The perfect green salad

The perfect green salad relies on the freshness of it's ingredients, the variety of lettuces and herbs you add and of course the perfect balance between a good olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice.

Start with a selection of leaves and herbs, preferably from the market. Examples are butter lettuce, cos, frisse, chicory, rocket and watercress. Bring in some freshness with herbs - mint, flat leaf parsley, onion cress, chives and basil.

You can add some texture if you like in the form of green asparagus (lightly blanched or grilled) or croutons.

Place all the ingredients for your salad in a large bowl. It's important to have room to lightly toss your salad with the dressing so that each leaf is evenly coated and not bruised by being over-worked.

The next important step is the dressing. The dressing should never overwhelm a salad, but compliment it's ingredients. The simplest and best form is a vinaigrette made from good olive oil, good vinegar or lemon juice, salt and pepper.


Basic vinaigrette dressing
2 tablespoons vinegar or 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (optional)
90 ml extra virgin olive oil

In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar or lemon juice with the salt, pepper and mustard if using.
Gradually whisk in the oil in a steady stream until the vinaigrette is blended and thickened. Taste for seasoning. If the dressing separates, bring it back together by whisking rapidly.

Once you have your dressing made, pour it over the salad at the very last moment just before serving. Remember the word 'dressing' says it all - it should just be a light coating around the leaves and not flood the salad. Remember too that if the dressing is added too long in advance, the vinegar or lemon juice will begin cooking the leaves and they will turn limp and soggy.

Your salad can be put together with whatever you have or is in season. Feel free to add other ingredients to turn it in to a more substantial meal. Think too about adding different flavours to your vinaigrette in the form of chopped garlic, shallot, herbs or flavoured vinegars.

We, the Amsterdam Flavours chefs, hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. If you have any questions on how to prepare it or just want to send us your feedback, you can reach us here Contact Amsterdam Flavours