Your Salad Bar: Leafy Greens

How to Boost Your Creativity

Table of Contents

Salad Base: Leafy Greens

leafy greens in bowl
shopping list - leafy greens

Culinary Building Blocks to Elevate Your Salad

Part 1: Mix & Match Your Ingredients

Your Ingredient Options for a Salad with a Base of Leafy Greens:

  • Base: one or more of lettuce, arugula, baby spinach, chard, collards, or kale
  • Texture Essentials: firm and soft add-ons (see suggestions below)
  • “Icing”: pickled vegetables and/or dried fruits (see suggestions below)
  • Fill Up: proteins (see suggestions below)
  • Final Touch: crunchy (see suggestions below)
Leafy Green Salad Bar Pyramid
Culinary Building Blocks - Salad Bar - Leafy Greens
1/4 cup total per 2 servings:

Beets & Roots: beetroots, carrots, daikon, kohlrabi, parsnip, rutabaga, red radish, turnip
Cole: cabbage (green/ red, napa, savoy, bok choy), cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts
Fruits: apples or pears
Others: asparagus, bell pepper, celery stalks, cucumber, fennel, green beans, mushrooms, mung bean sprouts

1/4 cup total per 2 servings:

Fresh: avocado, corn, peas,  tomatoes, or soft fruits

Fried: eggplant, leek, or mushrooms

Baked: (sweet) potatoes, yam, or pumpkin/squash/zucchini

Cheese: blue cheese, crumbled feta, or mozzarella

Culinary Building Blocks - Salad Bar - Leafy Greens
1-2 tbsp total per 2 servings:

Sour-Salty: Pickled vegetables like artichoke, beetroot, cabbage, capers, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, green beans, olives, onions

Culinary Building Blocks - Salad Bar - Leafy Greens
1-2 tbsp total per 2 servings:

Sweet: Dried fruits like apricots, cranberries, dates, figs, mango, pineapples, prunes, raisins, or any other that you have at hand.

Culinary Building Blocks - Salad Bar - Leafy Greens
8 -12 oz total per 2 servings:

Boost the salad with a protein, for instance:

  • Baked tofu or fried tempeh
  • Tuna or salmon (fresh, seared, or from a can)
  • Fried shrimp, chicken, lamb or beef steak
  • Boiled eggs or sunny-side-up
  • Roasted garbanzo beans
  • Ham, bacon, or sausages
Culinary Building Blocks - Salad Bar - Leafy Greens
1-2 tbsp total per 2 servings:

Finish with 1-2 tbsp of one of the following:

  • Baked breadcrumbs (croutons)
  • Nuts like almonds, peanuts, pine nuts, walnuts (roasted or raw)
  • Seeds like pumpkin or sunflower seeds, chia, flax, hemp, or sesame seeds
  • Chips or any crunchy crackers

Tip: Sprinkle on the plated salad to avoid soaking.

TIP: Add maximal 3 to 6 different ingredients.

Part 2: Basic Dressing

Basic Salad Dressing
Basic Dressing for 2

Variations for vinegar and oil: Basic Trio

Adjust oil to your taste and dietary preferences by 1 tbsp more or less.

Add maximal 3 to 6 different ingredients to the leafy greens.

Finish: Toss dressing over

  • leafy greens and
  • firm and soft ingredients.

Top with remaining ingredients.

Salad for 2
Popular Salad Herbs

Recommended pairings:

  • lemon juice & avocado or canola oil & parsley, dill, or mint
  • red balsamic vinegar & olive oil & basil or oregano

Recommended spices:

  • cumin, fennel, garlic, paprika

Recommended Starting Point:

  • Herbs: fresh 1 tbsp or dried 1 tsp
  • Spices: 1 tsp

International Salad Recipes

These international salad recipes all share the same foundation of culinary building blocks, but each one incorporates unique and flavorful spices to create a distinct culinary experience. Whether you’re looking to add some variety to your meal routine or impress guests with your worldly cooking skills, these salads are sure to deliver. So without further ado, let’s dive into the delicious world of international salads!

Lebanese Fattoush

Lebanese Fattoush

ADD cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes, fried chicken & bread.

Greek Halloumi Salad

Greek Halloumi

ADD tomatoes, orange slices, and grilled halloumi, or other firm cheese

Ahi Tuna Salad

Ahi Tuna Salad

ADD orange juice, honey or syrup, and seared ahi tuna steaks.

Discover simple recipes from around the world

Be Inspired. Explore your boundaries and creativity.