A bowl of salad on a wooden table.

How To Dress Your Best Salad Ever

Simple ingredients and the right dressing technique elevate this go-to dish

By Laura Carson Miller

A good salad is a thing of beauty. So much of the enjoyment comes from the perfect dressing. 

As in the perfect flavor and the perfect amount. 

Salads became popular in America in the 1960’s and Americans average four salads a week. The term “salad” actually comes from the Latin word for salt – “sal”. Romans reportedly ate salads consisting of salted vegetables glazed with an oil and vinegar dressing. Yum!

Over the years I’ve become partial to a very simple salad with butter lettuce, olive oil, Maladon salt flakes and fresh ground pepper. Sometimes I’ll add chopped garlic, fresh herbs and fresh squeezed lemon juice. But the magical simplicity and full on flavor of greens, olive and salt and pepper can’t be beat in my book. 

Remember, the fewer ingredients used in a recipe the more each singular flavor pops. It’s a great opportunity to use the highest quality options available for each component as you’ll truly appreciate the impact made in your dish.

I’m not a big kitchen gadget person but the olive oil mister is one I find super worthy of owning. It’s great for salads, pasta, roasted vegetables and for spritzing various food prior to reheating in the air fryer. The hand held lemon juicer is my other go-to kitchen tool I use very often. 

Without further ado, let’s break down your Best Dressed Salad Ever…

Best Dressed Salad Ever



Olive Oil

Salt Flakes 

Fresh Ground Pepper

Optional Ingredients:

Chopped veggies

Acidic Element 




Optional Tools:

Salad spinner 

Oil mister

Lemon juicer 

1. Start at the Bottom

Begin by procuring a bowl suited to the size of salad you are preparing. 

If you are adding an acidic element to your dressing such as fresh squeezed lemon juice or a vinegar, pour it in the bottom of the bowl. Err on the less is more side in the beginning. You can always add more later and too much acid straight up ruins the harmony of a simple dressing. 

2. Stuck in the Middle With You

Now add any chopped ingredients like peppers, English cucumbers, or carrots if you’re using them.

Next you’re going to add your lettuce of choice. Ensure your lettuce leaves are totally dry. Use a dish or paper towel or a salad spinner to remove any moisture as it will prevent the olive oil from sticking to the lettuce. 

Here’s where the olive oil comes in. I like to use an olive oil mister to lightly coat all the lettuce leaves but if you don’t have one you can gently pour a small amount of olive oil on the leaves.

I add a layer of lettuce to the bowl, mist with olive oil and sprinkle with salt flakes and fresh ground pepper then add another layer of lettuce, and repeat.

3. Toss and Top it Off 

At this point get your salad tongs or salad serving fork/spoon set and starting from the bottom toss the contents of the bowl together. Be sure and dig down underneath any veggies and bring them up to the top so you see a beautiful symphony of color and can get a whiff of your acidic element so you know it’s indeed mingling with its salad counterparts. Give your salad a taste to confirm you have the right amount of your acidic element if using.

Now that you’ve tossed your salad you can top it off with chopped tomatoes, fresh grated parmesan cheese and croutons if you please. 

Are you excited about salad now? Sometimes less is definitely more and this simple technique of dressing greens with olive oil and salt is an instance where fresh quality ingredients really shine minus any pomp and circumstance. Are you a fan of lettuce free salads? I am! Email me or tag me on social media with your salad secrets!! 

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