Dressing a salad can be a balancing act. Add too much dressing, and your greens will be drowning; add too little, and they'll be dry and flavorless. Figuring out exactly how much to drizzle on and avoiding a major salad dressing mistake is a guessing game that sometimes ends in failure either way. But there's actually an easy way to figure out how much dressing to put on a salad, no matter what size it is, and it comes in the form of a simple ratio.
For the perfect amount of flavor and moisture without overwhelming your salad, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of your favorite dressing for every 4 cups of salad greens. Whether you're using arugula, spinach, romaine, a mix, or any other variety of greens, this ratio can be used to estimate how much dressing you'll need for a perfectly coated and flavored salad. Scale up or down based on how many cups of greens you've put in the bowl.
Why Balance Is Important For Salad Dressing
The urge to douse a salad in dressing can be strong, especially if you're using a variety you particularly enjoy or have whipped up an addictive homemade salad dressing. But keeping the ratio of greens to dressing balanced is key for a tastier and better-composed salad. Overwhelming the salad with dressing can drown out the flavors of the greens, the other vegetables, and any other ingredients you may have put into the bowl, such as proteins or cheeses. This is especially true if you're using a dressing with stronger flavors, such as blue cheese or ranch.
Too much dressing can also affect the texture of your greens, making them limp and soggy. The salt and acid in salad dressing will suck moisture out of your greens, causing them to lose their toothsome texture. Over time, the process will cause the salad to become not only limp but watery as well. If you're planning on saving that salad for later after dressing it, a measured hand is especially important. Using the right ratio of dressing to greens will ensure your salad gets enough flavor but doesn't get waterlogged in the process.
Another Super Salad Ratio For Toppings
Ratios make building the perfect salad simple and can even be applied to ingredients beyond just greens and dressing. There's another easy-to-remember ratio for adding the perfect mix of flavors, textures, and substance to your salads, and it only requires counting to four.
This ratio requires 1 cup of something substantial such as proteins, grains, or cheese; 2 tablespoons of a crunchy or crispy topping like seeds, nuts, or croutons; three types of fruits or veggies; and 4 cups of greens. Mix it all together, adding in your 1 to 2 tablespoons of dressing, and you'll have a balanced salad filled with a variety of consistencies — without the dish as a whole becoming overwhelmed by too many ingredients or tasting boring with too few.
These ratios are just guidelines, of course, so do take into consideration your own flavor preferences when building a salad, as well as pairing flavors and textures that play nicely together. In the end, you'll be left with a better, altogether more balanced salad.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.