When it comes to building the perfect salad there are four components that will take your salads from boring to spectacular.
Building the perfect dinner salad isn’t hard to do. There are no rules to making a good dinner salad, but there are some key elements every good dinner salad should contain.
After you’ve got those ingredients the sky’s the limit and using what you have on hand adds variety each time you make your Perfect Dinner Salad.
Being a chef and the grocery shopper does have it’s advantages. I get to pick up items that I know I’m going to use in dishes, but some items I pick up simply because they look good or I want them.
The important thing to remember when you buy produce is to keep it in sight, not buried in your vegetable crisper. Throwing out produce because it spoiled makes me very sad.
But making delicious and healthy salads using a variety of ingredients not only keeps your spoilage at home to a minimum, and it makes for interesting and delicious meals.
How many times have you heard someone tell you “I don’t like salads”? For the most part that’s because the only salad they’ve ever been served is a lifeless hunk of iceberg with a few other sad ingredients, doused in salad dressing.
What do I need to make the perfect dinner salad?
After purchasing all of my ingredients its time to start building the perfect dinner salad. As a chef, I got into the habit of building my mise en place (everything in its place)
As a chef, I got into the habit of building my mise en place (everything in its place) whenever I have to make a dish, even a salad. You’d be amazed at the ideas that come to you as you gather your ingredients. Often times you’ll end up adding items you
You’d be amazed at the ideas that come to you as you gather your ingredients. Often times you’ll end up adding items you would never have thought of including as you go through the process of prepping your ingredients.
How can I prepare the Chicken for my Dinner Salad?
Grilled chicken is one of my favorite additions to a dinner salad but when you want to change things up try these on your salad.
- Blackened Chicken
- Teriyaki Chicken (grilled or oven)
- Buffalo Chicken (breaded or unbreaded)
- Lemon Pepper Chicken
- Fried Chicken
Can I use Seafood In my Dinner Salad?
You sure can. Adding seafood to your salad really kicks it up a few notches.
Here are some of my favorite seafood additions to a dinner salad.
- Salmon (grilled or blackened)
- Tuna (grilled or pan-seared)
What types of cheese can I use in my Salad?
I love a flavorful cheese in my salads, but the key to enjoying eating what you prepare is using the ingredients you like. So if you like milder cheese go with what you like, it’s your salad.
My choices are:
- Bleu Cheese
- Goat Cheese
- Parmigiano Reggiano
Do I have to use Nuts in my Salad?
No, you don’t. It adds another dimension to the salad along with an extra crunch. This is your salad and feel free to leave out the nuts. If you’d like to replace the nuts, try some of these ingredients as replacements or additions.
- Toasted Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin or your choice)
- wasabi peas
Once all of your ingredients are gathered, it also gives you the opportunity to build the final presentation of your dish. Eye appeal is just as important as taste. Take that extra minute or so to make everything perfect. This was my presentation of my salad before I tossed it with my salad dressing.
Building your perfect dinner salad does take a little time. Prepping the vegetables can be a social time in the kitchen for your family and friends, getting everyone involved in the process.
This makes my perfect dinner salad not only delicious and healthy but easy to make. Eating healthy isn’t always easy, but enjoying a hearty salad like this will make you feel good about dinner.
If you enjoyed this salad you may also like these:
- Nicoise Salad with Grilled Shrimp
- How to Make Summertime Salad
- Blackened Salmon Salad
- Blackened Shrimp Nachos and Salad
Perfect Dinner Salad
- 4 cups mixed greens- chopped
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup sliced cucumbers
- 1/2 cup diced carrots
- 1/2 cup diced sweet peppers
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup Italian cheese
- 1/2 cup pecans and pistachio's
- 2 cups Grilled Chicken breast
- 2 ounces your favorite salad dressing
- Grill or roast chicken breast and allow to cool
- Set up your mise en place by preparing all of your ingredients.
- Build your salad, taking time to make it look pretty.
- Toss your salad in front of your guests.
- Serve your salad with your favorite salad dressing and crusty bread.