Salads Tips

Read these 21 Salads Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Gourmet tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How do I make spinach Salad?

Spinach Salad with Blue Cheese

A wonderful salad at a festive meal or serve with warm buns for a light luncheon.

6 - 8 cups baby spinach
1 red apple, chopped
1 green apple, chopped
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss. Combine
dressing ingredients in a cruet and shake well. Pour dressing
over salad just before serving and toss.

   
How do I make pasta salad?

Antipasto Pasta Salad

This recipe is scaled to serve 24, you can cut in half or thirds as needed.

Antipasto Pasta Salad

3 pounds Penne, uncooked
36 ounces roasted red peppers, rinsed and julienned
36 ounces marinated artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
3 cups muenster cheese, cubed
3 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups red onion, chopped
1 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 cups Italian Salad dressing
Freshly ground black pepper
3 jars pepperoncini peppers, sliced *optional

Prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, combine pepper strips, artichoke hearts, cheese, mushrooms, onion and basil in a large bowl. Drain pasta; rinse with cold water.

Drain well and add pasta and dressing to bowl; toss well. Cover; refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and sliced pepperoncini peppers before serving, if desired.

   
salad recipe

Spinach & Mushroom Salad

This Spinach salad has a wonderful creamy dressing that is one of my favorites.

7 ounces fresh spinach, washed & chopped
3 ounces lettuce, washed & chopped
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 large eggs, hard-boiled & chopped
6 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon dried chives
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 Tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Toss spinach, mushrooms, chopped egg, and crumbled bacon.

Whisk remaining ingredients together. Toss with vegetables to coat spinach.

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and toss well. Re-season with salt and pepper as needed.

   
How do I cook fresh corn?

Corn Salad

Add freshly chopped herbs of your choice to this versatile corn salad.

2 1/2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
2 tablespoons minced green bell pepper
1 tablespoon minced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped chives
3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar (or cider)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon paprika

Toss corn, cucumber, peppers and chives gently together in a bowl.

Mix vinegar, oil, salt, pepper and paprika together and whisk vigorously. Pour the vinegar mixture over the corn mixture and toss to mix.

Serve on top of a green salad, or roll up in lettuce leaves for an excellent buffet item.

   
salad recipe

Greek Salad with Feta Cheese

This flavorful Greek salad is excellent served with homemade Hummus and warm pita bread.

1/2 small green bell pepper, chopped 1/4 seedless cucumber, chopped
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 1/3 cup Kalamata olives
1/2 head lettuce, torn
***Dressing***
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, pressed
4 ounces feta, crumbled

Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a bowl.

Toss together all ingredients except feta, toss with dressing and adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Sprinkle crumbled feta on top of salad and serve.

   
How do I make Poppy Seed Dressing?

Poppy Seed Dressing

Make this slightly sweet dressing and keep it on hand in
the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

If you wish, you can substitute fresh lemon juice for the vinegar
for a citrus flavored dressing.

Poppy Seed Dressing

1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons grated onion
2/3 cup vinegar
2 cups olive oil
3 tablespoons poppy seeds

Mix sugar, salt, dry mustard, onion, and vinegar. Add oil gradually, and continue beating until thick. Stir in poppy seeds.

   
I need a baked chevre salad recipe

Salad with Baked Chevre

Your guests will be impressed when you present this restaurant quality salad from your own home kitchen. It's easy to make and tastes wonderful.

Baked Chevre with Pesto Vinaigrette

1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, packed
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup pinenuts, toasted
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound chevre, sliced
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs

Chop basil, parsley and chives finely by hand or in a food processor. Add garlic and pine nuts. Combine briefly.

Blend in balsamic vinegar and oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut cheese into rounds 1 inch thick. Pat crumbs on both sides and place on a baking sheet brushed with olive oil or on parchment paper.

Just before serving bake cheese in a preheated 400 degree oven for 3-5 minutes until it just begins to melt. Watch cheese closely or it will be a melted mess !

Transfer the hot cheese rounds to serving dish in a single layer and spoon pesto around. Serve with bread or crackers. This is also delicious served as a topping for a mixed green salad.

   
Salad Dressing

Avocado Dressing

Try this salad dressing with an assortment of salad greens, sliced cucumber and fresh tomato slices.

1 ripe avocado, peeled and mashed
3/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Combine first 7 ingredients in a mixing bowl; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.

Add oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until blended.

Cover and chill at least 3 hours.

   
Need a main dish salad recipe

Avocado, Artichoke & Shrimp Salad

This is a fabulous salad. The combination of three wonderful
ingredients with a tangy homemade dressing. The crunch of the
croutons make for a nice contrast.

Avocado, Artichoke & Shrimp Salad

2 heads leaf lettuce, chopped
14 ounces canned artichoke hearts, quartered
1 avocado, chopped
8 ounces cooked shrimp
Dressing
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon, or fresh
salt and pepper, to taste
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup sourdough croutons

Whisk together dressing ingredients.

Toss with salad ingredients in a large bowl.

Top with croutons and serve.

   
How do I make a cream salad dressing?

Creamy Garlic Dressing

After making a batch of this delicious dressing, you may never buy bottled again.

1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons chives, chopped

In a small bowl, combine oil, sour cream, heavy cream, vinegar, salt, pepper, dry mustard, garlic and chives until smooth.

Chill. Serve over salad greens. Refrigerate leftovers in a covered container for 3-4 days.

   
How do I make spinach salad?

Spinach & Mushroom Salad

This is one of our favorite summer salad recipes. Simply add
warm bread, some roasted veggies or a bowl of cool soup for
a wonderful meal.

Spinach and Mushroom Salad

7 ounces fresh spinach, washed & chopped
3 ounces lettuce, washed & chopped
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 large eggs, hard-boiled & chopped
6 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon dried chives
OR
2 Tablespoons fresh, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Toss spinach, mushrooms, chopped egg, and crumbled bacon.

Whisk remaining ingredients, except parmesan cheese together. Toss with spinach and lettuce to coat.

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and toss well. Re-season with salt and pepper as needed.

I find that baby spinach greens are most tender, but regular will do, although
I do recommend removing the thick stems

   
Salad Dressing

Dilly Dressing

This recipe for Dilly Dressing yields 1 1/3 cups. It will keep for 3-5 days in the refrigerator.

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons Dilly Dressing mix
1/2 cup milk

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise
and milk. Add the Dilly Dressing mix, and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

   
How do I make a vinaigrette?

Basic Vinaigrette

The basic ratio to make a classic vinaigrette is 3 parts
"acid" to one part oil. See the salad dressing tips for
great recipes.

   
How do I grill vegetables?

BBQ Coleslaw

What's a BBQ without coleslaw? Try this unique version.

GRILLED VEGETABLE SLAW

1 medium eggplant, sliced 1/4-inch
1 large zucchini, sliced lengthwise, 1/4-inch
1 large red onion, sliced 1/4-inch
1 large carrot, peeled, sliced lengthwise, 1/4-inch
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
Salt and black pepper to taste

In a large bowl, toss all of the vegetables with the olive oil and season.

Place the vegetables on a hot, oiled grill and mark/cook the vegetables all the way through.

Slice the vegetables on an angle into 1/4-inch strips. Toss the vegetables with the juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.

   
How do I make Cobb Salad?

Cobb Salad with a Twist

This recipe will serve 4 as an appetizer or 2 as a main course for lunch. Warmed sourdough bread is an excellent way to round
out the meal.

Shrimp Cobb Salad

8 cups mixed salad greens
2 tablespoons snipped fresh watercress
3 tablespoons honey Dijon dressing
1/2 cup peeled shrimp
2 Tablespoons blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 cup green bell pepper, julienned
1/3 cup carrot, shredded
1/4 cup green onion, cut in 1" slices
1 whole hard boiled egg, sliced
fresh parmesan cheese, grated

Combine salad greens, watercress and dressing in large mixing bowl. Toss to coat.

Arrange salad evenly on serving plates or in salad bowls.

Arrange remaining ingredients, except Parmesan cheese, evenly in separate
groups on top of salad greens.

Sprinkle Parmesan cheese evenly over salads. Serve immediately.

   
Salad Dressing

Lemon Dill Dressing

This dressing has a Middle Eastern flavor to it. It would be an excellent choice for a salad when serving
something like Falafels.

Lemon Dill Dressing

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh dill weed, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dill seed, optional

Beat all ingredients together until well blended.
Toss with salad of your choice.

This recipe makes enough dressing for approximately 8 people.

   
How do I fix my salad dressing?

Ooops it's too oily!

Add water or stock to a dressing that seems to be too oily.
It will alter the ratio of the acid to oil, so you may need
to adjust the seasoning.

   
Main dish salad

Tortellini Salad

This main dish Tortellini Salad will serve 4 people. Add sliced cucumbers, tomatoes and some french bread for a complete meal.

14 oz. cheese tortellini
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/3 cup red and green peppers, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
8 oz. frozen peas, thawed
4 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup fresh broccoli florets, steamed
1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 can sliced ripe olives
1/3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
shredded lettuce
cherry tomatoes, halved
fresh parmesan, shredded
Dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
OR pinch basil
1/4 fresh dill, chopped
OR pinch dill
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste

Cook tortellini according to package directions.

Meanwhile, combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl; whisk together; set aside.

Drain tortellini; rinse with cold water and set aside to drain well. In a large bowl, combine celery, peppers, carrot, peas, green onions, broccoli, Cheddar cheese, olives and walnuts.

Add drained tortellini. Toss to mix. Add dressing to the tortellini mixture and mix until everything is coated. Refrigerate several hours.

To serve, put a bed of shredded lettuce on individual plates. Top lettuce with salad mixture and garnish with cherry tomatoes, shredded Parmesan cheese and herb sprigs.

   
Storing salad dressing

Storing Dressings

Store homemade salad dressing in plastic squeeze bottles in the refrigerator.

The bottles are drip free and easy to use.

   
How do I fix my salad dressing?

Ooops it's to tart!

If you've somehow added to much acid to your salad dressing
you can easily repair it. You can add a teaspoon of mustard,
a sprinkle of sugar or some additional salt to help
fix the balance.

   
Cucumber

Dilly Cucumber Salad

This Cucumber Dill salad reminds me of a dish my Great Grandmother made frequently. It's got a wonderful fresh, sweet and sour taste combination.

1 large English cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup sour cream

In a small, non-reactive bowl combine vinegar, water, sugar, dill and oil. Whisk to combine.

Add sliced cucumber and onion to vinegar mixture; toss to coat.

Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

You can serve this salad as is or drain off the vinegar marinade and toss cucumbers with sour cream.

Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

   
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