Learn the Ultimate Salad Formula
For each of these recipes, start with a 5-oz container of prewashed mesclun greens (about 8 cups). Makes enough for 4 servings as a side.
Add to your greens:1 cup pitted, coarsely chopped dates (about 6); ¾ cup pecan halves, toasted and chopped.
Make the balsamic vinaigrette:Place 2 Tbsp finely chopped shallot, 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl; let stand 10 minutes. Stir in ½ tsp Dijon mustard until smooth. Slowly pour 6 Tbsp olive oil into bowl, whisking constantly with a fork until blended.
To serve:Toss salad with vinaigrette; top with 2 oz aged Gouda cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler.
Add to your greens:1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves; 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed, halved, and thinly sliced; ⅓ cup shelled, toasted pistachios.
Make the white wine vinaigrette:Place 1 Tbsp finely chopped shallot, 2 tspeachhoney and white wine vinegar, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl; let stand 10 minutes. Slowly pour 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil into bowl, whisking constantly with a fork until blended.
To serve:Toss salad with vinaigrette; top with 2 oz finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese.
Add to your greens:½ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves; 1 peeled, diced mango; ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced; ½ cup honey-roasted peanuts.
Make the dressing:Combine 1 Tbsp grated lime zest and 2 Tbsp lime juice with 2 tsp soy sauce and 1 tsp maple syrup in a small bowl. Slowly pour 2 Tbsp canola oil into bowl, whisking constantly with a fork until blended. Add a pinch of cayenne to taste.
To serve:Toss salad with dressing; top with 4 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled.
Video: 10 ESSENTIAL TIPS TO MAKE A GREAT SALAD
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