How to make salad more interesting
What we recognise as a salad has changed dramatically over the past 10 years. Where once it involved throwing a few leaves, tomato, maybe a bit of cheese and another protein into a bowl with a salad dressing, these days salads are much more interesting thanks to so many ingredients becoming easily available.
Here are some easy tips and tricks to make your next salad more flavourful, interesting and extra nutritious. Plus, scroll down for salad recipes for dinner, lunch or sides.
What can I add to salad to make it better?
There are plenty of options you can add to a salad to make it extra tasty and give it extra health cred. Here are some ideas to super-boost your salad!
1. Add texture with roasted seeds or nuts
Seeds and nuts are a great salad topper. They add delicious crunch to a salad, and can be roasted with spices for extra flavour. Popular choices are almonds, sunflower seeds, pepitas, pine nuts and peanuts. Make a seed and nut mix that you can keep in a jar ready to toss into your next salad.
2. Make it more filling with whole grains
Grains such as freekeh, quinoa (actually a seed but treated like a grain), brown rice, barley and farro will make your salads much more filling and satisfying. Whole grains help to add extra fibre and keep you feeling fuller for longer.
3. Beans and other legumes add plant-based protein
Another way to get extra protein into a salad is to add legumes such as tinned beans, lentils, and chickpeas. These also add important fibre. If you're a not a big fan of beans in their whole form, try hummus instead or blitz up beans with some oil and spices.
4. Fresh herbs add lots of flavour
A great way of adding flavour is by loading up your salad with herbs such as mint, coriander, parsley, basil and micro herbs. You can either toss through whole leaves and microherbs, tear the leaves up by hand, or finely slice and stir the herbs through your dressing.
5. Sweeten your salad with fruit
A sweet or tart fruit gives salad a great flavour boost. In spring, try adding strawberries or grapefruit. In summer, try grilled or fresh stone fruit tossed through it. Apple, mango, pomegranate, watermelon, rockmelon and dried fruits are salad favourites. These create a delicious contrast of sweet and savoury flavours.
6. Make sure your salad is properly seasoned
Proper seasoning can turn what you thought was a dull salad into a vibrant, tasty meal. Think about the salty, sour, sweet and bitter flavours in your salad, and balance the salad with any flavours that are missing.
The recipes in the salads below have delicious seasonings and dressings, but if you're making your own recipe, season with salt and pepper, or try soy sauce in an Asian salad. Add spices and flavours such as paprika, chilli flakes, curry powder, harissa or parmesan. Add acidity or sourness with vinegar, lemon juice or pomegranate mollasses to transform your salad.
More salad recipes
Discover more salad recipes below, or check out these salad recipes for dinner, or the whole collection of salad recipes.