5 Small Ways to Make Your Salad More Interesting

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

If you’re trying to eat more vegetables, there’s a high chance you’re trying to bring salad to the table more often. It’s such an easy way to up your vegetable intake, but eat the same formula day after day and it becomes pretty boring pretty quickly.

To combat this, all you have to remember is that a salad is a blank slate for ingredients and flavors. Bring a few new elements to your bowl and suddenly your salad is interesting again.

1. Toast your nuts.

A sprinkling of any kind of nut, be it walnuts, almonds, pistachios, or pine nuts, adds a crunchy element to your salad. But if you’re not already toasting them, you should be. The simple step helps bring out their rich flavor, making them more complex and interesting.

2. Embrace warm salad dressings.

There’s no rule saying that salad dressings must always be cold. Warm up your dressing before pouring it over your salad; it gently wilts some of the greens and makes your salad taste a whole lot more satisfying.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

3. Sprinkle on something sweet.

The best salads have a nice balance of both flavors and textures, which is why they are often sprinkled with fruit. Whether it’s dried fruit like raisins, or fresh fruit, like berries or thin apple slices, the sweetness helps offset the savory in a salad.

4. Add a smoky element.

A little smoke adds a lot of flavor to a salad and makes it taste hearty. Go for smoked almonds, or try a little cheese, like shredded smoked Gouda or cubes of smoked mozzarella. You can also whisk a pinch or two of smoked paprika into your dressing for that smoky flavor.

5. Ditch the greens completely.

If you’re bored of munching on lettuce, just leave it behind — a salad never has to be green. Try a bowl full of juicy tomato wedges, shredded carrots, or shaved broccoli as your salad base instead and suddenly you’ll be a little more excited to dig in.