Saturday, June 23, 2012

How Thomas Keller Makes Salad

One of my favorite cookbooks is Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc Cookbook.  In case you're not familiar with the name, Thomas Keller is the proprietor of The French Laundry, which is consistently rated as one of the top restaurants in the world.  He's also the chef/owner of Per Se, Bouchon, and Ad Hoc

While reading through the Ad Hoc Cookbook I was blown away by the attention to detail paid during the preparation of even the most basic of dishes such as salad.  It occurred to me that little things can make a huge difference.  Here are 4 simple tips from Mr. Keller. that you use to take your salad making to the next level:

Rinse your greens then spin - When cleaning your greens, place them in a bowl of cold water, but do not drain into a colander.  This reintroduces the dirt you just washed off.  Instead, place the leaves in a salad a spinner to properly remove excess moisture. 

Season each ingredient - Apply salt and other seasonings to the ingredients separately before combining.  Each ingredient is unique and requires a different amount of seasoning.

Dress your salad evenly - When dressing your salad, apply the dressing to the sides of the mixing bowl instead of pouring it on top of your ingredients.  Then, toss the greens lightly.  Doing so ensures your salad is evenly coated with dressing.

Pay attention to weight - If your salad contains many components, consider using a shallow serving dish and placing the lighter ingredients on top.  This makes it easier to try all the ingredients in the salad.

Be sure to try these tips out the next time you make a salad and you'll notice a huge difference.


  1. Applying dressing to the side of the bowl works real well. I saw that on Food Network.

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