The Simplest Salad
A classic green salad—one featuring crisp lettuces and a few raw, seasonal vegetables, tossed with a barely-there vinaigrette—instantly elevates any meal. The trick to serving a properly dressed, but not wilting, salad is in the technique in which you build the salad, starting with the dressing, in a large wooden salad bowl. (We’re partial to this satiny black walnut one from Andrew Pearce, but any wooden bowl broad enough for you to toss and mix in without fly-aways will do.) Begin with the acids: For balance, use at least two vinegars or citrus juices. Then add a drizzle of honey or a pinch of sugar—the sweetness will help to balance the acids’ bite. Finally, rapidly incorporate the oil (for best flavor, use a mix, such as grapeseed plus a good olive oil or a nut oil, such as walnut) to form an emulsion. A properly emulsified vinaigrette will suspend the acid and seasonings in the oil, coating each leaf of lettuce without weighing it down. Toss just before serving, keeping the lettuces separate by crossing tongs in bowl over vegetables until ready to eat.