How To Make a Better Side Salad

7 5 102
Ingredients Minutes Calories
Prep Cook Servings
5 min 0 min 2
How To Make a Better Side Salad
Health Highlights


6 cup Lettuce, spring mix (mesclun) (washed and torn)
1 cup grated Carrots
1/2 cup Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 cup slices Cucumber, peeled
1/2 tbsp Olive Oil, Extra Virgin
1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar (or lemon juice)
1 dash Black pepper (freshly ground, to taste)


  1. Put the greens (they should be dry - see notes) in a really big bowl. This gives you space to dress the salad without splashing or compressing all the air out of what should be a light, fluffy mix of greens. No matter how you serve your salad, it's best to toss it in a really big bowl — much bigger than the volume of the green themselves.
  2. Add any other vegetables you like (make sure they are dry). Herbs are extra-good. For a really simple salad, this is where you toss in any little extras. No need to over-complicate the side salad or weigh it down with lots of heavy vegetables. Finely shredded herbs are wonderful in salad too; try mint or basil! 
  3. Whisk good olive oil with the balsamic vinegar until thick and emulsified.
  4. Taste the dressing first. Always taste the dressing before you pour it on the salad. Adjust if you want a little more acidity or sweetness. Taste the dressing and adjust as needed.
  5. Use far less dressing than you think you need. You want to lightly dress the salad, not drench it. Drizzle the salad very lightly with dressing, just enough to moisten the lettuce, and work it in with your hands or two forks, stopping to toss it before you add all the dressing you've made. You want to coat the greens very, very lightly.
  6. Serve salad in individual bowls or bowls and garnish with freshly cracked pepper.


  1. The greens should be completely dry. - No matter what kind of greens you use, they should be as dry as possible. If greens aren't dry, they feel weighed down and even a little slimy when the dressing is added. I like to buy bags of mixed salad greens (sure, I could make my own mix, but I don't always have the time or inclination to buy frisee, radicchio, romaine, arugula, and butter lettuce and wash and chop them myself!), but these should be washed too. Wash the greens and spin dry if you like, then lay them out on a towel to air-dry for a little while.
  2. The greens should be bite-sized. Really. Make sure the greens are torn into bite-sized bits. I really hate those oversized wedges of lettuce left in restaurant salads; you have to cut them up to get them in your mouth! No good. Tear up your greens if you think they will be too big to spear and eat gracefully.

Nutrition Facts

Per Portion

Calories 102
Calories from fat 35
Calories from saturated fat 8.9
Total Fat 3.9 g
Saturated Fat 1.0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.4 g
Cholesterol 0
Sodium 109 mg
Potassium 683 mg
Total Carbohydrate 15.7 g
Dietary Fiber 5.7 g
Sugars 9.5 g
Protein 3.8 g

Dietary servings

Per Portion

Vegetables 4.6

Energy sources