The Top Tip You Need To Pair Salad Greens And Dressing

One of the many joys of cooking at home comes from the thrill of combining different flavors and ingredients that compliment each other so well that they almost seem better together than apart. It's easy to imagine all the ways you can combine fantastic ingredients while cooking hot stews, soups, or sauces on a stove top, using heat to meld all the disparate flavors together. But the hot entree isn't the only place to consider specific flavor combos to boost taste.

Start considering unique flavor combos with your salad as well — and not just with your salad toppings. The art of ideal salad-making starts with matching a dressing to the type of green you are using in the first place, according to Taste of Home. All leaf flavors are not created equally, and it's important to spend some time thinking about the natural flavor of your salad leaf of choice. Once you understand the unique taste of your greens, you can strategize how best to complement its natural flavor with a well-paired dressing.

Match salad greens with a complimentary dressing

There are several characteristics to consider when matching your salad greens to an ideal dressing, with the two most prominent being flavor and texture. From bitter spinach to peppery arugula, the dressings selected can either enhance or drown out the natural goodness of each green. In terms of texture, the thickness and crunchiness of each green can affect what dressing it can even hold, according to Taste of Home. Thick, creamy dressings can overwhelm the thin, fragile greens found in spring mix and leave you wondering if you're eating a salad or dressing soup.

Bon Appétit suggests this golden rule for pairing greens with dressings: "Like wines, match the bold with the bold, and the light with the light." Following this helpful rule, delicate greens like mesclun and arugula go best with lighter dressings like vinaigrettes while tougher, crunchier greens like kale and iceberg pair well with thicker dressings like ranch and blue cheese.

Don't save the fancy pairings for your wine list — start building big flavors with your salads.