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9 Basic Recipes for The Best Homemade Salads

Salads are among the healthiest food types we eat daily. Despite that, many people think they’re bland and unappetizing since they’re often prepared carelessly alongside the main dish. This article will show you the basics of preparing healthy homemade salads.

Basic Tips About Salad Making

When it comes to salad-making, do not try too much at first. Practice with plain salads and plain dressings before you try combination salads, fancy dressings, and elaborate garnishes. 

Also, don’t prepare plain salads until you are ready to serve them. The lettuce will become flabby and the dressing will become watery and unappealing if the two are mixed too long before serving.

Lastly, there’s no point in making a perfect salad with inferior ingredients, so only the freshest ingredients and condiments should be used. Also, simple garnishes will make the salad more appealing.

2 Basic Salad Dressings

We’ll introduce recipes for two basic types of homemade salad dressing: 

  • Plain Salad Dressing
  • Mayonaise

1. Plain Salad Dressing Recipe

Almost any salad can be dressed with plain salad dressing.

Ingredients

Adjust based on taste & Health Values

Plain Salad Dressing with less oil: People who don’t like too much olive oil use equal quantities of oil and vinegar.

Plain Salad Dressing with medium oil: Most people are satisfied with a proportion of one-third vinegar and two-thirds olive oil.

Regular Plain Salad Dressing: The best dressing is made with four parts oil and one part vinegar, provided the vinegar is good.

Directions

To use plain salad dressing with any of the salad recipes below, make the dressing while mixing in the salad.

  1. Put a saltspoon of salt, a quarter of this amount of freshly grated pepper, and a tablespoon of oil in a bowl of salad. Mix to combine. 
  2. Add 3 more tablespoons of oil. After that, lightly toss the salad for a few seconds.
  3. Last but not least, add a tablespoon of sharp vinegar. Toss the salad again, and serve.

2. Homemade Mayonnaise Salad Dressing Recipe

When preparing mayonnaise, use pasteurized eggs (or eggs marked salmonella-free) to ensure food safety. All eggs in the United States are pasteurized, as required by the USDA. Similarly, raw eggs in the UK that are produced under the British Lion Code of Practice are safe to use.

Also, whenever preparing mayonnaise in hot weather, keep the bowl as cold as possible. The ingredients should also be brought to room temperature for the best results.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. To the yolks of two raw eggs, add half a teaspoon of salt and one-quarter teaspoon of white pepper, along with a tablespoon of oil. Beat together well or use a food processor.
  2. Mix thoroughly, and gradually add half a pint of neutral-flavored oil (or oil with a flavor you prefer). Add a few drops of vinegar when it begins to thicken. The total amount of vinegar to be used is two tablespoons. Once the dressing has a glassy look instead of a velvety appearance, it is time to stop adding oil and instead add vinegar. 
  3. As you go along, taste test the mayonnaise and season with additional salt to your liking.

The process of making mayonnaise is very simple, so almost anyone can do it after a few attempts.

7 Easy Salad Recipes that Go Well with Basic Salad Dressings

3. Celery Salad

Other than lettuce, celery is another commonly used vegetable in salads. This is great as a side dish.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Take three heads of celery and chop off the roots.
  2. Make sure to wipe each leaf stalk carefully. Slice them into 1-inch pieces. Then cut each piece into strips.
  3. Toss them in a salad bowl with plain mayonnaise. Serve immediately.

4. Asparagus Salad

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Cut off a little more than an inch from the root end of a bunch of asparagus
  2. Then scrape off the skin, wash them, tie them in bunches containing six to eight each, and boil them with the heads just out of the water. The steam will cook the heads. Do not submerge the asparagus head as they will end up cooking before the root ends are cooked.
  3. Take them out of the boiling water once they are tender and submerge the asparagus into a bowl of cold water for a few minutes. 
  4. After that, drain and arrange them on a serving dish. Then drizzle plain dressing over them.

5. Breakfast Salad

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Scald two ripe tomatoes by dunking them into boiling water for about 60 seconds. Then quickly take them out and place them in ice water. Peel off the skin. 
  2. Once they get very cold, slice them thinly. 
  3. Slice one small cucumber very thinly after peeling it. 
  4. Combine four lettuce leaves, the sliced tomatoes, and thinly sliced cucumber in a salad bowl. Mix.
  5. Chop up one spring onion and add it to the salad. If you can, add four or five tarragon leaves. Mix to combine.
  6. Put the plain dressing on top and serve immediately.

6. Chicken Salad

You can shred and use leftover chicken for chicken salad. But if you need to prepare the chicken from scratch, see the directions below.

Ingredients

Directions to poach chicken

Chicken breast is lower in calories and contains more calcium and vitamin B-6 than chicken fillet. It is also easier to shred. However, you can still substitute with chicken fillet.

  1. Take 8.5 oz. (240g) chicken breast out of the refrigerator. Let it thaw for about 20 minutes to room temperature. After that, pound it gently to even the thickness out.
  2. Add water, salt, and lemon (cut in half) into a pot and bring it to a boil. Use around 1 tablespoon of salt for every quart (946ml) of water.
  3. Once the water is boiling hot, submerge the chicken (room temperature) and cover the pot. After a few seconds, turn the stove off and let the chicken cook for 20 to 45 minutes.
  4. Once the time is up, remove the chicken from the water. Then shred or cut it up.
  5. To use it for a cold salad, it is best to refrigerate the shredded chicken for a few hours.

Chicken Salad Directions

  1. Place the cold shredded chicken and some chopped celery into a bowl. Use slightly more celery than chicken. If you don’t like celery, use a few leaves of lettuce instead.
  2. Add 1 – 2 tablespoons of homemade mayonnaise and mix to combine.
  3. Garnish with sliced hard-boiled eggs.

7. Crayfish/crawfish Salad

Ingredients

Directions

The crawfish looks like a miniature lobster. You can use them in salads or as a seafood salad garnish. Skip the first two steps if you’ve gotten crawfish that has already been boiled and deveined.

  1. Put a dozen crayfish into a pot of boiling water that’s slightly salted. Let them boil for fifteen minutes. 
  2. Take the crayfish out of the pot. Break each shell in half by picking out the tail section and cutting it in half lengthwise. Don’t forget to remove the black ligament. Set aside.
  3. In a salad bowl, shred the small white leaves of half a head of lettuce. Then add the crayfish. Mix to combine.
  4. Pour homemade mayonnaise over them. Serve with tufts of green, sliced hard-boiled eggs. Decorate with the head of the shell.

8. Egg Salad

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Toss the small crisp leaves of a head of lettuce into a salad bowl. Shred them a little if needed.
  2. Slice four hard-boiled eggs and add them in.
  3. Slice a dozen capers back and forth with a sharp knife until they are finely minced.  Then sprinkle over the eggs. 
  4. Optional: Add 6 finely chopped mint leaves as a bonus step.
  5. Make a plain dressing and add it.

9. Salmon Salad

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Broil two salmon fillets
  2. When the fish is done, break it up into flakes and season with salt and pepper (to taste). Then add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Set aside for an hour. 
  3. Fill a salad bowl half full of shredded lettuce leaves.
  4. Add the fish, along with hard-boiled eggs and pitted olives as garnish.
  5. Feel free to serve with homemade mayonnaise.
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