Producing a potato salad at a cookout tends to produce groans, too. At times bland and, after two hours in the sun, wholly unappealing, it hasn't always gone down well. These days, however, salads are becoming less of the punchline of the jokes and more like the real event. With the rise of vegetarianism and even veganism, it's no wonder that both meat and vegetarian salads alike are getting a little bit more exciting. Diversification has become key, by adding much better ingredients into the mix and making them altogether stronger. So, to make salad a success when you host dinner, these are the steps we think you need to take.
1. Make carbs the base
Carbs can scare off a lot of people when it comes to salads, and that's where we get the famous potato salad from in the first place. But the addition of new potatoes, pasta and other carbs will help fill you up and stop you from reaching for a snack. If that's all a bit too much, why not compromise? Sweet potato is the hottest healthy potato on the block and works great in salads. SpudBar in Melbourne does an amazing Sweet Potato, Grains and Feta salad - it could be exactly what you're looking for.
2. Dress up the dressings
One of the biggest gripes that people seem to have with salads is that they're plain and dull - let's prove those people wrong! There's an array of exciting salad dressings from garlic parmesan to lemon olive oil - but why not move the focus away from the west? At Sydney's Salad Bar, they are quite literally spicing their salads up. The Bombay Chicken Salad incorporates tandoori chicken, spinach, green beans, onion, corn and even kidney beans and then finishes it off nicely with an Indian-style mint yoghurt dressing. So much flavour in one little bowl!
3. Be a little bit naughty
Salads have got a bit of a rep for being healthy options - and with good reason - but it's okay to put something in there that's a little naughtier from time to time, you know? The classic chicken caesar salad is a perfect example of that. We hate to break it to you: it's not actually the super clean-eating option that you might think. But it's delicious regardless and we're so on board with that. Sydney's SaladWorks has a great example of one, featuring all the stuff we love to treat ourselves with. Alongside the star ingredient, their Chicken Caesar Salad hosts bacon, egg, dressing, croutons and parmesan cheese - nestled among the more wholesome stuff like lettuce.
4. Sub it up
If you don't like something, change it. With salads, it's more than okay to make substitutions when it comes to things you don't like or cannot have. If you're unable to have gluten or dairy, for example, there are plenty of gluten- and/or dairy-free options out there. Sydney's Sumo Salad is brilliant at catering to this. Our vegan pals adore the Pumpkin Cous Cous Salad, because it's rich and varied without compromising anyone's principles. Pumpkin and cous cous are tossed with almonds and then stirred with a roasted garlic dressing. Even if you're not vegan, you'll want that for your lunch!
You'll find a salad to suit for sure on Deliveroo!