With our Berloumi, Labneh, viVie and Ricotta it is grateful to make all kinds of salads. On our recipes page you will find a lot of delicious salad recipes. If you want to get started yourself, you will find many salad tips for the tastiest salad below.
Reflect before you begin and contrast.
First, think carefully about what you want in your salad. What texture and shape do the ingredients have and in what shape will they end up in the salad. In a salad, not everything should be crispy and crunchy. On the contrary. Different textures make a salad more interesting. If the crispiness should come from a bread crust, make sure they have a different size and shape. In a salad, uniformity is not a good trait. Try to use sweet, sour as well as salty and bitter. In addition to something creamy, something crispy belongs. Just make sure everything sticks together a bit – see the bigger picture.
Know your seasons.
Perhaps the most logical of all these salad tips. Nowadays you can buy just about all vegetables all year round, but they are at their best and cheapest in the right period. Fresh is always important, but for ingredients that you use raw, fresh and quality is even more important. On the VELT website you can download a handy vegetable calendar .
Start with the dressing.
The basic ratio for a vinaigrette/dressing is 30% acid and 70% oil. But these proportions can be changed at any time. Use the aromatic oil of imposed olives, artichokes, dried tomatoes and others as oil in your vinaigrette. Don’t throw this away.
Also try different acid makers. All citrus fruits, unripe grapes, buttermilk, yogurt, the vinegar of imposed vegetables such as cucumber, peppers, onions, …
Although it is usually thought of last, it is sometimes better to pour the dressing into your salad bowl first. This helps to distribute the dressing nicely over the salad. Use a little less than what you think you need, you can sprinkle a little over the salad later. With a simple, quick salad, you may even be able to prepare the dressing in the salad bowl first. Buy such a professional squeeze bottle to shake, distribute and store your vinaigrette.
Emulsifying, emulsifying, emulsifying.
You can put a little oil and vinegar over your salad and call it a vinaigrette. But don’t be surprised that you end up floating in a bath of vinegar with a bunch of greasy leaves. Add an emulsifier to your vinaigrette to stabilize the oil/vinegar mixture and ensure that both oil and vinegar stick to the leaf. Mustard and/or an egg yolk are the most commonly used but also honey or a little mayonnaise can work.
Nerd alarm. Use 12% liquid soy lecithin on the amount of oil to keep the vinaigrette emulsified. Mix the lecithin with the oil first before slowly blending into the other ingredients. For a low-fat vinaigrette, replace a maximum of 50% of the oil with an aromatic, concentrated liquid that you first thicken with 0.2% xanthan gum.
Use something sweet as a counterweight to sour in your vinaigrette. Honey, sugar, ginger syrup, jelly … but do not exaggerate and above all, do not tell. Call it dry, and make it sweet is the slogan. Use a jam jar with a little bit in it to shake your vinaigrette. Everything in the jar and shaking. The pot is clean and you have no extra dishes.
Important: a heavy, mayonnaise-like dressing does not work with a small, vulnerable type of lettuce, but it does work with firm, larger types of lettuce. Not all ingredients should be mixed with the dressing.
Dry, dry, dry.
Most vegetables should not be washed and if you do, make sure they are well dry before they go into the salad. You don’t want extra water in the salad, most raw vegetables already contain enough water. And herbs? Certainly do not wash, unless there is sand hanging on it. If you still want to wash, use plenty of ice-cold water and dry, dry, dry. Wilted lettuce and herbs are often attractive again if you leave them in ice-cold water. Moist fruits or vegetables can first be salted and drained to concentrate the taste and change the texture. Or dry them in a dryer or a soft oven.
Use your hands.
The best of all salad tips. Use your hands! To mix ingredients and dressing. This only works in a salad bowl that is actually too large for the amount of salad, but it is the best method to mix often delicate ingredients well with each other.
There’s more lettuce than you think
As a base for your salad, don’t just use cabbage lettuce, mixed lettuce or iceberg lettuce. Baby spinach, Roman lettuce, finely chopped cabbages, mustard lettuce, … The flowers of most types of lettuce are also tasty. The flowers of arugula and mustard lettuce give a spicy accent. Edible flowers, although kitschy, are still attractive. In an ideal world you have your own vegetable garden where you can harvest all kinds of young shoots.
Also, use more than what we call lettuce. Cucumber and tomato are classics but also cabbage, finely chopped white celery, radishes, mushrooms, peas and beans, broccoli, shaved cauliflower, asparagus and beans can be blanched raw or short in the lettuce. Use raw onion, preferably a sweet onion, in your salad. Cut the onion into thin rings and soak them in water (or water with vinegar) for fifteen minutes to soften the taste and breath slightly.
We have written something about pasta salad before, but be sure to use cereals and grasses instead of pasta. Couscous, quinoa, oats, … Cook the grains until tender as stated on the box. Rinse them very briefly to remove the starch on the outside and let them evaporate while they are still warm and dry well. Coat them lightly with a little oil and they will not stick together. Some more potato salad tips. Let boiled, boiling potato cool completely and evaporate.
In addition to the classic ingredients, use dried fruits, apple sticks, seeds, croutons, shaved cauliflower, boiled beets, herbs such as chervil, tarragon and edible flowers … everything is possible
Or try adding panko or a coarse breadcrumb at the end. First roast a garlic clove in the oil where you want to bake the crusts.
Use nuts and seeds and roast them first in a dry pan. Pumpkin seeds, shaved almonds, hemp seeds, all seeds, …
Use herbs and seasonings abundantly.
If you use fresh herbs. And you should almost always do that. Then use them abundantly. A tabouleh salad with just a little bit of parsley is not a tabouleh.
Timing is everything.
Some ingredients can be prepared. For example, young potatoes become much tastier if you have let them cool completely. If you want to wash the lettuce in advance, store under a damp towel but do not mix with dressing yet. Especially with salads with a lot of leafy vegetables, you only mix in the dressing at the end. Salads with cereals and firm ingredients are better marinated in the dressing for a while. Cut, chop, tear or cut herbs over the salad only at the last minute, they quickly lose their aromatic qualities.
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