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Five Trending Salad Flavors

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By Andrea Lynn
Five Trending Salad Flavors

Gone are the days when a salad was a boring prelude to the main course. Today, with an emphasis on a wide range of fruits, grains, and other ingredients, salads can steal the show. Here are a few of the current top salad trends:

1. Go with Grains

Whole grains including brown rice and quinoa can be stirred into vegetable-based salads to bulk up both nutrition and heartiness, or can be showcased all on their own, like in this Brown Rice Salad. An equal amount of grains, such as wheat berries, bulgur wheat, or barley, can be substituted for the 1 cup of brown rice in the recipe and dressed in the garam masala-spiked vinaigrette.

 

2. Kale Galore

This sturdy green has been escalating in popularity in recent years with no downturn in sight. The trick to this strong, slightly-bitter green is to match it with other boisterous flavors, like in the Autumn Butternut and Kale Salad with Maple Vinaigrette recipe. The silky roasted butternut squash, Parmesan cheese, and maple vinaigrette can hold their own with the kale. For a little more brightness, consider adding the tangy pop of pomegranate seeds.

 

3. Layered Salads

Is there anything cuter than a layered salad packed into a pint or quart mason jar? We don't think so. There's also a practical side to mason jar salads, which are conveniently portable work lunches. Any salad can go the layered route. First, drizzle a couple spoonfuls of salad dressing onto the bottom. Then, add the heaviest items first — basically anything that would weigh a salad down such as beans, grains, boiled potatoes, or protein like tuna salad. Build the salad with layers of vegetables from this point on, and add the greens and anything that needs to stay crunchy (hello, croutons) on the top. Seal and pour into a bowl to combine while at work, or shake and eat directly from the jar. For example, to turn this Greek Salad into a layered mason jar salad with the added protein of chicken, pour the dressing in the jar first, followed by olives, cubed cooked chicken, lettuce, and feta cheese. A delicious lunchtime salad awaits.

 

  

4. Vegetable Ribbons

Due to the rise of the spiralizer, a kitchen gadget in the form of a spiral slicer, many kinds of vegetables can be run through the gadget and turned into a ribbon- or noodle-like shape. While some of the hype has been centered around using the veggie slivers as a replacement for pasta noodles, they also can be tossed with a vinaigrette for a great salad. Without a spiralizer, a vegetable peeler can be used to make the long, thin strips. Mix carrot ribbons with a vanilla vinaigrette, or combine cucumber ribbons with mango vinaigrette.

5. Become a Fruit Fanatic

Fruit doesn't have to be confined to dessert. In fact, when it comes to salad, fruits and vegetables are now on an even playing field. Whether using dried fruit like cranberries, unsweetened shredded coconut, or mango, or fresh segments like mandarin orange slices, pineapple chunks, or chopped apple, fruit adds a touch of sweetness that plays well in salads. Rely on a juicy tropical fruit for this Mango Quinoa Salad, chopped oranges in a Citrus and Fennel Coleslaw, and dried apricots in this turkey salad, or add fresh peach slices to any tomato-heavy salad, like a panzanella.

 

 

Andrea Lynn (andrealynnfoodwriter.com) is a recipe developer and cookbook author, most recently of the culinary guidebook/ cookbook, Queens: A Culinary Passport available on Amazon.com. 

Spice Islands® spices deliver high quality, authentic flavors from all over the world so you can put the most delicious meals on your table.

 

 

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