A well-made salad is a joyful celebration of seasonality; fresh ingredients tossed or drizzled with a dressing, acting either as a contrasting accompaniment to a meal, or as the main event itself. And while a simple bowl of crisp lettuce dressed with a mix of vinegar, olive oil and a little salt still constitutes a salad, we embrace any opportunity to add a little texture, flavour and even colour to our meal. Whether by adding a few contrasting ingredients, mixing up the seasoning or spiking the dressing, these are our top ten ways to enliven a salad...
- Add seasoning, umami and flavour by tossing flavour bombs like capers, preserved lemon, anchovy fillets, olives or shaved parmesan through your salad
- Experiment with different oils and acids when making your dressing: hazelnut oil and champagne vinegar, walnut oil and craft beer vinegar, or pomegranate molasses and blood orange agrumato...
- Bring a little crunch by toasting croutons in quality extra virgin olive oil with a little garlic or some anchovies
- Mix-up your seasoning by replacing the cracked black pepper with briny green peppercorns (remarkable with a hit of fresh mango), smoked penja pepper or even Szechuan peppercorns (great with a potato salad)
- Add a pickled element for crunch and acidity, like caperberries, pickled onions or cornichons
- Warm things up with a sprinkling of Aleppo pepper, a drizzle of rose harissa or a by adding a touch of Korean gochujang paste or hot English mustard to the dressing
- Introduce colour, vibrancy and some surprising tartness by tossing dried cranberries, dried cherries or barberries through your salad
- Making a Caesar salad? Add a few splashes of Australian-made garum to the dressing for an extra anchovy/umami hit
- Sweeten the deal with some slow-roasted balsamic onions, a drizzle of Tasmanian honey, or handful of spiced baby figs
- Add some body, texture and flavour to your lunch salad with a scattering of de puy lentils, chickpeas, or creamy alubia blanca beans
Find everything you need to make your next salad a show-stopper at The Essential Ingredient. Visit us in-store or buy online for delivery to anywhere in Australia.