Looking to up your at-home salad game but don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place 🙂 Learning to make gourmet salads at home has been my quarantine passion project, and I’ve been shouting my love for these salads from the rooftops to anyone who will listen. Creating great salads takes the right tools, so I’ve made this guide of everything I use and love to help you make gourmet salads at home!
A Great Salad Recipe Book
First thing you obviously need is great recipes to make and if you’ve seen anything I’ve posted on social media lately you’ll know I will literally NOT SHUT UP about how much I love my Mandy’s Salads book. I originally fell in love with Mandy’s during the 4 years I lived in Montreal for University, and have spent the past 4 years since I left, trying so very hard to recreate their magical salads.
Finally this summer they released their recipes to the public and it has been my saving grace throughout quarantine. Since getting a copy for myself I have purchased countless copies for friends and family, who have in turn fallen in love with it as well. I have also realized the reason why it is the best cookbook I have ever owned is because so many of the ingredients overlap between recipes. This makes it easy to go to the store, get 20 ingredients, and make 5 different kinds of salads! Because it was written by a restaurant, and their ingredients inherently overlap for efficiency, so does the book! Brilliant!!
Honestly, I don’t know when I will shut up about this book so get one already and watch how passionate you will become about salads ?. If you just want a taste, I shared my favorite recipe, the Wolfe Bowl, here.
Beautiful, Large Salad Bowls
Creating a great salad is one thing, but if you don’t have a beautiful vessel to eat it from, then you definitely won’t quite hit the mark. These are the actual bowls that Mandy’s uses to serve salads in their restaurants, and not only are they gorgeous, but they’re massive too! You can fit quite a bit of salad in here, so I usually only fill them 3/4 full – which is plentyyy. There are a bunch of different designs available, but they all mix and match pretty well so it’s fun to have a set of all types! Make sure to go with the ‘Large’ size.
Ulu Chopping Knife
One of the things I learned from visiting Mandy’s frequently in person and watching their process was that chopping and mixing is an incredibly important step. After doing some research, I discovered that an Ulu knife is an incredibly efficient way to do this, and had to get one for myself to try out. It was definitely worth it and it’s safe to say I won’t be switching back to a regular knife anytime soon.
Big Chopping & Mixing Bowl
Obviously you need a great bowl for mixing everything together, but if you’re going to chop it too (which I highly recommend), a metal bowl is the best way to do that so you don’t risk damaging it. There’s nothing too special required, and any metal mixing bowl will do, you just want one that’s big enough to hold all your ingredients!
Immersion Blender for Dressings
An immersion blender is one of those things that I’ve spent most of my life not knowing about, but now that I’ve been introduced to them I can’t imagine not having one. If you have a great blender, I’m sure you could get away without one of these. But if you want a small and handy tool for blending dressings, these are immensely helpful. You can also use them to make fantastic soups!
Salad Tongs for Serving
The final piece of the puzzle for when you’re ready to serve your salads – a great paid of salad tongs! There are all sorts of styles out there, but I think a great serving set like this is classic, easy to clean, and looks great as serving wear for many different plates as well.
And there you have it! Everything you need to make delicious, gourmet salads at home! Let me know what thing was your favorite below 🙂 I also have found that a combination of these items makes a fantastic housewarming gift for friends too.