Basic Italian Salad

About this recipe

If you’re going to be a real Italian, you need to know how to make a salad. Back home, everyone has a garden, which means fresh lettuce available for every meal. We eat lots of salad (you should too).


In a large salad bowl, mix together:

  • 2 or 3 types of lettuce (romaine, endive, escarole, Boston, iceberg, leaf, or butter),
  • celery stalks plus the leafy celery hearts (cut up),
  • purple/Italian onion (sliced thick),
  • cucumber (or bell pepper),
  • some nice tomatoes (also cut up).

Then add:

  • a peeled and cut-up orange,
  • maybe some black or green olives.

Drizzle olive oil over lettuce to coat. Then add salt and pepper and toss with your hands (Italian-style). Now it’s time to add some balsamic or red wine vinegar to taste. Keep tossing, tasting, and adding vinegar until you’ve got it just right. 


  • Instead of an orange, you can use good red grapes (or a little of both). 
  • Don’t be afraid to mix with your hands—you touched the onion, didn’t you?
  • I also like to add some sliced carrot, but it got rejected as part of the official recipe. 
    You definitely don’t put in fresh mushrooms or those little miniature corn cobs—you’ve got to be kidding.

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