Dressing a salad perfectly is tough to do. Adding just the right amount of salad dressing, though, can mean the difference between a soggy, heavy, mushy mess, a dry heap of lettuce, or a delightfully crunchy, vegetal experience. Here are a few tips on how to dress your salad just right.
Big it Up
Make your salad in a much larger bowl than you think you need. Don’t crowd your lettuce! You need lots of room to stir to ensure the dressing is evenly distributed over all your ingredients. After you’ve dressed your salad, you can put it in a smaller or more decorative bowl for serving.
All in the Timing
Add your dressing just before serving. If you dress your salad too soon, it’ll just sit and get mushy, even if you store it in the fridge. This should be one of the last things you do before sitting down to eat.
Slow and Steady
Add dressing slowly. You'll never overdress if you start with less than you think you need. Mix the dressing in, then taste and see if it needs a bit more. Don't forget to taste after each addition!
Take plenty of time to toss your salad. I like to use two small wooden spoons. I start at the far end of my bowl and toss the salad between the spoons until the dressing is fully incorporated, then I move on down the bowl until everything has been well mixed. It should take a few minutes; if you toss it for just a few seconds, you'll end up with pockets of undressed or overdressed salad.
Large salads for a crowd shouldn't be the only well-dressed salads out there. An easy way to dress a personal-sized salad is to put it in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Add the dressing, put on the lid, and simply shake it up. The dressing will distribute quickly and evenly. Take the lid off, add more dressing if need be and reshake, or simply sit down and enjoy.