We all know we should be eating salads at least occasionally... and if you're going to make them, you might as well make them right! To start off, using crisp local lettuce is always a first step in the right direction. After that, just make sure to include things you actually like! Keep on reading for a few of our favorite ways to keep salads interesting. They may just become your new favorite food!
1. ADD TOASTED NUTS
Pecans, sliced almonds, pine nuts, any nut! We're nuts for nuts—toasted nuts, that is. And it's so easy. Simply heat a dry pan over medium heat, add your nuts, and—this is important—watch them! Stir them around for a couple minutes until they become fragrant, but don't leave them unattended. After you begin smelling them, they'll start burning fast, so make sure to remove them from heat shortly thereafter.
2. TRY SOMETHING SWEET
This is where fruit comes in. Dried or fresh, it'll do the trick! Dried blueberries and apricots are fan-favorites, but fresh oranges, peaches, strawberries (depending on the season) will also add a special little hint of sweetness.
Not feeling fruit? We love adding caramelized onions to salads. Slice a white or yellow onion into thin rings, heat a pan over low, add about 2 Tbsp butter and the onion, then let slow cook for about 15 min. Add a pinch of sugar after about 5 min, and stir them only sparingly!
3. ROAST YOUR VEGGIES
This is a really great way to bulk up your salad and incorporate new flavors! Roasted butternut squash, sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, and even crispy okra in the summertime are options. (Just please make sure to season your veggies for roasting!) Or, go a little wild and oven-fry slices of avocado.
4. ADD SOMETHING FANCY
5. FRESH HERBS ARE KEY
Yes they are! Depending on what kind of salad you're making, freshly chopped basil, cilantro, mint, and chives are all great options. You can mix fresh herbs in with your salad greens, or incorporate them into your dressing.
If your salad has an Asian taste profile, try basil and cilantro. Cilantro is also great for Mexican salad bowls. If your salad is packed with summer produce, mint could be the way to go. Chives are pretty versatile and could be added in just about anywhere.
At the end of the day, just keep experimenting until you figure out what you like! Some of your favorite salad toppings may be the most unexpected.