Salads are among the best meals to bring freshness and a great variety of fruits and vegetables to your table. Start with some great greens -- and build your salad masterpieces from there.
How to Select Salad Greens
Whichever salad greens you choose, look for those that appear fresh without brown, bruised, or wilted leaves. Choose your greens according to the type of salad and/or dressing you plan to serve. Here are a few guidelines:
Greens by the Bagful
Packaged prewashed greens, sold by the bag in the produce section of the supermarket, are a realistic choice when you don't have time to prep greens yourself. These packages are designed to allow greens to breathe, so store them in the original bag.
Discard any wilted outer leaves. Prep and wash greens as directed for each type of green.
How to Dry Salad Greens
Before storing or using your lettuces, be sure to dry them well, as wet greens decompose faster, and dressing clings better to dry greens. Dry loose greens on clean paper towels or dish towels, patting them dry with extra towels. You can also dry greens in a salad spinner, which quickly spins the greens in a slotted basket to remove excess water. Once the greens are dry, don't cut or tear them until
Line a resealable plastic container or storage bag with paper towels. Add freshly washed-and-dried greens and store in the refrigerator according to these storage times:
How Much Salad to Serve
1 head iceberg, romaine, or leaf lettuce equals about 10 cups torn lettuce
1 pound spinach equals about 12 cups torn spinach
10 ounces mesclun equals 8 to 9 cups mesclun
Salad Dressing Choices
There are basically two basic types of salad dressings:
Great Salad Ingredients
Liven up your salads by choosing other ingredients that will complement the greens you serve. Some ideas: