Have you always wanted to re-create those restaurant salad bars then read on, as we provide you quick salad recipes, dressings, dips, and how to make your own breadsticks and croutons.
If you have a buffet party planned then this is the perfect way to approach a salad bar. You might not have the fancy salad bar cart, but that doesn’t matter, use several similar bowls, aligned in an orderly manner and dedicate a table just for this purpose. If you don’t have room, use a cake tier, and use individual iceberg leaves, or cabbage leaves as bowls.
Not everyone likes tomatoes, and not everyone like lettuce, so simply slice up nicely each of the following ingredients (add other ingredients if you wish) and serve in individual platter or without mixing: tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, beetroot, carrot, radishes.
For salad leaves, take a variety such as baby spinach, iceberg, Romanian lettuce etc. and mix and serve in its own bowl.
We all like drizzle over various salad dressings or even dunk our tomatoes and cucumbers into these dressing! Try out the following dressings recipes:
Classic Balsamic Dressing Recipe: In a dressing bottle or jam jar add 6tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 4tbsp balsamic vinegar, pinch of sugar, salt and black pepper to taste and mix very well.
Honey and Mustard Dressing Recipe: Add 6tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 4tbsp white vinegar, 2tbsp mustard paste, 4tsp honey , salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste in a dressing bottle or jam jar and shake very well.
Thousand Island Dressing Recipe: Mix together 1 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup chilli sauce, 1/4 lemon juice, 2 tsp. sugar and 1/2 tsp of salt. Add 2 hard boiled eggs finely chopped, 1/2 cup green pepper finely chopped, 1/4 cup onion finely chopped and 3 tbs pickled relish and mix.
French Dressing Recipe: Mix together 1 tbsp white vinegar, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 3 tbsp groundnut oil, 1 crushed garlic, salt and pepper to taste. (Optional add brown sugar, lemon juice)
Ranch Dressing Recipe: Mix together 8 tsp. minced onion, 1tbsp. dried parsley flakes, 2 & 1/2 tsp. paprika, 2 tsp. sugar, 2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. pepper, 1& 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup buttermilk. Leave for a few hours atleast before serving.
Blue Cheese Salad Dressing Recipe: Whisk together 1 cup mayonnaise, 2 tbsp. cider vinegar, 1 tbsp. oil, 1/2 tsp. oregano, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 freshly ground black pepper, 8oz sour cream and 1 garlic clove. Then add in ½ cup of blue cheese, crumbled. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
There are a huge number of salad recipes out there to choose from, and you might find yourself overwhelmed by the variety. Choose what salad to make by the main ingredients such as Mayonnaise, Pasta, Cheese, Couscous, Pulses, Fruit, Nuts, Fish, Chicken, Special Herbs such as Dill or Special Vegetables such as Beetroot, which will give a beautiful purple colour to whatever you mix it with! Also consider choosing salads by their name such as Russian salad, coleslaw and Greek salad.
Coleslaw - Slaw derived from a dutch word ‘koosla’ means “cold cabbage” it is a mixture shredded cabbage, vinaigrette dressing, and any number of other chopped ingredients.
Coleslaw Recipe: In a bowl whisk together 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper, then spoon this mixture over 6 cups finely sliced cabbage, 6 cups grated carrot, 1 cup thinly sliced onions that has been mixed together in a larger bowl.
Optional: add sliced red bell pepper, raisins, or crunchy apples.
Russian Salad - Let me quickly take this opportunity to clear up the misconception that Russian salad has to have apples, nuts and all the vegetables you can get your hands on! Original salad dates back 1860’s by Lucien Oliver – the recipe was a secret – but later on was revealed.
Traditional Russian Salad Recipe: With 2 potatoes, 1 small cucumber, 3 lettuce leaves, 3 large crawfish tails, ¼ cup cubed aspic, 1tsp capers, 3-5 olives and 1 1/2 tbsp. of Provencal dressing-mayonnaise; it was also known that it contained grouse, veal, caviar, capers, gherkins, cucumbers and hard-boiled egg, But of course with all gourmet recipe once popularized they evolve and cheaper and readily available ingredients now have created a vast variety of Russian salads!
Popular Russian Salad Recipe:
Mix together 1 Cabbage finely chopped, 3 carrots boiled and chopped , 3 medium potatoes boiled and cubed, 1 cup boiled green peas, 3 apples chopped, 1 can of pineapple bits, 2 cucumbers diced, and 1/2 cup raisins soaked in hot water. Beat together 1/2 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp white pepper, 4-5 cups of mayonnaise and 1 cup of cream, and then add this to the salad. Serve chilled.
Greek Salad Recipe: In a bowl mix together 2tbsp lemon juice, 6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, 1 garlic clove crushed and 2tbsp oregano or thyme. Mix 1 chopped cucumber, 1 large onion sliced, 6 ripened tomatoes chunks, 24 black olives halved, 225g of feta cheese cubed and 1 lettuce together and mix in the dressing.
Triple Bean Salad Recipe:
Mix together 1/2 cup chopped green onions, 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper, 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper, 1 can chickpeas and 1 can kidney beans). Combine 3 tbsp. vinegar, 2tbs olive oil, 1 tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. lemon juice and 1/2 tsp. salt, and pour over the beans, mix well.
(Optional: add chilli flakes to spice it up, or even boiled potatoes chopped).
Tabbouleh Recipe: In a large bowl mix together 4 cups tomato diced, 2/3 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, 1/3 cup thinly sliced spring onions, 1/4 cup uncooked bulger and 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint, cover and stand for 30 minutes. Stir in 2 1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, and 2 tbsp. lemon juice, 1/2 salt, 1/2 ground allspice, 1/4 ground cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Serve on salad leaves.
Croutons are a must on a salad bar, and make sure you make plenty! Try and make breadsticks or use tortilla chips as well, it will complement the dressings that people will use as a dip!
Croutons Recipe: trim off two thick slices of bread and cut into small cubes. Put 4 tbsp of olive oil and 2 cloves of crushed garlic in a bowl. Season with a pinch of salt, and generous amount of ground black pepper, mix well. Pour the garlic oil into a shallow dish. Add the bread cubes gently, so they are coated with the oil. Place the croutons onto a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven straightaway.
There are endless things you can do with a salad bar. click here to find more salad recipes.