Never eat a boring salad again! There really is no reason to. The key to a great salad is the dressing! Fresh organic veggies are wonderful but if you have a ho-hum dressing or a bottled one with preservatives all you notice is the sad dressing and not the fabulous vegetables. Shake it up a bit and let your creative juices flow when you make your next salad. Try a new vegetable or fruit and give that salad some pizzazz! Express yourself!
Another secret to a great salad is: Handle the leaves gently when washing them and dry well with a salad spinner or shake gently in a clean kitchen towel. If the greens are wet the dressing won’t cling to the leaves and the water will dilute the dressing. If you wanted water in your salad dressing it would be in the ingredient list!
Lastly, the sin of all salad sins: Over-dressing the salad! One of my pet peeves in restaurants is a salad smothered in dressing! It wilts the leaves and you lose the fantastic flavors of the rest of the ingredients in your salad. As in life, so it goes for salads: balance is important. If you are going to dress the salad for your guests, (usually an oil and vinegar based dressing) then place a small amount in the bottom of the salad bowl, add the salad and gently toss to coat the leaves. If the dressing is a creamy style, then generally speaking, serve the dressing on the side. Remember it’s a salad, not soup, don’t drown it!
For this particular salad I like to serve the dressing on the side and let my guests drizzle any amount they want on their salad. This is probably the salad I serve the most at my house because it’s simple, it goes with so many entrees and it lends itself so well to some of my favorite flavors, Mexican! One of my favorite go to salads! I hope you enjoy!
Mixed Green Salad
Prepare all of the salad ingredients using the amount of each according to how many you are going to serve and what level of salad lovers they are. When making a salad think of the vegetables or fruits that compliment each and contrast each other. Jicama is sweet and crunchy and avocado is creamy and smooth.
Wash the greens and give them a whirl in the salad spinner to dry off the leaves. Simply mind blowing how much water comes off those leaves! That is the same water that will dilute your beautiful salad dressing and make the salad a runny mess. Spin it! It only takes a minute and the results are amazing!
Spectacular colors of nature! The crunch of the different textures and the thrill of the vibrant colors and fun shapes will entice anyone to dig into the salad first! Chill salad until ready to serve. Salad can be made several hours ahead, just don’t add any dressing to the salad. Serve the dressing on the side.
Creamy Chipotle Lime Dressing
What you get is kind of a ranch dressing feel kicked up with chipotle and lime. Zippy and creamy!
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir well with a whisk. Start with a 1/4 teaspoon of chipotle powder to get the heat level you like. You can always add more but it’s impossible to take away! Keep in mind any dressing on it’s own will seem more dynamic than when you pair it with the salad. The salad will tone it down so don’t be too shy with the spices.
It’s creamy and tart with a hint of spice. The perfect dressing over crisp greens when you are serving dinner with a Mexican flair! Make ahead one hour so the flavors have time to meld. Chill until ready to use.
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- 1/2 teaspoon grated Mexican lime zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh Mexican lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt free seasoning ( like Trader Joe's 21 Salute)
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- Mixed greens (romaine, spinach, baby kale or chard)
- Jicama, peeled and julienned
- Carrot, shredded
- Green onions, green and white parts thinly sliced
- Grape tomatoes, quartered
- Avocado, cubed
- Radishes, trimmed and sliced
- Cilantro, chopped
- Dressing: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir well with a whisk. Start with a 1/4 teaspoon of chipotle powder to get the heat level you like. You can always add more but it's impossible to take away! Keep in mind any dressing on it's own will seem more dynamic than when you pair it with the salad. The salad will tone it down so don't be too shy with the spices.
- Make ahead one hour so the flavors have time to meld. Chill until ready to use.
- Mixed Green Salad: Prepare all of the salad ingredients using the amount of each according to how many you are going to serve and what level of salad lovers they are.
- Wash and give the greens a whirl in the salad spinner to dry off the leaves.
- Chill salad until ready to serve. Salad can be made several hours ahead, just don't add any dressing to the salad. Serve the dressing on the side.