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Dressing salads | Simple tricks for creating tasty, textured, and beautiful salads

Salads are versatile in flavour, texture, and quantity options. With a few simple tricks, you will be able to put together unique salads for one or crowd-pleasers for groups. Apply these tips to a wide range of ingredients, get creative, and develop some easy go-to’s.


main types of salads

The five main salad categories include green salads (either tossed or composed), bound, vegetable, combination salads, and fruit salads. These groupings make it easier to decide which ingredients to use for the perfect starter, side, main, or dessert salad.

Green salads

Green salads are made up of a mix of greens like lettuce, spinach, kale, broccoli, green pepper, cucumber, peas, and sprouts and are most often served cold. You can serve green salads as refreshig starters or sides and dress them in a light vinaigrettes or simply with salt and olive oil.

Bound salads

Most potato and pasta salads are known as bound salads. This is because the ingredients are bound with a creamy mayonnaise-based dressing. Bound salads add a comforting carbohydrate element to meals and can be served warm or cold.

Vegetable salads

You can create vegetable salads with raw or cooked vegetables that are not typically used in green salads. Ingredients include (but are not limited to) cabbage, carrots, beans, butternut, beetroot, and zucchini.

Combination salads

If you are serving salad as a main, combination salads are best. They tend to be higher in protein to be sustaining as a meal on their own. A combination salad can have the base of a green, bound, or vegetable salad with a form of meat, poultry, seafood, egg, or even cheese added to it.

Fruit salads

For a refreshing dessert or breakfast option, fruit salads are the way to go. You can serve fruit salads simply chopped and tossed or coated in fruit juice or syrup. Fruit salads pair well with yoghurt, ice cream, or custard.


Tips for creating beautiful, tasty salads

Using the above guide as a start, try some of these add ons to achieve a great variety of moreish salads:


aDD A crunch 

Besides the usual crunch you get from using fresh ingredients like cucumber or fresh lettuce leaves, these gems add that extra touch and are extremely flexible:

  • Toasted nuts and seeds 

Nuts and seeds undergo a wonderful flavour transformation when heated. Toasted nuts and seeds thus not only add texture but expand the overall flavour profile of any salad in just minutes. Savoury and dessert salads are better off with some of this crunch!

Throw a couple of nuts or seeds of your choice in a pan and toast them on low heat. Be sure to keep your eye on them as they can burn quite easily once they warm up.

  • Roasted chickpeas 

Roasted chickpeas are a great way to add protein and crisp to your salads. To make them at home, lightly coat cooked or drained chickpeas with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt before roasting them in the oven for 20-30 minutes at 200℃. Alternatively, you can make these in an air fryer at 200℃, frying for 15 minutes. You may choose to add other spices to your chickpeas, like paprika or cumin if you or your guests enjoy warming flavours.

  • Croutons 

Homemade croutons improve the quality of your salads and are the perfect way to employ leftover bread that may have slightly hardened. To make croutons, dice your bread and toss with olive oil and seasoning of your choice – salt, pepper, Italian herbs, or garlic powder are always winners! Place them on a baking tray (covered with parchment paper) and bake at 190℃ for a total of about 20 minutes, turning the croutons mid-way. These are best served fresh but you can keep them in a sealable container or bag for up to one week.

  • Crispy bacon bits

Bacon bits are a small luxury, but a worth-while treat! The saltiness of the bacon compliments the softer flavours in bound salads and adds a complexity to green salads. They also add a dash of protein to the mix. Preheat your oven to 220℃ and chop semi-frozen bacon strips into small squares. First fry them in a pan over medium-high heat for a few minutes, then let them bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes for that crunch. You can store left-over crispy bacon bits in the fridge for one week, so it may be worth frying up extra strips to sprinkle over your meals throughout the week, whether you are alone or cooking for others.

  • Sprouts 

Sprouts are nutritionally dense and textured! You can purchase sprouts in most grocery stores, but they are also very easy to make at home. Since sprout seeds are grown in warm and humid conditions, however, they do run the risk of carrying bacteria. For this reason, we recommend steaming, boiling, or even oven-roasting sprouts before adding them to your salads.

  • Broken-up nacho chips 

If you are pressed for time, this is the quickest element of crunch you can add to a salad. Simply snap a few nacho chips over your salad – break them into sizes that would make them easy to eat in one bite.


Something fruity 

A hint of sweet and sourness is never a bad idea in a salad. Dried fruit is a healthy option and can be stored in the cupboard for long periods, making it easy to grab when you need some inspiration.

  • Dried apricots 

Apricots are a classic in the world of dried fruits. If you are in the mood for chewiness in your salad, all you need do is finely chop the apricots. For a softer texture, soak them in some warm water for 10-20 minutes, drain, and slice. Apricots are especially tasty in fresh green salads.

  • Dried cranberries 

For a sour pop that won’t overwhelm the other flavours in your salad, sprinkle in a few dried cranberries. These are perfect for both warm and cold salads and pair especially well with cooked or roasted butternut.

  • Dried pears 

Peared with toasted walnuts, dried pears are unstoppable! Toss them with some rocket, lemon juice, and olive oil and you are good to go!



A good dressing can bring together the various elements and give a unique edge to your salads. Test some of these or use them as inspiration to create your own versions:

  • Pesto 

Both basil and sundried tomato pesto have a wonderfully intense flavour. Add pestos as they are, or mix them with lemon juice, salt, and olive oil to loosen and lighten their flavour.

  • Tamari

The bitterness of tamari grounds salads that are very sweet or subtly flavoured. Combine tamari with olive oil and honey for a simple dressing. You can add something acidic like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to make the dressing runnier and prevent your salad from being overpowered by the bitter tones in tamari.

  • Nut butter 

If you are a fan of nut butters, they make delicious additions to salads! The macadamia nut butter dressing we offer in our Whole Roasted Cauliflower recipe is especially tasty – combine macadamia nut butter with olive oil and lemon juice (if you don’t have lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, or another citrus fruit will do to break the oiliness of the rest of the ingredients).

  • Cheesy sauce

For warm salads, in particular, a creamy sauce is a must. A cashew dressing is ideal. Blend together soaked cashews and nutritional yeast with olive oil, water, lemon juice, vegetable stock powder, and salt – you’ll end up with not only a creamy dressing but one that tastes cheesy too!

  • Mayonnaise two ways

Depending on your budget and schedule, you can opt for a quick and simple mayonnaise dressing for bound salads, or one that is thicker, creamier, and made from scratch.

For an affordable mayonnaise dressing, whip together a teaspoon of Dijon mustard (smooth or grainy), 1 1/2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, a dash of milk, some salt, and a pinch of granulated sugar.

Alternatively, froth three egg yolks, a teaspoon of white wine vinegar, a teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper in a food processor. Leave the motor running while gently pouring in a cup of light olive oil. Finish the dressing off by adding a tablespoon of both wholegrain mustard and lemon juice, along with 2 tablespoons of warm water. Continue to process the mixture it is nice and creamy.


By using these simple tips, you can build beautiful salads that are appealing to look at and delightful to eat!

Shop our farm fresh leafy greens and veggies individually or in bulk for all your salads!

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