What makes a simple salad sublime?
- Clean, dry lettuce. Submerge greens in a large bowl of water, swish them around, and drain. Repeat a few times to make sure that any dirt is removed. Spin in a salad spinner, and then gently pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.
- Seasoning. Season the entire salad with salt and pepper before dressing. This ensures that all the components of the salad will be flavorful.
- A light hand when dressing. It really only takes a small amount of dressing to coat the leaves of a salad. Taste and adjust . . . and remember it is much easier to add more dressing than it is to salvage soggy greens.
- A good-sized bowl for tossing. Not even the best ingredients and careful seasoning can outfox a bowl that is not large enough to accommodate the salad. (Especially those takeout salad boxes.) If you often eat salads for lunch at the office, consider bringing in a mixing bowl from home for tossing.
Here’s a recipe for one of my favorite salad dressings:
Makes ½ cup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of sugar
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine mustard, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil until incorporated. Season with sugar, salt, and pepper.