7 ways to jazz up your salads this summer

June 29 2018

It’s salad season; whether you’re into bowls filled with leaves or not, there’s no denying the appeal of salad dishes in the warmer months. They’re delicious, packed with vitamins and nutrition, and easy to put together.

People feel like they’re being good by ordering a salad too, rather than opting for a greasy burger or a starchy carb-packed sandwich.

The thing is, salads have essentially been around since the dawn of time, so how can you keep them fancy enough to make your customers excited about eating a bowl of green?

Switch up the lettuce

Lettuce is the bedrock of any traditional salad, but many choose iceberg by default and, as delicious as it is, that can be kind of boring.

There are various kinds of lettuce besides the very ‘vanilla’ iceberg, so inspire your customers by basing your salad on escarole, frisee, radicchio or mesclun.

Get fruity

Adding fruit to a salad isn’t something that many people think of doing, but fruit and veg are natural bedfellows; we should be pairing them up more often.

Peaches, plums, nectarines and cherries - even grapes (!) - can inject zing into an already refreshing salad. And that’s before you consider all the kinds of berries you could throw in too - blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries can elevate a salad and add genuine intrigue from customers.

Go nuts

The same approach can be adopted with nuts too. Leaf-heavy salads can lack crunch, but nuts address this in an instant, adding protein at the same time. Pistachios, hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts, almonds; trust your instincts and see what happens.

Doodle with noodles

Noodles can make your salads seem more filling without getting too heavy on the stomach. Mix in shreds of penne, spaghetti, rice noodles, ramen and soba noodles or, if you prefer a lighter option, veggie noodles.

Dress it up

Diners love to splash on dressing and while olive oil and vinegar are convenient, you could generate more interest by sticking a pot of your own concoction on the side.

Some of the examples we found online include Paleo Caesar Salad Dressing (from Rubies and Radishes), Dijon Vinaigrette Salad Dressing (suggested by Of Goats and Greens), and Zesty Ginger Dressing (Cavewoman Café).

Heat it up

Why do salads always have to be cold? Answer: they don’t, and topping leaves with warm elements can make a salad a lot more appealing.

Meats are a solid choice (chicken, duck and beef, for example) but things like sweet potato and meat alternatives can work too.

Tear it down

You know how a naked burrito is essentially a burrito spread out on a plate without the wrap? Adopt the idea by taking an established meal and basically deconstructing it. Add a selection of leaves, peppers and red onion and, hey presto, you have a cool new salad.