Why you Find Salads Tastier at a Restaurant
The other night I ate one of my favorite restaurant meals: a finely chopped arugula and radicchio salad with tiny, crispy-yet-melting bits of fried onions, and paper-thin shards of sharp cheese. It's a fabulous salad, but it's one I've never been able to recreate at home. Unlike many restaurant dishes, which I feel can be recaptured at home with a little detective work, salads can just taste so much better when you're out.
Here are a few reasons why that it is — and a few ways to make up the difference at home.
1. A restaurant salad has salt on it.
Most good restaurants season salad carefully — probably adding salt and pepper directly to the greens, not just the dressing.
2. Restaurants aren't afraid of fat.
They may put in far more olive oil (or bacon grease, or duck fat, or whatever luxurious fat they're using to dress your salad) than you would dare to at home!
3. A restaurant can handle variety and complexity.
Restaurants have the scale and time to make big batches of grains, chop nuts and fruit, and bring in a complex array of greens, not to mention prepare luxurious accompaniments, like fried goodies or perfectly cooked meat — all things that might be too costly or time-consuming for a regular weeknight salad at home.
4. Your salad was tossed in a huge bowl.
A small amount of greens are tossed and flipped with the dressing in an enormous bowl — often with a pair of tongs. Using a huge bowl to mix a small amount of salad means that you can coat the leaves with the dressing and fully mix in everything else.
5. Someone else made it.
But, in the end, I think that there's just something about a salad that someone else has made for you. More than other types of food, I find that I appreciate a great salad from someone else's hands quite a lot! There's something super luxurious about a great salad from a restaurant, and I'm always grateful when I eat a terrific salad I didn't have to work for!