Taste Combinations by Naomi
Here are some simple tips for adding extra taste and texture to your salads
- Liven up a salad with fresh fruit. Try figs, mango or pear!
- Mixed nuts toasted with a tablespoon of honey, a teaspoon of chilli flakes and splash of oil are a sweet, spicy and crunchy garnish to any salad
- Spinach is a great addition to any salad whether raw or just wilted in a pan with chopped garlic.
- Fiery rocket and peppercress are complimented by creamy cheeses such as crumbled goats cheese or sweeter dressings with a drizzle of honey.
- Make yourself a super feel good salad by mixing iron rich spinach with other super foods like kale, beetroot, blueberries and mixed seeds.
- If you’re cooking for company, hold some cheese or chopped herbs back to garnish at the end for a brighter finish.
- Like the above suggestions? Check out more salad
ideas and discover a whole range of
delicious, refreshing and healthy meals
Presentation tips from Naomi
They say the first bite is with the eye, so check out these salad presentation tips to make your creation look as good as it tastes.
- I always add a crunchy ingredient to my salads such as toasted nuts, seeds or croutons which look great sprinkled on at the end and give texture!
- Mix up the presentation of your salad by spreading it out on a platter next time rather than using a bowl.
- When I make a salad I think about how all the ingredients are going to work together. If you have something rich or creamy, such as bacon or goats cheese, you may want to mix it with a contrasting sour or spicy flavour such as lemon, balsamic vinegar, chilli, or all three.
- Add some depth and height to your salad by placing some ingredients such as bacon, chicken or avocado at upright angles (don’t worry if they fall slightly as it will look more natural).
- Chopped soft herbs and lemon are my go to ingredients to bring a fresh, vibrant finish to any salad.
- Blocks of colour look great in a salad so I think keeping some ingredients in separate areas rather than combing them all together.
- So now your salad looks and tastes awesome! Make it even more amazing with some dressing ideas or discover some great combination ideas!
Dressing tips from Naomi
Our salads are super tasty as they are, but you can take them to the next level with these salad dressing recipes and ideas
- A good rule of thumb for salad dressings is 3 parts oil to 1 part acidity and sweetness such as lemon, balsamic vinegar or honey (or a bit of all 3!)
- When making a dressing, slowly whisk in the oil last to create a thicker, richer dressing.
- Don’t forget to season your salad with a decent pinch of salt!
- Rocket and peppercress have a natural peppery taste which means they work well with sweeter dressings such as honey and lime; juice two limes, add a pinch of salt and squeeze of honey. Slowly whisk in 3 tablespoons of rapeseed oil.
- 1 part white wine vinegar mixed with 3 parts olive oil and a sprinkle of sugar is a great store cupboard ‘go to’ dressing.
- To give your salad an Asian, nutty twist – try adding 1 tablespoon of sesame oil with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and a splash of orange juice and lime juice – works great with duck salad!
- If you have lots of ingredients in your salad, sometimes a flavoured oil is all it needs – how about heating a glass of virgin olive oil with the juice of one lemon, plus the rind, over a very low heat so it is just warm for 10 minutes. Leave it to infuse off the heat for a further 10 minutes. Sieve, add a sprinkle of salt, and you have a delicious, lightly flavoured lemon oil
- Next time, try adding a selection of soft herb such as basil, chervil and parsley to your warming oil and a crushed clove of garlic. Once infused, remove the garlic and blitz the herbs and oil in a food processor and you have a vibrant green herb oil.
- Experiment by adding a teaspoon of Dijon or wholegrain mustard to your dressing – Try a mixture of 1 tablespoon of wholegrain mustard, 1 tablespoon of honey, a squeeze of lemon and whisk in 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
- Create your own signature vinaigrette in an old jam jar – just fill 1/3 of the way up with a mixture of honey, mustard, lemon, vinegars and sugar and then top of up 1/3 olive oil an 1/3 vegetable or rapeseed oil. Put the lid on and give a shake and you have a homemade dressing on standby, which will lasts for weeks in the fridge.
- To make your salads healthier try reducing the amount of oil. Half olive oil and half lemon juice is a light, acidic dressing perfect for rich salads containing cheese, bacon or chorizo.
- A splash of water in a dressing can soften the flavor, making it go further and reduce the amount of oil needed.
- Dress salads just before you eat so they don’t wilt – Rather than drizzling dressing over the plated salad try mixing it through in a bowl before you plate up so each leaf gets a good coating of dressing.
- If you are cooking for friends and want to impress with a salad garnish – dress some rocket with a lemon oil and ball a small amount gently between your hands and place on top of a bowl of pasta or risotto for a healthy, green finish.
- Spice up your dressing with a sprinkle of Tabasco or dried chilli flakes!
- Olive oil can be over powering and expensive – try mixing half and half or even substituting with milder oils such as sunflower, vegetable or rapeseed.
- Caesar dressings can be quite calorific, you can use low fat mayonnaise or half mayonnaise with either sour cream or crème fraiche to lighten your dressing.
- Florette’s Bistro Bag with it’s crunchy beetroot matchsticks is the perfect match for some crumbled feta or goats cheese and a balsamic dressing (1 tablespoon of balsamic, 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar)
- And there you have it! As they say, the first bite is with the eye so check out our presentation tips and make your salads look as good as they taste!
Tips on Leftovers from Naomi
Don’t throw out salad – there are so many ways of using up leftover leaves!…Blitz rocket into a pesto, watercress into hummus or spinach into a juice
- Salads don’t have to be cold. Crispy leaves are great thrown into pasta dishes or stir fries at the end.
- Don’t thrown out old salad – blitz rocket into a pesto, watercress into hummus or spinach into a juice.
- Turn left over pasta into a vibrant lunch by adding some chopped spinach or rocket, red chilli and olive oil
- One of my favourite salads is the Italian classic Panzanella – it’s great for using up old bread and tomatoes. Mix cubes of chopped bread with chunky sliced red onion, basil and tomato. Splash with white wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon and salt, leave the bread to soak up the juices for a few minutes and it’s ready.
- Roasting sad looking old vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers and carrot can give them a new life for a salad and brings out their sweetness.
- Don’t waste lemon, lime or orange zest – the zest gives a milder, rounded zestiness to dressings.
- Lettuce soup is a refreshing lunch. I like to sweat white onion with garlic and fresh thyme, throw in 2 – 3 handfuls of lettuce and a good handful of frozen peas. Top up with good vegetable stock and bring to a gentle boil for 5 – 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and blitz. Season and add some grated parmesan and knob of butter if you’re feeling indulgent.
- Adding a handful of florette duo to a simple pasta such as parmesan and cherry tomato, gives a boost of flavor, burst of colour and lightness which is great for the summer time.
- Sliced Florette crispy is a great base for a coleslaw – try mixing with mayonnaise, sour cream, grated apple and tahini to make a nutty slaw.
- Turn wilted leaves into a green accompaniment to meat by cooking down in a pan briefly with crushed garlic and a knob of butter – works best with deep green leaves such as peppercress, rocket, lambs lettuce and chard.
- Salad can be a great addition to your Sunday fry up. Peppercress adds a flash of green and sharpness of taste to scrambled egg on toast.
- I love Florette Leafy Rocket with risotto as the natural sharpness of the leaves compliments this creamy dish – you can serve it on top or mix through at the end.
- So there you have it – if you have some brilliant
salad ideas, get in touch and let us know! How about trying some of these awesome salad dressing ideas , or making your salad stand out with our presentation tips