Summer is officially here and I try my best to cool things down in the kitchen when the weather heats up outside. I like to have make-ahead sides that can be served at room temperature and often serve salads for dinner. Cooking in the morning before the weather really heats is a good way to beat the heat in the kitchen. Here are the key components to a successful entrée salad.
- A good base of GREENS: whether it be kale or Romaine or a mix of baby greens you need a base for your salad. Greens come in all flavors from mild to strong and provide the perfect back drop to a delicious salad.
- Protein: Having a protein is key for turning a salad from a side dish to an entrée. I love grilled salmon on a salad or hard boiled eggs. Both of these can be made ahead to beat the heat at dinner time. If you really don’t feel like turning on the oven or stove, open a can of tuna or add some canned beans to your salad to provide protein.
- Some Crunch: This could come from something as simple as toasted almonds or a crisp apple. Adding some crunch to your salad gives it some texture and makes it more appealing to all of your senses.
- Something Salty: If you are feeling simple, sprinkle your salad with some Jacobsen Salt Co. Flake Salt. If you want to dig deeper add a salty cheese or maybe some crushed tortilla chips or perhaps some salty meat like a cubed salami.
- Something Sweet: I love putting some dried fruit on top of my salad… raisins & apricots are always a good choice. Candied nuts are a great option to add something sweet and crunchy!
- Dressing: This could be the most important component of your salad as it provides lots of flavor to your meal. I am partial to line of amazing dressings from Farmhouse Lab. I would say my favorite is the Berry Olive but the truth is I love them all. A dressing should add flavor and bring all of the other components in your salad into one dish. If you prefer to keep your dressing simple, I would recommend FIVE Extra Virgin Olive Oil and FIVE Aged Balsamic Vinegar.
With these key components and a combination of your favorite fruits and vegetables you are sure to have a delicious salad on hand for dinner tonight. The best part of having a really good salad for dinner is saving the leftovers for lunch the following day!