Salads are always better at a restaurant, right? Well, now that I work at one, I’ve picked up a few insider tips. Starting with…
1. Properly drying the greens. This first step is so important. We use an industrial-sized salad spinner (read: giant), and we don’t stop until the lettuce is COMPLETELY dry. Bonus: it’s usually my arm work out for the day.
2. Use a big bowl. This tip has been circling in the food blog world, and it’s true — the best salad starts in a big bowl, with plenty of room for tossing. We use stainless steel ones like this, even for prepping a single serving salad.
2. Toss till you drop. A really good salad has every piece lightly coated with dressing. We actually toss by hand (using gloves, of course), but at home, you could get away with doing this with clean hands.
3. Herbs make any salad instantly fancy. Try tearing up a few basil leaves on top, or sprinkle in mint, tarragon, or parsley. Even if it’s a simple green salad with vinaigrette, it’s so nice and unexpected to bite into a fresh herb.
4. Lastly, we season every salad that goes out with salt and pepper — lots of it.
P.S. My all-time favorite salad dressings:
And how to make your own croutons.
Photo by Gentyl & Hyers for Bon Appetit.