Classic Green Salad


7. classic green salad

classic green salad

The most frequent thing I cook is a simple green salad. It goes with pretty much anything and is a quick solution if you’re like me and feel that a meal isn’t complete without greens in some form.

per person:
1/2 tablespoon acid
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce, optional
1-2 handfuls salad leaves, washed and dried

1. Combine acid, soy and 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a medium bowl.

2. Toss leaves gently in the dressing using clean hands.

3. Taste and season.


acid – Sherry vinegar, rice wine vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice, red/white wine vinegar, champargne vinegar, balsamic.

soy-free – skip the soy sauce and be more generous with the salt. Or try a dash of fish sauce instead.

leaves – pretty much anything you like. Watercress, baby spinach, all lettuce, rocket (arugula), basil, parsley, mint, lovage, baby kale, baby cavolo nero, brussels sprouts leaves.

additional flavourings – miso, mustard.

other potential additives – shaved parmesan, goats cheese, finely sliced ripe grapes, shaved pear, nuts, seeds.

leftover potential?

Not the greatest. Will go a little soggy in the fridge, although I do know people who like their salad after it has been ‘marinated’ for a while. Go figure.

problem solving guide

dressing not sticking to the leaves – Usually this is a sign the leaves weren’t completely dry after they were washed. Next time spin dry in a salad spinner or pat really well with paper towel.

too oily – You’ve got too much dressing. Toss in some more leaves if you have them or transfer to a clean bowl and toss again so some of the excess dressing comes off onto the sides of the bowl.

too dry – Not enough dressing for the amount of leaves. Mix up a little more dressing and add to the leaves a little at a time. Keep the remainder of the dressing in the fridge.

serving suggestions

Pretty much works with anything savoury.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Trudy March 19, 2012

Hi Jules,
I’m glad to have a template for a basic green salad and dressing. I’m still confounded, though, by the dressing acid to oil proportion…looks like 1:3 here? sometimes my dressings taste bland, or rather the acid flavor isn’t very strong so I add a bit more, but it’s still too faint. Do I need to add a bit of salt? or sugar? or just more of the acid ingredient.

Also, the additives I toss in always fall to the bottom of the bowl. How can I mix them so they’re distributed more evenly?


jules March 20, 2012

Hi Trudy
Yes in this recipe I’ve gone for 1:3. But I vary my dressings depending on the type of salad I’m dressing and the type of acid. So if you think it’s bland keep adding more acid until you’re happy.

Salt will help bring out the sharpness. So that would be my first point. I find using soy sauce the best for adding complexity and bringing the dressing to life.

Sugar tones down acidity but enhances other flavors so it’s something to play with but I don’t use it in a dressing very often. If I feel like a sweeter dressing I usually choose a sweeter vinegar like balsamic.

I’m afraid the additive problem is just part of salad density. It’s an age old one. The best solution is to plate up the salad then sprinkle over the heavier additives.

Great questions!


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