Style Expert

Just-Picked Garden Salad

Making a salad is simple, right? Well, I’ve had my share of really bad salads. I think of making a salad as an art form. Like everything involved with food, having fresh ingredients is the key.

I’m fortunate that I have a good-size garden from which to pick my salad ingredients. You can also make a salad garden as easy as 1, 2, 3. Just look at my Caprese Salad video. It really just involves a few good-size pots, some great soil, and a few key plants. Picking fresh salad fixings is the first step in a perfect garden salad.

One of the most important parts of a salad is the dressing. I like to lightly dress my salad with more acid than oil (this is key). This means cut down on the oil in your salad dressing recipes and pump up the lemon or vinegar.

When making the perfect garden salad, chop or slice all the vegetables. I always like onion, tomato, cucumber, and fresh herbs like basil, thyme, and dill. Put them at the bottom of your salad bowl and then add salt, pepper, and dressing. I like to dress the vegetables and herbs first. Finally, add the mixed lettuce to the dressed vegetables. Toss and serve.

Dressing the vegetables first was a tip given to me by a chef I worked with many years ago. I use it all the time and have passed it along to family, friends, and other chefs over the years. It’s a no-fail salad tip.

Get out in your garden, plant a few key vegetables, and make wonderful combinations. You’ll enjoy the fruits of your labor all summer long.

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