When the mercury rises, a light, cool salad, made a little heartier by the addition of seafood, chicken, or maybe a rolled crespelle, is the perfect choice for lunch or even a light supper. This time of year it's also easy to find the ripest, best produce like warm off the wine tomatoes and fresh picked greens, to create salads full of flavor with ingredients at their peak.
Here are some tips for making these recipes turn out their very best:
Wash, but more importantly dry, your greens. Nothing wreacks a salad quicker than a little bit of grit left on lettuce leaves. Wash greens by gently submerging them in water and then lifting them out in order to leave any grime behind in the water. Some especially sandy greens will need a few dunks, each in fresh water, before they are well cleaned. Give the greens a turn in a salad spinner to best remove excess water. Skipping this step can dilute your dressing as well as make the leaves wilt more quickly. if you don't have a spinner, spread the greens out on paper towel and gently pat dry.
Toss lighter elements first. If your salad is comprised of delicate lettuces as well as heavier cheeses or meats, don't toss all at once or you risk bruising the leaves. Toss the lighter ingredeints first. Plate them, then toss the heavier items separately with a little of the dressing before adding them to the plate.
Use just enough dressing and no more. You just want to lightly moisten everything. Remember you can always add more dressing if need be. And don't dress the salad until you are ready to eat it, unless you enjoy soggy leaves.
Don't forget the salt and pepper. Season your salad with a little salt and pepper. Even though the dressing is already seasoned, a little more salt and pepper at this point makes a huge flavor difference.
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