The Simple Trick That Will Change Your Salads Forever

Salads were made for summer. When you're too hot to cook, they're the quick and easy solution. Plus, you can turn a salad into a proper meal with a couple of add-ins like protein or grains to help bulk them up a bit. Regardless of what kind you're making, there's one simple trick that will change your salads forever, and you might just be surprised.

The standard healthy side dish for a meal, salads are indeed quite nutritious. According to Healthline, dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, or collard greens can support cognitive and heart health. Additional vitamin-rich vegetables and healthy fats can also work to keep the body nourished and working in tip-top shape. But if salads sound a bit boring to you, maybe that's because you haven't learned the formula.

According to Bon Appétit, the ideal salad relies on five basic elements that include vegetables, dressing, crunchy elements like nuts, protein, and fun extras like herbs or grains. While this blueprint for salad works wonders, sometimes a garden salad can also be delicious — that is, if you've followed one hack.

Season your salad bowl with a garlic clove

If you don't have time to whip up a fancy salad, but still want to elevate your basic garden salad, reach for a clove of garlic. America's Test Kitchen explains that in order to easily and effectively infuse flavor into mixed greens, all you have to do is take half of a peeled clove of garlic and rub it on the inside of your salad bowl.

Unless you're a garlic enthusiast, sometimes directly adding raw garlic directly into your salad dressing can result in overly pungent flavors. However, Food52 notes that this trick will add a subtle hint of garlicky goodness, and eventually also mix into the vinaigrette as the salad is tossed. A great way to amp up a basic green salad, this garlic hack can elevate potato, bean, and even pasta salads.

But, if you're nervous about the overpowering aroma that the garlic might have on your classic wooden salad bowl, there's also a hack for that — bake the bowl. In order to remove oily residues and lingering aromas, Cook's Illustrated recommends heating your oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit (and then turning it off) before placing the bowl upside down on a baking sheet for two hours. With nothing standing in your way, start seasoning any and every salad bowl.