How to make salad

June 13 2017

Salad is perfect food. I love salad. And not because I'm a health fanatic. I'm interested in all types of food. But salad is food in its finest, purest, and freshest form. Salad is endless combinations of edible sunlight. It is kinder, gentler food for human bodies and the planet. Salad is beautiful. It's food as art.

Last fall I embarked on a creative endeavor to share my love of salad with the world. I made some recipes. I made some salad-related t-shirts. I wrote a guide for how to make salad. I want to help others lead a more salad-centric life.

Why should you make salad? Don't make salad because you're striving for some image of yourself that is neither realistic nor attainable. Make salad because you're aching to unleash years of creative power you've kept locked away. Make salad because you are craving the crunch of cellulose between your teeth and the rush of phytonutrients in your blood. Make salad to create something beautiful, vital, and alive.

Making salad should be a pleasure, and like all artists, you should start with a good set of tools. It doesn't take much: a solid wooden cutting board, a sharp knife, and an appropriate vessel.

Now, go out into the world and gather inspiration. Visit a farm where the lettuce was pulled from the earth minutes ago and the leaves are still swollen from the sunlight and damp soil. Walk laps around an outdoor market and learn what grows around you. Spend more time in the produce section than anywhere else in the grocery store. Travel to foreign countries and eat salad. Be one of those people who writes things down in a notebook and asks questions. Collect ideas from the experts. Be humble.

It's ok to start with the basics. The mechanics of salad are like the mechanics of an essay. Lettuce makes for a strong lead paragraph. Carrot, cucumber, and tomato make a solid body, and a basic red wine vinaigrette binds the ingredients together like a conclusion. These are the elements of a good salad.

Ready to make an excellent salad? You may need to get a little uncomfortable. Dare yourself to add beets to your salad, even if you don't like them. Roast them, pickle them, shred them. Experiment with texture. Silky avocado, nutty olives, things that snap and crunch. Combine flavors to understand how ingredients work in harmony. Fats can cool the heat of radishes. Try acids like vinegar and lemon to balance the sweetness of roots. Bitter greens become friendlier when you toss them in a sweet mustard vinaigrette.

To create something you just have to start. To go from good to excellent you have to dare yourself.

Find my project by searching for The Salad Lobby.

Lindsay Sauve
Portland, OR
[email protected]

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