Perfect Garden Salad

READY IN: 20mins
Recipe by dianegrapegrower

My husband learned to make salad from his mother, so the family has been making salads this way for 50 years. We have this virtually every day. It takes a little practice, because the dressing is made "to taste". If you change type of oil or vinegar, you'll need to experiment a little learn how much to use. Our favorites are olive oil, and balsamic or rice wine vinegars. But other oils and vinegars work too. Parmesan from the can works (and it's what we use for everyday) but fresh grated is even better. Change vegetables to suit your tastes or what's in season. Play with it, and have fun - this is more of a technique than a recipe. For a photo demo, go to

Top Review by Andi of Longmeadow

This is the bomb ~ of taste, simplicity, and all time goodness! This is what I have been looking for, for years! A technique, recipe, or whatever, to make a (what I called a tableside salad) ~ this brings back memories of an era gone by, when there weren't a lot of fancy dressings, the salad itself was kinda the dressing, (the taste per sae) and the use of salt, pepper, oil and vinegar, balanced out that whole taste. This is the recipe you would want to use! Easy prep, chop some veggies, tear some lettuce, and enjoy the taste of a perfectly balanced, and very fresh salad! I didn't change anything! Made for Down on the Farm 2012

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Tear lettuce into bite sized pieces and wash and dry thoroughly. Place in large salad bowl (wider than it is deep). Top with prepared vegetables.
  2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cheese. Go lightly until you learn how much is "to taste" for you.
  3. Pour oil over salad, then vinegar. It is important that the oil be first. Quantity requires a bit of practice - go light on the vinegar at first. You can add more if needed. Aim to coat the top layer of vegetables. Toss until well mixed. Taste - add vinegar or oil if needed, and toss again. Do not add dry ingredients (see below). Serve immediately.
  4. Note: Your first couple salads may not be perfect. If you find that you didn't add enough salt or pepper, let diners add more as served - you can't get it well dispersed if you add to the salad bowl after the oil and vinegar have been added If you find that you added too much vinegar, a little salt can counteract - again, add as served.

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a