10 Ways To Spruce Up A Salad
Despite the weather acting like it's summer, local produce is still in the final stretch of winter. Which gets a bit monotonous. But there are plenty of ways to spruce up a salad mid-winter without reaching for lackluster out-of-season tomatoes.
Here are some of my favorite ways to add flavor, crunch and spice to salads.
1. Wasabi peas or wasabi edamame: For heat-seekers, wasabi spiced peas and roasted edamame make a great topper.
2. Speck, prosciutto or other cured meats: I love a few thin slices of good quality speck or prosciutto draped over greens.
3. Pomegranate seeds: They're like little jewels of antioxidant-rich juice.
4. Nuts and seeds: From roasted pumpkin seeds to spiced pecans, they add flavor and protein.
5. Fresh herbs: Sprinkle basil, thyme, oregano, cilantro, whatever you have on hand, on top.
6. Fennel: One of my go-tos for winter crunch, slice the fennel bulb thin and pair it with orange or grapefruit segments, a classic pairing.
7. Pickles: Inspired by Sweetgreen's seasonal salad of pickles, portobellos and goat cheese, I'm topping my salads with pickled beets, green beans and cucumbers.
8. Little fish: Try Spanish style boquerones, the tasty little anchovies sold in the fridge section at good markets and some grocery stores. Sardines or herring are also good choices.
9. Fried egg: Taking a cue from the classic French frisee salad, I'm all about a fried egg with a slightly soft yolk as a delicious salad topper.
10. Walnut oil: I find myself reaching for toasty walnut oil over olive oil these days for dressing a salad. It adds a nice nutty flavor and it's a great source of good fatty acids.