Cheese is great for adding flavor, texture and contrast to a salad. It can be used to turn a salad into a heartier meal, or as a substitute for a heavy dressing. Apart from cheddar, which can be grated over a green or tomato salad to add color and taste, there are five more cheeses that are perfect to add to salad recipes. Read on to learn how to make cheese the highlight of your next salad.
Feta cheese is used in Greek salads to add flavor; it is a salty cheese so there is no need to add additional salt to the recipe. Dressing may not be required either, as the feta is a creamy, moist cheese. Mix feta with kalamata olives, plum tomatoes, red onion and cucumber for a traditional Greek-style salad. Feta also goes well with oranges and parma ham to give salads an interesting twist.
Blue cheeses, such as gorgonzola and stilton, are ideal if you want a sharper, stronger flavor to your salad. As an alternative to the popular blue cheese dressing, simply crumble your cheese over the top of a plate of salad greens. Blue cheeses complement beets, mushrooms, nuts and pears.
Goats cheese is hugely popular in salads and also works well with beets, mushrooms and nuts. A round of goats cheese is often served topped with breadcrumbs and with the salad leaves on the side; alternatively, crumble the goats cheese over the dish for a tasty garnish.
For a milder cheese to add to your salad, try ricotta; with its smooth, mild flavor it works on salad dishes that already have a spicy ingredient or a strong flavor, such as grilled chicken. Ricotta and spinach make a great salad combination. Go for roasted ricotta, which is drier than regular ricotta and easier to crumble over the dish. In fact, you can learn how to make ricotta cheese right here.
Parmagiano-regganio is an Italian cheese: salty and earthy with a hint of nut, it is commonly served grated and sprinkled over pastas, pizzas and soups, but also works well in a salad dish. As an alternative to grating, shave thin slices of the cheese; these will give the salad more bite. Fennel, parma ham and melon all taste great with a topping of parmagiano-regganio.
There are many more varieties of delicious cheeses and most of them taste great in salad dishes. The key is to look at the other ingredients in your salad recipe and try to work out what kind of cheese will add the most to it.