Summer Salads: 10 Practical Tips

Aug 2, 2011
Veronica Brandy

How to succeed with your summer salads? What are good ingredients to give a try? What errors you need to avoid? What is the seasoning to use? Here are our summer tips for colorfull and tasty salads.

1)      Vary the salad!

To succeed in your summer salads throughout the season, consider first a pleasant change. Thus, there are different kinds of salads which you can enjoy adding in your compositions. You just have to tweak the rest of your food to the type of salad chosen. Do you like the delicate flavors? Lean for baby spinach. You prefer to combine fresh, crisp and smooth? Turn then to the lettuce. You are more adept of elegant salad – tastly said? In this case use of escarole or arugula.

2)      Be inventive

Then, the compositions can be broken at will.

It’s all about imagination! It’s up to you to mix the flavors: fresh, cooked, or raw to taste. A rule ; however, is to visualize the perfect presentation: Make sure the perfect freshness of ingredients, as a salad is a matter of aesthetics.

We eat what is appealing to the eye, and pretty summer colors make you want to sample a salad. Use the products with the most beautiful, vibrant colors. You must then know how to handle the volumes and colors for maximum visual effect.

You can find inspiration in magazines or websites: don’t focus on recipes by itself, but on the visual appeal instead. Study the color harmonies and compositions.

3)      How to start?

If you do not know how to make a nice salad, or which item to start with, here’s a method. Start with beautiful leaves to make the base. To do this, you can mix the greens at will, for contrasts of textures and colors, play with the round and jagged …

Then add the color on the leafy bed: it’s time to incorporate vegetables. In summer, think of peppers, cocos de Paimpol, tomatoes (indeed even more refined with detailed cherry tomatoes), green beans, beets, zucchini … Let your wishes and the seasons imagary flow.

4)      Contrast

To this, add elements of contrast: sweet and sour, for example. Thus, August is a good time to use raspberries, apricots, figs, strawberries, melons, grapefruit, peaches or apple …
Alliances can also be in the crisp-based, hot or cold. For example, a slice of toasted country bread topped with warm goat cheese on a bed of lettuce with some tomatoes. You can link to your salad items such as toasted pine nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts chips …

Finally, remember that you can build a good salad from two main elements of which the mixes are recognized: ham and melon, or tomato and mozzarella, for example.

5)      Avoid

Some mixes are generally avoided as they repeat the same element. Do not mix such as surimi and shrimp in the same salad, or gizzards and foie gras. Just choose one of them. Finally, avoid mixing meat and fish.

6)      A salad, a meal

If you want to make your meal, opt for a salad. Ideally, a good balance, it will then contain the following: vegetables, meat or fish or eggs, cheese and starchy foods. Consider also the best pasta salads, rice salads, tabbouleh too …

7)      Season!

The seasoning is of course an element not to be overlooked because it can also determine the success of the salad. A sauce too strong in taste mask the effect of the products.
However, it has just the stress. Also, use herbs and spices that give a scent to your salads. Thus, it is known that cumin goes well with carrots, for example. To achieve a high seasoning, better understand the characteristics of products that we use, including those of the oil and vinegar.

8)      Which oil to choose?

Best suited to salads, it is often olive oil. Choose the “extra virgin” and obtained “by the first cold pressing”. It is deliciously scented.
This is not the case of corn oil, which will give a neutral taste and seasoning will appear above the natural flavors of the products. It has practically no flavor.
Sunflower oil is also quite neutral and suitable for all salads. On the contrary, sesame oil has a slightly spicy taste, you use primarily to give an exotic touch to salads.
Know that you can mix different types of oils together, according to your preference.

Walnut oil is very fragrant, and communicates its nutty flavor to foods. We can also use it only on a salad to accompany cheese (vinegar is unnecessary). Hazelnut oil gives it a nutty flavor and is quite refined toasted. And for a taste of great finesse, choose almond oil, which has a small note of toasted hazelnut butter. Peanut oil, finally, is amazing with its taste of roasted peanuts, and is used great on salads in general.

9)      How to use vinegar?

There is also a wide choice of vinegar. Wine vinegar is the most classic. It is used with delicate salads (lettuce) or a little bland. The white wine vinegar is best for compositions based on escarole, romaine and chicory. But you can also use the sweet taste of balsamic vinegar or sherry vinegar, very aromatic. It is used particularly with the walnut oil in shellfish salads.

For a bouquet of aromas and a vinegar character, go for the Banyuls vinegar, very typical, thin and strong. Used on a salad that includes tomatoes, ham, and the elements a little more crisp as pine nuts and parmesan shavings, it is perfect. Apple cider vinegar is much less acidic than wine vinegar. Use for a note of sweetness.

10)      The final touch

 

After the bed made of green, the color features and the two key nutrients added, the seasoning made, you get a nice salad.You can then experiment an aesthetic way, with siding with an half slice of a watermelon for example, originality, or a combination of horizontal and vertical elements.

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