Salad Tips and Ideas
By Diana Rattray
- The ratio for a vinaigrette is typically 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar or lemon juice, etc..
- Make a quick avocado dressing by combining half an avocado with a cup of vinaigrette in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth.
- When substituting yogurt for sour cream in a dressing, use a little less vinegar, as the yogurt is naturally acidic.
- Fruit juices such as pineapple, orange or mango can be used as salad dressing by adding a little vegetable oil, a dash of nutmeg and honey if desired. Delicious on fruit, seafood, or mixed greens.
- Cook pasta for salads very al dente. This will allow the pasta to absorb some of the dressing and not become mushy.
- To un-mold a Jell-O salad, place the bottom of the mold into hot water; hold for about 5 seconds. With fingers, lightly press edges of Jell-O to help it begin to separate from the mold. Put a large serving plate over the top of the mold. Hold plate in place and invert the mold then lift to release Jell-O salad onto the plate.
- Hot pasta can be combined with vinaigrette, but cool at least to room temperature before adding herbs and vegetables to keep them from wilting.
- New potatoes are best for potato salad, but if they aren't available, use boiling potatoes.
- Chill the serving plates to keep your salad crisp longer.
- To thoroughly dry macaroni for salad, pour drained pasta into a large paper towel-lined pan; roll the macaroni around a bit to get all of the liquid out.
- When making potato salad, marinate still-warm potatoes in a little vinegar and oil; this will add flavor to the finished salad. Or, dress the potatoes while still quite warm, then refrigerate to cool quickly.
- To prepare iceberg lettuce, remove outer leaves then dislodge the core by slamming it down on a hard surface. Remove core by twisting it out then run cold water into core area to flush out excess dirt. Turn lettuce over, shake out excess water, and separate leaves.
- To mix greens with less mess, refrigerate in a plastic bag. When ready to serve, toss with the dressing in the bag, then transfer to individual serving plates.
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