Start to Finish: 10 minutes
Difficulty Level: Beginner
A house salad is possibly the most basic salad you can make short of opening a pre-mixed salad and dumping it in a bowl. It's called a house salad due to restaurants, the "house," serving it as their basic or starter salad. A house salad is a low-cost option with minimal ingredients included, a good option as a starter course or as a base salad to build on. Create your own in just a few minutes.
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- 1 1/2 cups leafy greens
- 1 tomato
- 2 tablespoons salad dressing (your choice)
- 3 cucumber slices
Any leafy green works for a house salad. Try crisp options like iceberg lettuce, romaine, endive and radicchio, or mix greens such as kale, Boston lettuce, spinach or arugula. You can also use mesclun, or premixed greens, often labeled as a spring mix.
Step 1: Prepare the Salad
Slice the tomato into four wedges. While a hothouse tomato is commonly used in a house salad, you can use Roma tomatoes or another variety of your preference.
Step 2: Toss the Greens
Mix the greens you chose with the dressing. House salads work well with a variety of dressings, from creamy ones like ranch or bleu cheese to lighter options like a vinaigrette.
Step 3: Plate the Salad
Put the tossed greens on a salad plate or in a salad bowl. Add the tomato wedges to one edge of the bowl or plate and place the cucumbers next to it. Most house salads leave the vegetables on the side, clearly visible.
House salads used to be served with dressing on the side, often because they came with a default house dressing. Nowadays restaurants offer a dressing selection to the diner, so the salads usually get tossed in the kitchen. If you're serving multiple people and don't want to commit everyone to the same dressing, simply skip Step 2 and serve dressing on the side for guests to add.
While a house salad is basic, you don't have to leave it as such. Consider it a base salad and build to your preferences. Try other vegetables like sliced radish, sweet corn, shaved carrots or chopped celery. You can also sprinkle on cheese such as cheddar, feta, Gorgonzola or bleu cheese. If you like extra crunch, top with croutons.