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How to Prepare a Green Salad

The Martha Stewart Show

Everyone should know how to prepare the perfect salad. Martha suggests using greens such as radicchio, chicory, endive, and red leaf or Boston lettuce. Remember when mixing your salad, it's a matter of proportion. You'll get the best results with four parts greens to one part dressing and three parts oil to one part acid (vinegar, citrus juice, or a combination of both).

Washing the Greens
To "float the greens" means to swish them through a large bowl or sink filled with cool water. After you swish the greens, they will rise to the surface, or float; the sand and sediment will fall to the bottom of the bowl or sink. Once the sand and sediment is washed away, lift greens from water and transfer to a salad spinner; spin until dry. Tear lettuce into bite-size pieces. If you aren't going to use the greens immediately, wrap them in a clean kitchen towel or paper towels, transfer to a plastic bag and refrigerate. If you are going to use the lettuce right away, add to vinaigrette and toss to combine.

Basic Vinaigrette
Makes About 1 Cup
1/4 cup vinegar (such as rice-wine vinegar) or freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Coarse salt (such as sea salt or kosher salt) and freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon sugar (optional)
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 orange

Whisk together vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, sugar, and orange juice if using, in a glass bowl. Whisking constantly, gradually add oil until emulsified.