A lot of people don’t like having their salad tossed because they’ve never had their salad properly tossed. This is due to the fact that most people are clueless about how to toss a salad the right way. You can’t just jump in and throw things together, you have to take your time and do it care. When you do this, you want to be prepared. There’s an art to tossing a salad and it can take a lifetime to master.
I’m speaking from experience, I’ve tossed a lot of salads and practice makes perfect. I’m here to guide you, to educate you and show you how to make this process both enjoyable and memorable for everyone involved. Now, as much as I love to toss salad, I won’t do it for just anyone. True, I’m a slut and I’ll cook just about anywhere for anyone but tossing a salad is something special. You need to know who you’re cooking for and what they’re into. You’re cooking for them, find out what they’re into prior writing a menu.
This is your Kitchen
Like with everything, confidence is key. If you’re hesitant and nervous, it’s going to ruin the mood. You need to be able to effortlessly move into it like it’s what you were born to do it. A lot of people might be weird about it at first, they were expecting something simple and you just raised the bar but if you treat it as part of the meal, most won’t object. They might not even realize they like it at first but if you ease them into it, it can be a game changer.
Wash, rinse, repeat.
The first thing that you absolutely must do is make sure everything is thoroughly washed. You cannot skimp on this step at all. Salad tends to have a lot of dirt and other debris that can ruin the whole experience and you want to make sure that what you’re working with is spotless. I cannot stress this enough since even a little dirt can ruin the meal.
Handle with care
You have to be gentle when you first start out since you don’t want to bruise the salad by getting too rough with it. Some greens such as arugula are a bit more hearty but if you’re not sure, err on the side of caution. A light touch goes a long way with this.
You want to make sure that everything gets nice and tossed and that you get into every little fold. If you’re going to toss a salad, toss it, don’t just tease it. The dressing is up to you, just remember to keep a sense of balance. No one wants a dry salad but at the same time, a little dressing goes a long way.
Keep it simple, or don’t.
Now, I know that a lot of people go overboard with this. They add too much to the salad and it loses it’s focus, there’s too many things going on for the person to enjoy it. Take my advice and keep it simple. The salad isn’t meant to be the center of the meal, it’s meant to be on the side to give some color to things. That being said, some people are way more into it than others and if so, get as weird as you want, no one’s judging.
Timing is everything
Another thing that you need to keep in mind is that you should never toss the salad as the first course. This tends to startle people. There needs to be at least one or two other courses prior to the salad getting tossed but it should come before the main dish. It should also work seamlessly with the rest of the meal and flow with things. If you toss the salad at the wrong time it can throw off everything.
Communication and closing
Remember, communication is key. Not only do you need to pay attention to what they’re saying to you, you need to pay attention to how they’re responding to the meal. You’re cooking for them, there’s no shame in having to adjust the menu midway because something’s either not working or working better than expected. If they want a second or third serving, be ready to deliver. The end goal of this is to make sure that they leave not only satisfied but hungry for more and they come back. A good tossed salad paired with the right meal at the right time can easily be what separates you from the rest of the Chefs.