Sunny spring days means salad days

11 September, 2020

Our guide to the best salads in Chatswood

Oh September, how we love you. There’s a whisper of warmth in the air (and more than a whisper on some days). Those chilly mornings and nights are becoming but a distant memory until autumn rolls around again. The prospect of a day at the beach or lazing by a pool is becoming more and more possible.

And one of the things we love about warm spring days is enjoying salads. Sometimes, it’s because it’s getting a bit hot and the thought of eating something hot and stodgy just doesn’t appeal. Or sometimes, it’s the awareness of a bit of extra winter-cuddliness that’s slipped on motivating you towards healthier eating. But whatever the reason, there’s no need to compromise on deliciousness when opting for a salad!

Here’s our guide to making friends with salad and where to find some of Chatswood’s best options.

Six steps to sensational salads with substance and soul

Salad doesn’t have to be a virtuous but dull option when you follow our guide to making the perfect salad. Here’s what we think are the key elements:

  1. Fresh produce: This is not the time to use the sad and limp lettuce that’s been sitting in your crisper drawer all week (braise it with peas instead for a fantastic side dish). You want fresh produce that’s crisp, vibrant and bursting with life.
  2. Pleasing colours: Everyone knows that you eat with your eyes first. Go for a mix of colours or aim for the subtle variations of a monochrome palette (think tomatoes, red capsicum, red onion and pomegranate!).
  3. Mix up your textures: Add interest to your salad with different textures. This could mean a topping of different nuts and seeds, or include some creaminess with feta cheese or avocado.
  4. Dress to impress: A salad without dressing is just sad. A great salad dressing ties everything together. Experiment with different combinations, bringing together oils or other fats (like avocado, tahini or yoghurt) and with acids like vinegars or citrus juices to find your new favourite dressing. Your dressing is also a great way to play with different flavour profiles, for example a Thai-inspired fish sauce base, a Japanese-vibe miso dressing or vaguely Middle Eastern flavours from pomegranate molasses.
  5. Satisfy with substance: For a salad that ticks all the boxes for a complete meal, rather than just a side dish, you’ve got to have a bit of substance. This could mean including different grains like quinoa, freekeh, or bulgur wheat; noodles like soba or vermicelli; or a source of protein like plenty of nuts, a piece of grilled salmon, or some perfectly poached chicken.
  6. An element of the unexpected: The best salads have something that you weren’t expecting that gets your tastebuds all excited. This might be some fresh herbs, pieces of fruit, or an unusual flavour pairing that just works.

Where to find Chatswood’s best salads

There’s no shortage of fantastic salads around Chatswood that you can grab for a quick workday lunch or for a light dinner, whether that’s eating in or taking home to enjoy in front of the telly. Here’s some of our favourites:

  • Check out Stone and Peel for a great range of ready-to-go salads, plus cold pressed juices, smoothies and more
  • Try Pepper Lunch Express for salads with steak, chicken, hamburger or salmon
  • Head to Saigon Rolls for choices like roast pork with crackling salad and lemongrass chicken salad.