I’ve realized that many of my favorite salads have something in common. They all seem to cover so many elements in the spectrum of flavors: salty, bitter, sweet, sour and umami. I’ve read that by combining and layering those flavors within a meal, you can reduce cravings and feel more satisfied. It makes perfect sense to me. I always tend to crave sweets after eating something bland and salty, like pretzels. Does that happen to you?
What I love is how combining varying flavors complement each other.The slight bitterness of arugula is so perfect with bites of sweet strawberries, then the creamy and salty feta and tart lemon vinaigrette kind of create a party in your mouth. Speaking of parties…this makes a wonderful salad for a gathering. Just whisk the vinaigrette together in advance and combine everything just before serving.
Take a peek at my five tips for creating the perfect salad below!
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard (regular Dijon works too)
- 2 teaspoons honey (use pure maple to keep this vegan)
- 1 teaspoon fine kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 10 ounces baby arugula
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- ½ small red onion, sliced
- 8 ounces feta cheese (omit to keep this vegan)
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or a jar with a fitted lid. Whisk or shake until emulsified.
- In a large roomy bowl, add the arugula and some of the dressing. Toss to coat the arugula. Add the remaining salad ingredients and more dressing. Toss gently.