Looking for a Easy Weeknight Dinner?
Keeping dinner interesting, healthy and quick all week long, week after week can be challenging. Sometimes I just don’t want to stress about making something, I don’t want to go get that one ingredient I’m missing… I just don’t wanna! For nights like that, I think a nice dinner salad is the way to go!
Tips for Making a Great Salad Everytime!
Make Sure Your Salad Greens are 100% Dry
I think salad spinners are wonderful… but do that washing before you put your greens in the fridge. Wrap your washed lettuce in a paper towel and store. So when you are ready to make your dinner salad they are dry and ready to go. Washing your greens right before your make your salad will make your dinner salad a bit soggy no matter how much you spin those greens.
Season Your Greens
It is important in ALL your cooking to season every step of the way. There are several reasons for this, but the most important is flavor. When you season each step of the way you are adding layers of flavor to each ingredient. When you do this you will actually end up using LESS salt, because you are not trying to compensate for one under-seasoned ingredient. So step one of every single salad? Putting salt and pepper on your lettuce. Use a flaky sea salt or your favorite kosher salt (I always recommend Diamond Crystal). So, before you put any dressing on your dinner salad, season your lettuce with salt and pepper and toss. It does not have to be alot, just grab a pinch of salt and sprinkle it in. Then follow that up with a few grinds of a nice black pepper.
Make Your Own Dressing
Making salad dressing is soooooo easy. You don’t need special tools or ingredients. A simple dressing is just 1/3 acid, 2/3 oil and then you season it from there. You can make any dressing to suit your own preferences and tastes. You can use citrus or vinegar and you can use any oil you find delicious. There is an AMAZING flavor matrix in Samin Nosrat’s cookbook “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” that will help you match flavors if you aren’t exactly sure what to pair with what. I find homemade dressings have a cleaner flavor and are much healthier for you because they have none of the added chemicals and preservatives you almost always find in commercially made dressings. You will also use less salt because homecooks ALWAYS use less salt than food manufacturers. Don’t skimp of the fat though. You need it to really enhance the flavors of the salad.
Use the BIG Salad Bowl
A good dinner salad is really evenly dressed and that means tossing the salad in a really, really big bowl. You need lots of room in that bowl to toss that salad and get dressing all over every single leaf of lettuce. If you don’t have a big salad bowl, use your biggest mixing bowl… and use tongs or your hands to make sure you get best application of dressing on your dinner salad.
Season ALL Your Ingredients
Each element of your dinner salad should taste really good before you put it in your salad. If you are using roasted veggies, taste them and make sure they are well seasoned and yummy. Taste your proteins, make sure they taste really good on their own. Make sure each element is yummy and ready to eat before adding it to the dinner salad
Super Heavy Ingredients Go on Top
The last thing you want in a salad is to have all the good stuff fall to the bottom. You can just lay your heavy ingredients on top of your greens after you have dressed the salad to make sure you aren’t fishing for the good stuff at the bottom of the bowl. You can try layering your salad as well, Use a plate instead of a bowl and lay your dressed greens on a thin layer on the plate, place your other ingredients on top, maybe drizzle them with a little more dressing so you have a pretty presentation and your ingredients are all evenly dispersed.
Prepare Your Salad Ingredients
Make your Vinegartte
Assemble Your Salad