Tips for Creating A Unique Salad, Plus a Recipe!
I love salads during the hot summer months don’t you? You can literally throw whatever you have in the refrigerator or pantry together to create new ones. Read below as I share Tips for Creating A Unique Salad as well as my Arugula, Fresh Fruit, Buratta and Grilled Chicken Salad.
I especially enjoyed my Arugula salad (shown) I created, it was a satisfying meal. When it comes to the dressing though create your own. I always prefer making my own dressing so I know exactly what’s in it. This way I’m certain there aren’t any preservatives, and all my ingredients are fresh.
The classic combination for salad dressing is 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil. Mix together adding in some salt and pepper for taste. However, I always prefer to doctor that up a bit by adding honey and even Dijon mustard which helps to emulsify the dressing so it doesn’t separate. Plus it’s a bit heartier in flavor.
Let’s go further to explore all we can add.
In place of olive oil you can use any kind of oil you prefer or even add whole food ingredients:
- avocado oil or even puree part of an avocado for a creamier texture and flavor
- hazelnut oil
- orange oil
- herb oils
Adding different varieties lends an entirely new flavor to your dish.
The same holds true for the vinegar – ways you can change it up a bit would be to use:
- Balsamic vinegar or just simply a balsamic reduction drizzled over the top without the need of any oils at all
- champagne vinegar or other wine vinegar’s such as red wine & rice wine
- fruit vinegar’s or even fresh pureed fruits added in, such as strawberries, mangoes, etc. to add a sweeter and fuller taste
Additional ingredients to enhance your salad dressing might include:
- mustard – many varieties
- spices to remind us of the undertones of a salad – spices such as cumin, and cayenne
- variety of salts ranging from earth to sea, from one country to the next
- variety of peppercorns
Adding these isn’t necessary, but can oftentimes elevate a salad to be even better than you imagined it could be. That said, sometimes less is more! Meaning you don’t have to add a lot of ingredients for something to taste sensational. Simple is often the best choice.
Whether you’re creating a salad that has mostly veggies or one that has mostly fruit don’t forget to add cheese or nuts for that added flavor, crunch and/or creaminess. Adding grains is also ideal especially if you want your salad to be an entree. Grains such as farro, quinoa, and wheatberries, are hearty and nutrient dense.
My favorite cheeses to add are:
- Buratta (in this dish) What is it? Watch how it’s made!
- Fresh Mozzarella
- Parmesano Reggiano
- Ricotta Salata
- Goat Cheese
Favorite Nuts to embellish a salad are:
- Marcona Almonds
- Candied Pecans
- Pine Nuts
I actually didn’t add any nuts to my Arugula, Fresh Fruit, Buratta & Grilled Chicken Salad. Instead I kept it simple using a nice drizzle of balsamic reduction, just enough, adding that sweet and savory element.
If you love salads like I do, try jotting down all the creations you can come up with. Don’t forget to change up the greens. Remember if it’s bright or dark green, it’s better for you. Think of using:
- Leaf Lettuce
To check out which ones are highest in nutrition read this Huffington Post article.
Now that you hopefully have some new ideas, what kind of salad will you come up with? Please share it by posting a photo and blurb on my Instagram at #vickibensinger.
Arugula, Fresh Fruit, Burrata and Grilled Chicken Salad
- 2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, split
- salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1 (5 oz.) container Arugula, rinsed
- 1 small container raspberries, rinsed
- 1 small container blueberries, rinsed
- 1 mango, sliced (How to Cut a Mango)
- 1 container Buratta cheese, divided
- Dressing of choice I jused Balsamic Reduction
- Preheat grill. Lightly oil chicken breasts and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Place on grill at medium heat. Grill approximately 4 minutes per side. Remove and allow to cool, then slice into strips.
- On a large platter or bowl combine, arugula, raspberries, blueberries, mango and buratta cheese.
- Add grilled chicken strips and drizzle lightly with dressing of choice or balsamic reduction.
- If desired add in any additional toppings to suit your taste.
Hungry for more? Savor these!