DownComment IconEmail IconFacebook IconGoogle Plus IconGrid IconInstagram IconLinkedin IconList IconMenu IconMinus IconPinterest IconPlus IconRss IconSave IconSearch IconShare IconShopping Cart IconSpeech BubbleSnapchat IconTumblr IconTwitter IconWhatsapp IconYoutube Icon

Making the perfect salad

Thomas J. Story Chef Malachi Harland dressing his work
Seven tips from chef Malachi Harland

• Buy fresh. Inspect the lettuce for browning, wilting, dried spots, or other signs of age. You want leaves to be bright, crisp, and moist.

• Dry the leaves. Water wilts greens and dilutes dressing. A toss with a few paper towels picks up the moisture left by most salad spinners.

• Match greens with the right dressing. Butter lettuce and tender spring greens are best when gently coated with a lightly acidic dressing. Heavier greens can stand up to big flavors and stronger acids.

• Make it bite-size. Cut all your ingredients roughly the same size. This makes the salad easier to eat and keeps attention on the flavor.

• Let the flavors mix. When making a dressing, let the acid (vinegar, lemon juice) absorb the seasonings (garlic, shallot, spices, herbs) for at least 15 minutes before adding the oil.

• Check seasoning. Dip a leaf of lettuce into the dressing; it'll give you a more accurate taste than sampling with a spoon.

• Toss with your hands. No other tool is as gentle or gives you as much control.