Tips for the Best Salad | Utopia.de

Forget bagged salad, boring dressings and always the same ingredients – with our ideas, tips and recipes, salad becomes a versatile and healthy favourite.

You know salad as a classic side dish with the main course? It can be a varied dish in itself: healthy, light, filling – and delicious. From choosing the right ingredients, adding a certain something to your mix, to the right dressing: making salads is much easier with our recipes and a few tips.

1. When you shop

Packaged, bagged, shredded lettuce is often contaminated with germs and is also significantly more expensive than a whole head of lettuce. buy yours Organic quality salad and if possible regional and seasonal, it tastes better that way. And: Seasonal varieties add variety to your diet. You can find out which vegetables are in season here: Seasonal calendar for vegetables and fruits.

Many tasty ingredients such as chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes or cucumbers are stored for a long time, while salads such as rocket or lamb’s lettuce shrivel after only a few days. Buy lettuce leaves as fresh as possible.

Banish from your kitchen: bagged salad
It is better to buy loose lettuce (Photos: © whiteaster – stock.adobe.com, Colourbox.de)

Tip: If the lettuce leaves are already slightly faded, you can revive them in a water bath. Place them in a bowl of water for about 30 minutes before cooking them, after which they will be crisp and fresh again. Then, spin the leaves in a salad spinner or dry them on a clean dishtowel.

2. Important for the salad recipe: choose the filling ingredients

As the salad moves from side dish to main course, it should also be filling—preferably without supposedly “easy” ingredients like fried turkey or bacon. Plant-based protein-rich foods that enrich your salad include beans, lentils, nuts, tofu, tempeh, or chickpeas. By the way, beans, lentils and chickpeas are also available in noodle form.

Pasta made from legumes: lentils and chickpeas
Pasta made from legumes (left: chickpeas, right: lentils) (Photo © Utopia/vs)

Try new salad ideas: Of course you can also use beans and lentils as the main ingredient in your salad – how about a Georgian bean salad with green beans, walnuts and pomegranate seeds, for example?

3. Salad recipe: Dressing

Ready-made salad dressings usually come with unnecessary plastic packaging and questionable ingredients – you can easily make a vinaigrette yourself: Mix three parts oil with one part acid, such as white wine vinegar or lemon or lime juice. You can round off this base with anything you like. Gradually add other ingredients such as spices or herbs and adjust to taste.

Then it’s time for refinement: a pinch of salt and a little sweetness are part of any salad dressing. Sweetness can come from sugar, honey, agave syrup, maple syrup, but also jelly or jam. Just check what you have in the cupboard (fridge). Classic herbs in salad recipes are dill, basil, chives and some garlic. A little mint gives the dish something definite.

Three salad dressing recipe ideas:

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar, 1 clove of freshly pressed garlic, 1 tablespoon of agave syrup, salt, pepper
  • 5 tablespoons of rapeseed oil, 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon of medium hot mustard, 2 tablespoons of honey, salt, pepper
  • 4 tablespoons soy yogurt (plain, unsweetened), 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon medium hot mustard, 1 clove garlic, 1 tablespoon agave syrup, salt and pepper
Linseed oil is extracted from the ripe seeds of flax seeds, also known as flax
Linseed oil is one of the healthiest oils (Photo: Photo: © emmi – Fotolia.com)

Combine the herbs like this:

  • Cucumber: dill
  • Tomatoes: basil
  • Sliced ​​salads: thyme, mint, rosemary
  • Radish, carrot: chickpea, parsley
  • Leafy salads: basil, chickpeas

For further reading: “Product Knowledge Oil” from Stiftung Warentest, can be purchased from your local bookseller or online, among others books.de or book 7.

4. Refined salad recipe: let salty meet sweet

Many dishes taste especially good when different flavors are skillfully combined. Bitter varieties of lettuce, such as endive, chicory and radicchio, harmonize particularly well with fruits such as oranges, strawberries, apples or cherries – depending on the season.

Out of season, you can add dried fruits like figs or dates to your salad.

5. Home Grown Ingredients: Cabbage & Herbs

Cabbage, watercress and herbs complete the flavor of your salad. Some of the ingredients you grow yourself taste a little better – after all, you put in the time and energy to care. In our articles on growing sprouts and balcony herb garden you will learn how to grow your own.

Cabbage Pull: It's so easy to make at home
Cabbage in a salad recipe: tasty and healthy (Photo: Utopia/vs)

Made pumpkin soup and still have seeds? Do not throw them in the organic waste, but fry the pumpkin seeds and decorate your salad with them.

6. Salad Ideas: Be experimental

Apart from green salads, the German classics par excellence are potato and pasta salads. But look around, international cuisine has many delicious salad varieties to offer. Here you will find a selection of delicious salad recipes:

7. The icing on the cake: Don’t forget the toppings

Delicious toppings complement your salad, with cabbage and herbs we’ve already mentioned a few. Alternatively or in addition, roasted nuts and seeds such as sunflower or pine nuts give your dish something special.

Edible flowers: a definite must in your salad recipe
Edible flowers: that certain something in your salad recipe (Photo: © fotoknips / Fotolia.com)

Experiment with toppings: How about edible flowers or crushed seaweed leaves (popular from sushi) in your salad?

8. Try it raw too

Of course, cucumber and tomato go raw in the salad. Beets, cauliflower, savoy cabbage, baby spinach, cultivated mushrooms or finely chopped red cabbage also taste delicious as a raw salad ingredient.

Eating raw is a sensible and health-promoting way; Raw fruits and vegetables should make up about half of our daily diet.

Salad tips Red cabbage
Red cabbage is a Christmas classic, it also tastes good raw in a salad (Photo: Pixabay, CCO Public Domain)

But be careful, not all foods can be eaten alive. Legumes and potatoes, for example, must be cooked before eating. You can find out more about this in our guide “Is raw food healthy? 12 questions and answers about the raw diet”.

9. Proper container

Of course, salad tastes good in any dish, but those who still appreciate durable materials and stylish design will now find a great selection. For example, a salad bowl made of bamboo or salad servers made of olive wood (eg. Avocado shop).

Sustainable lunch break, remove food in your can
Healthy lunch: homemade salad (Photo: © ECOlunchbox)

Is there a part left? Then take them to work in your lunchbox or (plastic-free) lunchbox the next day. We wish you a lot of fun with the preparation and bon appetit.

The final salad needs variety

As we can see, salad is much more than just a boring side dish. Those who cleverly combine and, above all, make their salads varied, guarantee that they will not be bored. Yes in relationship with:

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Tags: organic vegetables cooking salad recipes vegetarian vegan

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