Continuing on with my salad how-to, the next step that I will be writing in detail about is how to mix salad greens and how to add the dressing.
Before you go really “a how-to on mixing a salad”!!! The thing is its not that hard, but if you do something wrong, greens are so delicate that they can easily tear or wilt and you end up with not so great looking greens in a beautiful salad otherwise. Believe me, it doesn’t look pretty.
Salad 101: Tossing Greens & Adding the Dressing
A proper bowl is necessary for mixing the greens properly. It should be wide-mouthed and relatively shallow, along with being about 50% larger than the amount of greens used to ensure enough room for tossing. For example, if you have 4 cups of salad, then the salad bowl should have capacity for 6 cups, so that you can mix it properly.
Step 1: Measure the greens. Loosely pack the greens into a large measuring cup, and keep about 1.5 cups per serving.
Step 2: Tear the greens: Some of the leafy vegetables (like lettuce) might be too large, so tear them gently into smaller pieces with your hands. Do this right before serving, as if the leaves are torn too early, they will wilt & discolor.
Step 3: Shake the Dressing: The dressing will probably be an emulsified style incorporating olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar with extra ingredients so give it a quick mix just before adding it in the salad to make sure that all the ingredients are dispersed through the dressing.
Step 4: Drizzle the Dressing: Add the dressing in small increments, and not all at once so that the salad doesn’t become overdressed. Unlike potato salads or coleslaw, leafy salads only need about 1 tbsp for 2 cups of salad otherwise it starts to get soggy so be careful and add more only if required.
Step 5: Toss the salad by using a wooden spoon, your hands (preferred method), or tongs and add more dressing only if needed. Make sure you use a light touch, as a roughly tossed salad will wilt more quickly. Don’t toss any heavy ingredients like apples, tomatoes, feta cheese with the leafy greens as they might end up crushing the greens. Add them on the bottom with a few for garnish on top, or add them on top of the salad.
Step 6: Serve immediately.
Where to get Salad Greens in Karachi:
Sungold number, 0342-2382731, 0345-2008247:
Growing your Own – Seeds available from Crops in Pots & available from Mom’s Garden
Shops – Assortment of vegetables can be found from Agha’s, Farids, Hyperstar, Empress Market, Defence Sunday Bazaar, & a ‘Sabzi Wala’ near French Bakery at Khadda Market
How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition
The New Best Recipe by Cooks Illustrated Magazine