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Finger Salads – A Guide to Finger Salads

Finger salads are so named because you eat them with your fingers (no utensils needed!). They can be made in large batches and stored in the refrigerator, so they’re an excellent choice for potlucks or casual gatherings where you don’t know how many people will show up, and they’re healthy because they’re not fried like traditional party appetizers. They also usually make use of fresh vegetables, and they typically don’t contain any eggs or dairy products that might spoil if the salad sits out too long at room temperature.

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What is a Finger Salad?

Traditional finger salads are often served at casual gatherings, including barbecues and get-togethers. 

These salads can be dressed a variety of ways, such as in an Italian vinaigrette with a tangy flavor, or with creamy ranch dressing. They are also sometimes topped with croutons and nuts for added texture. Hard (shredded) cheeses, meats, and even fruits can be included. The easiest way to make a finger salad is simply by serving a variety of different toppings on individual plates alongside large pre made greens or lettuce cups.

Romaine and Butter Crisp can work well and Iceberg – while not quite as tender – can also be a good choice. By measuring out carefully your toppings, you can ensure your guests fingers stay clean.

Finger Salad Names across the globe

There are many names for finger salads across various regions, but many people don’t know that there are different types of finger salads depending on where you come from. Some examples of different types of finger salads around the world are: Spring rolls in Eastern Europe; Gyoza in Asia; and Bánh Cuón in Southeast Asia. Each name has a similar way of preparation, but can also be made with different ingredients.

Other Finger Salads

In addition to traditional finger salads, there are other versions of finger food that don’t even include lettuce. For example, an antipasto plate is a great starter dish and consists of small slices of cured meats, marinated vegetables and olives. 

While these types of dishes have their place in some meals, they are not always appropriate as a meal for one (or for a group) unless served with other dishes. If you like eating things off your fingers but want something better than just snacks like popcorn or chips, consider creating your own variations on classic finger foods.

How to Make Finger Salads

When it comes to finger salads, you can get pretty creative in your recipe choices. Consider the recipes as just two ideas of many options. Because really—the sky’s (kind of) the limit when it comes to finger salad creation!

Aimee’s Dill Pickle Finger Salad: 

I wanted something simple; just some veggies for dipping or snacking on as I watched TV or read through a book. This combination was perfect for just kicking back and relaxing…and was great for taking along as a snack too! My family loved it. It’s also really easy to make, so feel free to double up if you’re making it for company! Enjoy! 

Ingredients: 1 (7-ounce) jar dill pickles, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 1 large cucumber, cut into half-moon slices 1 cup bell pepper strips (I used red, but any color will work) 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives 1⁄4 cup mayonnaise 2 tablespoons olive oil Pinch of salt and pepper Directions: Toss all ingredients together in a bowl until well combined.  Place on top of Large, Stiff greens. If possible, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 

Roasted Veggie & Chickpeas Salad: 

Roast up some veggies like cauliflower, peppers, and tomatoes in oil, salt & pepper. Toss in chickpeas for protein and mix with a tangy lime dressing. Layer on top of Large, Stiff greens. If possible, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 

Delicious and nutritious finger food!

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