.
Choose your garnishes. Garnishes can make or break a salad. If you use garnishes, make sure they are tasty, and not something that your guests will just push to the sides of their plates. Almost everyone seems to like bacon bits. Real bacon bits are more popular than the fake ones. I love sunflower nuts in a salad, but they are somewhat high in fat content. You can use delicious roasted soy nuts as a low fat and high protein substitute for sunflower nuts. Croutons and crackers are also standard favorites.
Cheese is a must in a delicious tossed salad. I select my cheese based on the main course. For example, if I am serving lasagna, I use grated mozzarella and parmesan cheeses in my salad. For a traditional Thanksgiving meal, I usually use a finely shredded blend of cheddar and Colby jack cheeses. Make sure you do not put too much cheese in your salad. Like tomatoes, cheese can wilt the salad. I always like to have extra cheese available on the table, right next to extra dishes of all the garnishes. Place several different types of salad dressing on the table, too.
There are dozens of ways to make a delicious tossed salad. This is only one of those, and I almost never make the same salad twice. By following the above instructions and guidelines, your tossed salad should be a real crowd pleaser. Mine always are.