TASTE
05/13/2013 08:53 am ET Updated May 13, 2013

Common Salad Mistakes

Quentin Bacon/Food&Wine

Salads are definitely one of the easiest things to make. You just take a handful of greens, throw on some add-ins and dress it, right? Nope. That's wrong.

Sure, salads can be one of the easier things to make for a quick meal, but there are still a few things you need to know in order to get it right. Because there's no reason you should be ruining such a good thing, when you can easily make it so right.

Here are seven things you should NOT do when making salads:

Too much dressing.
Drowning your salad in too much dressing is the number one way to mess up your salad. You may think that the more dressing the better because that's where all the flavor comes from, but there's nothing less appetizing than a salad that's dripping in oil. If you've accidentally added too much dressing, try throwing in more greens to correct the ratio.

Pouring on the dressing.
While the ratio of the dressing to salad is very important, it's also wise to not dump the dressing right on top of the salad. For one, you might add too much dressing. And two, the dressing won't be evenly distributed. Instead, coat a bowl (like the one you're going to serve it in) in dressing and add the salad to the bowl. Then, toss the salad in the bowl so that the dressing can evenly coat the greens.

Wet salad leaves.
Be sure to wash your greens before making it the base of your salad. (Unless, of course, you've bought a pre-washed mix.) But don't forget to dry it meticulously. Wet salad leaves will repel dressing -- and who wants to eat a salad that can't hold its dressing?

Not seasoning it.
You season your chicken, why wouldn't you season your salad? If you're one of those people who thinks that salads are bland, you may just need to add a little salt and pepper. But remember, a little bit goes a long way.

Subpar salad dressings.
We're fans of making our own salad dressing, and we think you should too. But if you do opt for making your own, keep in mind that the proper ratio is three parts oil to one part vinegar, lemon juice or something else with acidity.

Uncreative toppings.
Okay, while not getting creative with your toppings might not really count as a mistake, it can lead to unappetizing and boring salads. Don't just stick to the regular chicken breast, tomato, cucumber toppings. Adding in fruits, nuts, grains and cheeses can make your salad much more interesting.

Served in a bowl.
If all your great toppings always end up at the bottom of the serving bowl, you may want to chuck the bowl. Serving your salad on a plate or platter will help keep the salad and its fixings all together.

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