The best things in life are simple.
Optional: 1 clove minced garlic
This is all you need to make the best salad ever. Good quality, fresh ingredients will always make for the best dish.
To make a basic dressing like this, use a 2 to 1 ratio of oil to vinegar.
Combine oil and vinegar, eyeballing the portions.
Add some salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Mix. (Add garlic if using.)
Taste and adjust if needed. Remember you'll toss it with the lettuce so if the dressing is salty, good. If it's not salty enough, you may need to add more.
Optional: If you want an oil-free version, just skip the oil and toss with a wine vinegar and salt and pepper. But in this version, I'm gonna have my oil, thank you.
Oil = Fat
Olive oil is an all around favorite. Smell the oil before making the dressing. Does it smell light and fresh? Awesome.
Vinegar = Acid
Acidity balances out flavors and levels up any dish.
For this salad, you can use rice wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, or lemon or lime juice (best from the actual fruit versus the little containers from the grocery store but if you're in a pinch, those work!) Just don't use basic distilled white vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar will work too but my preference is using the mildest vinegar I can get and that's normally a rice wine vinegar. It really depends on your mood. Feeling sassy? Use something stronger, like a balsamic vinegar. 😋
Salt + Pepper
I love my speciality salts but in this recipe, a basic salt works. I love the freshness of freshly cracked black pepper but this is also not a must. Use any black pepper.
Salt and pepper round out AND pull out the flavors of things they season.
If you're worried about salt intake, we only run into problems when we're eating too many processed foods since the salt content is HUGE. Adding a lil salt here and there is only going to add joy to your life.
You can always add whatever you like to this like red onions, sliced mushrooms, croutons, fresh herbs, or honey if you like it sweet. But this post is about celebrating simplicity. 😁
This salad is SO refreshing. The crunch, the way the dressing coats your mouth, the clean finish. I love romaine for the mix of dark green parts and crunchy pale green/white parts. A perfect mix.
This salad is especially nice as a side to a heavy meal. Balance, baby.
Growing up, I was never into salads, except for Caesar salads, of course. But that's because Caesars have the same component 'ingredients' as this one - crisp lettuce leaves, fat from the creamy dressing, salt from parmesan, and acid from lemon juice or vinegar.
I love a creamy anything, but sometimes you just want something clean, fresh, and simple. And this one satisfies every time.