Newly sprouted spring veggies and vibrant butter lettuce make us crave some serious crunch. Salad for President author Julia Sherman shares a dish and smart bowl-building tips, plus great gear for spinning greens and keeping them garden-fresh.
Julia Sherman, author of the hugely popular Salad for President, schools us on keeping it simple, avoiding wet greens, and more.
CL: What’s the salad mistake most people make without even knowing it?
JS: Lots of people consider drying greens as optional, but it’s crucial. It’s admittedly tedious, but it’s a shame to make a perfectly balanced dressing then dilute it with wet greens.
What are the most important rules for building salads?
Buy what’s in season, and be willing to change your recipe according to what looks best in the market. I also find the ideal approach is usually the simplest one. The fewer the ingredients, the better. Salad benefits from a bit of restraint.
What’s your desert island salad?
I eat bitter greens with anchovy-and-lemon vinaigrette daily. It never gets boring.
View recipe: Shaved Spring Veggie Salad
We’ve got the perfect wine for the salad above: Bayten Sauvignon Blanc ($14) from South Africa. Fruity and crisp, with light minerality and lovely vegetal-grassy notes, it has enough acid to cut through the rich tahini in the dressing but not so much that it curls your toes. It also offers a little tickling effervescence on the palate, like Portuguese Vinho Verde.
Just got some great-looking lettuce? Watch how to store it:
Going for around $1 each, good old farm-style our-sack towels are one of the best values in kitchen staples, particularly when you consider that they dwarf regular kitchen towels at 30 square inches. “Super-absorbent and lint-free, they are one of the most versatile tools in my kitchen,” says Cooking Light Editor in Chief Hunter Lewis. “Use them to dry lettuces and herbs, or fold them to use as oversize oven mitts.” $4/pack of 4, target.com
A small spinner is the perfect-size tool for drying handfuls of washed greens or fresh herbs for one- or two-person salads. We love OXO’s intuitively designed pump and brake button and the skidproof bottom that keeps it still while it spins. OXO Good Grips Little Salad & Herb Spinner, $25, amazon.com.