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Let’s Toss It


Okay, so since the last time we spoke, I’ve been making hard-boiled eggs nonstop, and I’m ready to expand my repertoire. I love a great café salad, but when I try making my own at home, they don’t taste very interesting.


Okay, we can totally fix that! Let’s do a salad breakdown today. It’s easier than you think, and I’ll teach you a few tricks that will up your salad game in seconds.


Yay! I mean, not that I don’t love spending $23.99 on a salad every now and then. You know, for self-care.


No one’s saying you can’t! We’re saying enjoy the salads you buy and then easily recreate your favorites at home since you’ll know exactly what to do.


Lettuce Start by Choosing Our Greens

There are many types of lettuce, and the one you pick will impact your salad tremendously.

Iceberg lettuce is the most basic type of lettuce. It’s very crunchy and doesn’t have a lot of flavor, but it’s a mainstay for salads with toppings that pack a big punch, like beef fry or strong cheeses (not together, obviously!). The leaves are usually sliced thinly.

Romaine lettuce is also pretty common. It has a crispy element in the spine and a softer element in the leaves. It’s a great option for your everyday salad. You can slice or tear the leaves.

Spinach is available as baby spinach or regular spinach, but I prefer baby spinach because it’s sweeter and softer. It can be used raw in a salad or cooked in a quiche (you remember those from our last column!) or other side dishes. Baby spinach can be served whole, but regular spinach should be torn or sliced.

Kale is available in green, purple, and white, and it’s a tougher green than the others. Massaging the leaves with a bit of dressing or oil helps tenderize the leaves and makes them more enjoyable to eat. You can slice or tear the leaves.

Cabbage can be a salad base in its own right or a topping on a lettuce salad. It releases a lot of liquid and is generally paired with a bright and acidic dressing.

Spring mix is the premixed package of lettuce that contains tender baby lettuce leaves of several varieties, including bibb. It’s very tender (no spines like iceberg or romaine) and popular as a prechecked product. Make sure the package has no condensation inside to ensure freshness.

To Top It Off

Salad toppings can be as widely varied as your imagination allows. Here are some basic toppings that you can mix and match. You can always omit or add toppings to a recipe to suit your own taste.

Fresh vegetables and fruits: tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, carrots, corn, radishes, avocado, red onion, fennel, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, snap peas, kohlrabi, jicama, apples, berries, citrus fruits

Roasted vegetables: beets, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, eggplant, onion, squash, zucchini, sweet potato

Canned or preserved toppings: pickles, hearts of palm, baby corn, olives, hot peppers, beans

Proteins: fish, chicken, meat, eggs, cheeses

Other: chickpeas, croutons, veggie sticks, pretzels, crackers, nuts

Dressing It Up

Build a dressing:

Start with a fat, such as oil or mayonnaise, then add acid like vinegar or lemon juice, and then seasoning, like salt, pepper, and spices.

Sweeteners aren’t necessary, but they do help balance the acidity. Common options are sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave, silan, or sugar substitutes. Another common element is an emulsifier, which holds the oil and water components together, such as mustard or egg yolk.


My go-to weekday salad is a base of summer crisp or rose leaf lettuce, with avocado, chickpeas, cucumbers, tomatoes, and pepper. I pair it with a super basic olive oil and lemon juice vinaigrette.

My go-to Shabbos salad is summer crisp lettuce with avocado, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, and colored peppers topped with sliced chicken cutlet, sliced meat, and/or sliced grilled portobello mushrooms. I pair it with my classic Caesar dressing from Simply Gourmet: 34 cup mayonnaise, 2 cloves garlic, crushed, 3 Tbsp sugar, 2 Tbsp vinegar, and 112 Tbsp water.

Rivky and Rechama’s Easy Vinaigrette
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1½–3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • brown sugar, honey, or silan (optional)

Combine all ingredients and whisk well. Pour over salad and enjoy!

Mastered vinaigrettes? Try these Kosher.com!

Exotic Salad

Turkey Farro Salad

Rivky and Rechama’s Creamy Dressing
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp silan
  • pinch brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients and whisk well. Pour over salad and enjoy!

Mastered creamy dressing? Try these on Kosher.com!

Kreative Kale Salad

Caesar Salad with Parmesan Dressing

Rivky’s Tips:

I make a double batch of dressing and save it in the fridge.

Don’t overdress your salad! It will weigh it down and cause it to wilt quickly.

Rechama’s tip:

Use your favorite dressing as a chicken marinade.


Watch all new episodes of NewlyFed only on Kosher.com


(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 897)

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