How to Simply Dress a Green Salad

The best green salads are dressed so you can taste the greens themselves. Arugula’s spiciness. Mizuna’s tang. Spinach’s sweentess. All of these unique flavors can either be enhanced–or covered up.

Of course there’s a time and a place for heavier, creamier dressings, but for my every day side or snack salad, I like to keep it really simple.

Freshly squeezed lemon juice. Flaky sea salt. Freshly ground black pepper. Extra virgin olive oil. 

You can use a different acid–a wine or specialty vinegar, a different citrus–but I am privy to lemon juice because I love lemons. I love lemons much so that I used to eat them raw on a daily basis, until my dentist kindly suggested I take up an obsession with a different food. Back to the salad.

Step-by-Step to Simply Dress a Green Salad:

  1. Place your greens in a bowl. For a personal salad, I use about 2 cups of greens (1 ounce). If I were making this for a group, I’d use 8-10 cups of greens.
  2. Squeeze juice from one small lemon wedge all over your greens. For a group, use half a lemon. Be prepared to use the other half in case you want more. Toss with your hands until all the greens are coated. Taste–not to adjust seasonings at this point, but just to track the flavor of the greens throughout the process.
  3.  Drizzle with about 1 tsp of good olive oil.  Use 2 tablespoons for a group. Toss again with your hands until all the greens are coated. Taste.
  4. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt. I use about 1/8 tsp for my personal salad. Start with 1/2 tsp for the larger salad (be prepared to use more!). Grind freshly ground pepper on top of the greens. Toss with your hands. Taste.
  5. Adjust seasonings as needed, but don’t overdress. The purpose here is to bring out the flavors of your greens.

If I’m eating this for a snack, I like to pair my salad with a crusty piece of buttered (and just barely salted) toast. Enjoy!

mizuna with lemon dressing


  1. Angie Pattengale on April 30, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    Sounds delicious. Thanks.

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