Never underestimate the power of the humble green salad!
A nice mix of simple lettuce leaves, oil and vinegar, course sea salt, fresh cracked pepper and maybe a radish or two… Is that so boring?
These are our BEST Salad tips for CHANGING THE DINNER GAME and finding a way to make a HEAPING BOWL OF FRESH GREENS dressed with a bright vinaigrette a part of EVERY weeknight dinner!
I’ll have the TOSSED SALAD with the “HOUSE DRESSING” please…
The BEST SALAD DRESSING recipe is the one you know by heart.
Memorize one or two and salad with dinner will become the norm!
Find your families favorite dressing and make it YOUR own “House Dressing”.
Ours is the Creamy Italian or Champagne Vinaigrette…
The “side salad” at our house has been known to steal the show on an occasion or two.
TOSSING WITH VINEGAR AND OIL?
Here are a few tips to get you on your way:
- OLIVE OIL-Start with a splurge worthy Olive Oil. Our favorite is made in California, not too pricey and available at your local grocer. Try it and you will love it.
- VINEGAR– Look for a quality fruity vinegar. Everyone loves Balsamic… but I can tell you at that “favorite restaurant” you love they are probably using a nice Sherry or Champagne Vinegar instead. They may cost a bit more but this will take your everyday “dinner salad” to the next level. Since you will likely only use these to toss salads they should last you a good long time.
- VINEGAR FIRST– If you are using just vinegar and oil and not a vinaigrette be sure to season the salad greens with the VINEGAR FIRST and then finish with the Olive Oil separately. Don’t forget to add a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste.
- 3 to 1 RATIO (Oil to Vinegar)– Let’s say you have enough washed lettuce for 4 people (6 cups). I would start with a teaspoon of vinegar and a large pinch of salt. Toss gently with 2 spoons and determine if that is enough for your taste. If you are happy with the vinegar balance then drizzle in about 3 teaspoons Olive Oil and toss again
READY TO TOSS?
We buy the prewashed lettuce in bags but prefer the SPRING MIX in the box. It stays fresh longer and lasts us all week.
We take the lettuce straight from package to a wooden bowl and toss from there.
- USE A SALAD SPINNER– A must if you are NOT using prewashed lettuce. Your salad life WILL be better!
- USE A DRIZZLE SPOON– Add about 1 1/2 tablespoons of vinaigrette to 4 cups of clean dried lettuce. Toss gently with two spoons taste and adjust accordingly.
- TOPPINGS– Choose just 1 or 2 of your favorites (radishes, green onions, cherry tomatoes) and add AFTER you have tossed the greens with the dressing.
- ADD FRESH GRATED PARMESAN-and just like at OLIVE GARDEN…. add as much as you like. Grate it table-side with a microplane and it will be the best salad you ever ate!
I NEED TO MAKE A SALAD IN ADVANCE…
OK if you really really need to make a salad in advance then follow these tips to make up to 8 hours in advance….
- Place salad dressing in bottom of large wooden bowl
- Place any hard vegetables (carrots) on top of the dressing
- Add lettuce
- Add soft vegetables (green onions) on top of lettuce (minus tomatoes and cheese)
- Cover with paper towel
- Store in refrigerator
- Using two spoons gently toss the salad before serving. Add tomatoes and any cheese just before serving
- 1 GARLIC clove, minced or grated
- 2 tablespoons DIJON MUSTARD
- ¼ cup CHAMPAGNE VINEGAR
- 2 Tablespoons FRESH LEMON JUICE
- 2 Tablespoons HONEY
- 2 or 3 DASHES OF HOT SAUCE
- ½ cup EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
- ½ teaspoon SALT
- ½ teaspoon PEPPER
- Whisk salt into Vinegar until fully dissolved
- Whisk in garlic, mustard, lemon juice, honey, hot sauce and pepper until no lumps remain
- Slowly whisk in olive oil in a thin steady stream until fully incorporated
- If you prefer you can combine all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse 10 times or until smooth.
- ¼ cup FRESHLY SQUEEZED LEMON JUICE
- ½ cup FRUITY OLIVE OIL
- 1 teaspoon KOSHER SALT
- ½ teaspoon FRESH CRACKED PEPPER
- Whisk Salt together with lemon juice until dissolved
- Whisk in Olive Oil in a thin steady stream until full incorporated
- Add Fresh Cracked Pepper
For the folks who made it all the way to the bottom of this post we are including a BONUS RECIPE… Serving size 1 and perfect for your lunchtime salad! YOUR WELCOME 🙂
- 1 tablespoon LEMON JUICE (Fresh or bottle)
- 3 Tablespoons FRUITY OLIVE OIL (We prefer California Olive Ranch.com)
- 1 teaspoon of WATER (Do not skip)
- Pinch of SEA SALT
- Vigorously Whisk together lemon juice and olive oil until a nice emulsion forms. Add Sea Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper!
All my RANCH and BLUE CHEESE LOVERS look here for our BEST versions of these dressings!
We did NOT forget about you!