Lettuce Not Forget the Dressing: How to Build the Perfect Salad

Here we are in July! In this month, we typically find ourselves knees deep in an abundance of vibrant, local, fresh produce. Although we are grateful for the bounty, it can be hard to keep up with the weekly greens that arrive in your CSA share, or pour into your kitchen from your very own garden. So, what to do with all these greens? Here are a few tips that will help you turnip the beet, on your average, every day, mixed green salad.

  1. Cut your greens into small bite size pieces
    1. When you have smaller pieces of greens, each bite will have an even amount of salad components, resulting in a more enjoyable salad experience overall. After you rinse your greens, just do a quick chop and then you will have a wonderful base to build your salad from.   
  2. Mix it up with a variety of fruit and vegetables
    1. Greens tend to be bitter in taste, so balancing that out with some sweeter fruits and vegetables helps with the overall flavor of your salad, plus they add a nice pop of color. Examples include grapefruit, corn, grilled beets, grapes, and strawberries, but really the options are endless!
  3. Add in some protein
    1. Whether your protein of choice is chicken, salmon, tofu or chickpeas, add something that will leave you satisfied. You don’t need much-- ¼ to ½ a cup is plenty per person.
  4. Throw in that crunch
    1. This one is important. Add in a variety of nuts, seeds, and different fruits and veggies. These additions will jazz up your salad and give you that perfect crunchy bite. Some of our crunchy favorites include celery, cucumbers, pumpkin seeds, cabbage, fennel, radish, walnuts, and jicama.
  5. Herbs, herbs, herbs!
    1. This simple addition can make a world of difference and change your same old salad to something that will inspire you to eat your greens every day! Depending on the type of salad you are going for, fresh cilantro, parsley, basil, mint, dill, or chives will brighten up any salad you are making.
  6. Dress it up
    1. Last but not least, dressing. Nobody likes a dry, undressed salad. Dressing adds fat (the good kind), and will bring out the rest of the flavors from your salad. It can be as simple as a drizzle of olive oil or more complex, but either way finishing it off with a tangy, fruity or tart dressing is the way to go.


Below are a few recipes for dressings and salads to inspire you to take your lettuce head on (no pun intended) and create a spectacular salad.



Need some more inspiration? Check out Bon Appétit’s 67 Summer Salad Recipes with the Season’s Best Ingredients! Also, explore more of our recipes here and check our upcoming classes and events here!