How to Create the Perfect Salad

July 2, 2024

At the Burger Pub, salads are always on the menu. Not run-of-the-mill garden salads. Certainly not! Instead, you’ll find generous, hearty colourful salads with tasty ingredients—veritable meals in themselves! Chef Pierre Nief shares some insider information on how he creates our house salads—the kinds of tips you can adopt to make the perfect salad in your own home…

What do you need to make a salad a complete meal?

The trick is to find a balance between the ingredients. Generally, I start with a vegetable base of fresh, ripe produce. Then I add a protein, and a good vinaigrette or a favourite sauce. Finally, I decorate the salad with a colourful garnish—just for fun! That’s the key to a perfect salad.

What goes into the salads on the Pub menu?

I use the same approach as with your first question. I’ll choose the vegetable base according to what’s in season and what the producers are able to provide at the time. The protein ingredient is also based on availability. In spring and summer, I’ll typically choose something grilled, while in winter, I’ll opt for a meat confit. For the seasoning, I’ll use a light vinaigrette during the summer months, and a thicker one when the weather is colder.

Finally, when it comes to garnishes, I don’t have any particular rules. That final touch to the salad is when you can indulge yourself and add your own favourites. Anything goes!

Ideas for adding variety to your salads

Greens (other than lettuce): arugula, spinach, endives, lamb’s lettuce, microgreens;

Protein: grilled chicken, duck confit, smoked tofu, hard-boiled eggs, tuna in olive oil, salmon fillet;

Vegetables: grilled asparagus, steamed green beans, multi-coloured tomatoes, roasted peppers, raw broccoli;

Fruit: ripe strawberries, fresh cherries, blueberries, citrus supremes, apples, pomegranate seeds, watermelon cubes;

Cheese: crumbled feta, goat cheese, parmesan, burrata, bocconcini;

Garnishes: pumpkin seeds, pieces of toasted pita, olives, fresh herbs, sliced almonds.

What are your favourite ingredients?

Fruit! It brings such a wide variety of tastes and textures. And if you like a bit of “crunch”, add nuts, seeds or croutons. You also need a high-quality olive oil and acidity in the form of lemon in the vinaigrette (for example), marinated vegetables, cheese, etc.

Is there a specific order in which to add the ingredients?

Apart from the protein and the garnishes that decorate the dish at the end, everything else should be thoroughly tossed, so that the seasoning spreads evenly throughout the salad.

Now that summer is here and you may not feel like cooking (we get it!), why not stop by the Burger Pub to sample our irresistible menu and enjoy the great view of Mount Orford?

To make a reservation, call us at 819 847-4936.

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