Guide The trick of making a salad delicious and satisfying is in the balance and contrast of flavours and textures. In our café kitchens, we work with a simple structure for each salad: the base, the spread, seasonal heroes and toppings.
This way, we secure richness and make space for variations and seasonality. Following this four-step process, you can start to get creative with ingredients of your own choice and make use of leftovers from previous meals.
Cooking guide Four steps to a perfect salad
01 The spread
The spread grounds the salad visually and adds richness in flavour and nutrition. Distribute it evenly at the bottom of the serving bowl or plate to get it included in every little bite. Our much-loved spread is the yellow spilt pea hummus, but creamy cheese varieties work well too. We often create variations of our hummus with different legumes and seasonal flavourings like carrots, roasted red bell peppers, beetroots, pumpkin or spinach.
02 THE BASE
The base is the core of the salad, made of seasonal leaves and lettuce, as well as different cabbages, herbs, and sprouts. These greens are combined with a variety of legumes like lentils, beans, and peas, or boiled grains like rye, wheat, spelt or quinoa. Grated or finely sliced raw vegetables are ideal extras for additional flavouring and texture.
03 The seasonal hero
Choosing seasonal produce is both environmentally friendly and a great way to create natural variations in your kitchen, from the crisp spring or summer vegetables to the more robust flavours of autumn and winter. Depending on your daily mood and assets, it can equal cosy oven-roasted root vegetables or the lively spirit of raw or marinated, grated, or pickled greens.
04 The topping
Tasty toppings are the small finishing touches that set the salad apart. They can be varied almost indefinitely: a simple sprinkle mix with roasted sesame seeds and dried vinegar, fresh chilli and citrus zest or chopped herbs. Crumbled blue cheese or grated hard cheeses and berries pair beautifully too. For some essential crunch, add roasted nuts or seeds, or make classic croutons – a great way of up-cycling yesterday’s bread.
This guide and more can also be found in upcoming ARKET Café Cookbook, launched this winter. A vegetarian recipe collection with delicious dishes, cooking guides and personal stories on the philosophy behind our café.