Spring Salad Recipes:
The secret to a really good salad is fresh ingredients--simply prepared and well seasoned. Greens should be crisp and cold. Fruits, cheeses, and vinaigrettes are best at room temperature. Beyond that, there are few rules for creating a spectacular salad.
Tropical Spinach Salad With Grilled Shrimp, for example, is just as delicious when prepared with chicken or pork. Substitute fresh peaches for mangoes, feta for goat cheese, or pine nuts for pistachios. Add a little crumbled blue cheese to Strawberry-Chicken Salad, or replace the diced onion with a handful of fresh chives. What could be easier? And if you're lucky enough to have leftovers, just tuck them inside a pita pocket for a terrific sandwich.
If a hectic schedule keeps you out of the kitchen, order an assortment of salads and tea sandwiches from a favorite cafe or delicatessen, and focus on a festive presentation. A colorful collection of teacups and pretty silverware can transform the simplest of salads into an elegant luncheon. Cream pitchers and sugar bowls make terrific containers for dressings and croutons.
Flavor softened butter with finely chopped herbs or fruit preserves, and serve with a basket of hot cornbread and homemade rolls or miniature muffins and biscuits.