Tips For Successful Salads

Simple, friendly, economical and easy to make, the mixed salad is the star of summer meals. Ideal for picnics, quick to make after a day of work or beach and often eaten cold, it allows us to easily fight against the summer heat. But in front of its apparent simplicity, succeeding in making a good, balanced salad that will please most people is often more difficult than it seems. Don't panic, Gralon is here to help you and to give you its advice to succeed in all the blows your mixed salad and bluff your friends.

The Base of your Salad or the frame of your meal

Choosing your salad base well, might seem simple at first, but it's not that simple.

Depending on the product you choose, the ingredients that go with it will not be the same. When it comes to choices, the basic possibilities can seem endless: salad, rice, pasta, wheat, beans, potato, couscous seed and even less common ingredients like dandelions or quinoa.

If anything goes and only your creativity will be the limit in creating your salads, as a general rule choose grains like rice or pasta when you put several hot ingredients or if you are preparing your salad for the next day. It will hold together better and be more enjoyable to eat.

Cereal is also recommended if you are going on a hike or doing a lot of sports. On the other hand if you are in dieting period do not hesitate to use vegetables as bases of the salad or beans will do very well.

Toppings to test your creativity

There are certain composed salads that have entered the world culinary heritage, the Perigord salad, the Niçoise salad, the Mexican salad, the Caesar salad and it is difficult to innovate in these cases.

But if you decide to create your salad, the toppings that will make up your salad will depend on several factors. First and foremost, think about the theme of your salad.
Will it be seafood (Shrimp, seafood, fish...), exotic (Cabbage, Carrots, Peanuts...), Fresh (Crudités, fruits...) or even more country (Cheese, meat...)?
In short, you are free to make your own choices. However there are some rules to respect. Do not put too much or too little ingredients.

Less than 10 ingredients is a good average to take advantage of all the flavors and textures and give your dish some identity.
Finally, if the mixed salad is the only dish in your meal, consider adding protein so you don't feel hungry after your meal.

Seasoning, give it your personal touch

Many times a mixed salad is a failure because the dressing itself is a failure.
If you do not master this part of the dish, feel free to settle for classic (Lemon Dressing, Shallot Dressing...) or buy it ready-made in stores, some do the job perfectly.

But if you're feeling adventurous, be inventive and think outside the box.
Use products that you may not use often.

For oils think sesame oil or grapeseed oil.
For dressing acidity, certainly think balsamic vinegar but also lemon or orange and also consider adding condiments like capers, ginger, anchovies or vegetable pickles.

The important thing is to always remember to support the flavor of your salads and never cover it with the seasoning.

Have a more neutral dressing if your produce is strong in flavor like dried herring or duck gizzards, and a stronger dressing if your food is fairly neutral like feta and tomatoes.

How to dress your mixed salad

Very often mixed salads are served in a large dish or a large salad bowl in the middle of the table and everyone helps themselves. But if you want to showcase your dish and put a little effort into dressing your salad, there are some rules to follow :


  • Avoid similar combinations (Shrimp AND surimi, potato AND sweet potato, Capers AND pickles)

  • Don't go overboard with the product whether in toppings or seasonings

  • Avoid mixing in the basics (Rice AND Pasta, Salad AND Beans, Bulgur AND Salad)

  • Place the heavy, hot items around the salad and the lighter ones on top

  • If you prefer to make a single dish, mix your salad well so that the dressing coats all the items.

  • Last detail that to its impatience think of peeling, boning and shelling products that need it (Shrimp, pork ribs ...)

Some ideas for mixed salads

To help you wow your guests we have a few recipes you won't want to miss!


  • Original Salad : Chicken Couscous Salad : Chicken, Couscous, Artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, red onions and carrots to accompany with a lemon and mint dressing.
  • A Vegan Salad: Frisée and Lentil Salad: Frisée salad, lentils, cauliflower and Peppers to accompany with a Xeres vinegar dressing.
  • An Asian Salad : Mango Salad : Chinese Cabbage, Tofu, Red Onion, Mango and Peanuts to be accompanied with an orange and cilantro dressing
  • Pasta Salad: Tuna Pasta Salad: Farfalle Pasta, Tuna, Mangetout Beans and Tomatoes to accompany with a simple vinaigrette
  • A Rice Salad : Hawaiian Salad : Rice, Kiwi, Pineapple, Shrimp and Corn to go with a mustard vinaigrette
  • A Salad for Dieters : Vitamin Salad : Fish croquette, Spinach shoots, multicolored tomatoes and chervil to accompany with a lemon vinaigrette
  • A Salad for Kids: Cherry tomatoes, melon and feta to go with a light vinaigrette


Let us know if all these articles helped you and share your recipes in the comments!

Author: Luc
Copyright image: Tamanna PExels
Tags: salad, pasta, rice, vinaigrette, beans, shrimp, Couscous, seafood, tuna, carrots, chicken, flavor, Mango, cabbage, Orange, summer, pickles, potato, tomatoes, Feta, Bulgur, cherry tomatoes, lentil, vegan, red onions, food, ARTICHOKE, Surimi, sweet potato, pork ribs, basics, boning, lentils, cilantro, Chervil, Croquette, vitamin, spinach, mustard, pineapple, Kiwi, Hawaiian, cauliflower, Onion, tofu, Chinese, Asian, vinegar, Xeres, light,
In French: Conseils pour Réussir vos Salades Composées
En español: Consejos para el éxito de las ensaladas
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