5-Second Vinaigrette + Basic Salad

Sometimes I’m organized, and I make a batch of dressing for our salads throughout the week.

More often, though, I employ this technique. It’s super simple, and just as delicious. In fact, I’ll use this method when having company over, and am often complimented on the delicious “dressing.”

I recently listened to a Bon Appetit podcast featuring Chef Joshua McFadden from Portland’s famed Ava Gene’s restaurant. His menu’s Giardini section is outstanding, by the way — not to be missed. Anyway, on the podcast he mentioned that he rarely uses a classic emulsified dressing for the salads there. Instead, he coats the greens with high quality vinegar, tastes, and then adds the oil.

So I guess my kitchen laziness turns out to be a pro tip — love it when that happens!

Many, many salads


  • 1 bottle of high quality aged balsamic vinegar (Fini is good quality vinegar that's readily available in natural and gourmet markets)
  • 1 bottle of high-quality extra virgin olive oil, organic preferred
  • salad greens
  • fresh herbs: Italian parsley, cilantro, etc.
  • flaky sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • a handful of toasted nuts, chopped


  • Step 1

    Wash and spin salad greens. Place greens and herbs into a large bowl.

  • Step 2

    Drizzle greens lightly with the balsamic vinegar — several times around the bowl. Wondering about the oil? Don't worry — we'll do that in Step 4.

  • Step 3

    Toss gently with clean hands or salad tongs to make sure the leaves are coated equally.

  • Step 4

    Taste to see if you need more vinegar.

    If not, add a light drizzle of olive oil and toss again until the leaves are coated equally. The key is to make sure the salad is lightly coated — not wet or drippy.

  • Step 5

    Garnish with sea salt, freshly ground pepper and chopped nuts, and serve.



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