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.
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.