Tyler Florence's 4 Tips for Making a Super Summer Salad
Make fresh salads
Tyler Florence, one of the Food Network's celebrity chefs and host of Tyler's Ultimate, is an expert at making delicious, fresh foods.
teamed up with Wishbone to show a group of lucky editors how to make a fresh and fast summer salad. Here are our favorite tips for turning a simple bowl of lettuce into a delicious, summer meal.
Pick the freshest produce
A salad's flavor comes from the veggies, so it's important to be picky about produce. Buy from a farmers' market, and if that's not a possibility, stick to seasonal veggies. Chances are, they will have spent less time traveling from the farm to the store.
Our summer produce favorites include tomatoes, bell peppers, arugula, spinach, and these
other fruits and veggies.
Tyler's tip: Buy tomatoes on the vine. The vine gives tomatoes extra moisture and nutrients to provide maximum flavor long after they've been picked.
Be careful with marinades
Plain grilled chicken doesn't have a ton of flavor, but marinades are an easy way to add low-cal flavor (and cut down on carcinogens).
Choose marinades with a mix of oil and acid (such as vinegars and citrus juice) to add a little zing, and use fresh herbs whenever possible. Salad dressings, like Italian, can work too.
Marinate meat for at least 30 minutes, and brush the marinade on the meat as it cooks. Add it 3–5 minutes before the meat is done to avoid food safety concerns.
Tyler's tip: Try to use marinades with a little oil in them. The heart-healthy fats can help you absorb vitamins A and E, found in leafy greens.
Use your grill
Grilling is a quick and easy way to get lean protein on your salad. It's also a great opportunity to bring out the flavors in your favorite vegetables.
Grilling bell peppers, tomatoes, and even summer squash with a little olive oil is a delicious way to bring out the flavors in your produce.
Fruit works, too.
Tyler's tip: Grill your lemons. It may sound odd, but grilling lemons takes away the sourness and adds a slightly sweeter flavor that's tasty sprinkled over greens.
Walk on the wild side
Because most greens have a mild taste, they're the perfect bed for sampling other ingredients. Try adding legumes, whole grains, or less common veggies like fennel to find the flavor combinations you crave. See these eight salad toppings you've never tried.
Tyler's tip: Get a low-cal crouton flavor by pulsing bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, olive oil, and salt and pepper in a food processor several times until crumbs turn bright green. Spread the crumbs on a baking sheet, then bake until crispy (about 7 minutes). They create a savory topping for any salad.