July 16, 2010

Mom’s Green Salad

my mom's salad

While living under my parents roof, we were obligated to eat salad every night at dinner. As a mom, I applaud my mother for providing us with a healthy meal every night. As a child, I begrudgingly ate my salad; complaining the whole time.  A few years ago my mother fell in love with Ina Garten. She starting watching all of her shows, and then bought all of her cookbooks. Her Ina recipe binge has been quite a treat for our family and her dinner party guests! The only drawback is that we have to hear “Ina this and Ina that. Ina Ina Ina!” Occasionally a phone call is ended because an episode of Barefoot Contessa is on.

I love Ina

She tried this simple green salad dressing a few years ago and it has become a necessary staple in her fridge. It’s elevated the nightly dinner salad (which had a basic oil & vinegar dressing)into something quite fancy! I find myself going back for second & third helpings whenever I’m at my parent’s house for dinner.  I’m guilty of making too much of this salad when I’m helping her in the kitchen because I really just want as much as possible.

The ingredients of her salad are simple. This dressing is mixed with sliced cucumbers, vine ripened tomatoes, green onions, romaine lettuce & the hot ticket item-THE AVOCADO. My brother still grabs the bowl at the end of the meal and hogs all of the avocado chunks. I’ve always hated that. But if we didn’t fight over avocados and crispy potatoes, the Earth would stop spinning.

Let’s get started with the dressing!

Gather the ingredients. I like to make my dressing in a recycled jar. Re-purpose, baby!!


Here’s the egg yolk, garlic & Dijon mustard. Afraid of yolk? Add a dollop of plain yogurt instead. Whisk!

egg, mustard, garlic

Slowly add the oil in. Season with salt & pepper. Put the lid on and SHAKE it like a Polaroid picture!


Tada. Here’s your dressing!

after a few shakes

So this is what my mom’s salad consists of. This will make enough for 4-5 people.

ingredients in salad

My brother and I always get frustrated watching mom peel the skin off the avocado with a knife.

We like to use a spoon to dig out the chunks. My mom tried this way once and continued on with her way. Go figure.


The sliced cucumber, green onions & chopped tomatoes get tossed in the salad bowl. She adds the lettuce and finishes with an avocado right before we are ready to serve.

Look at all that avo!! Sometimes she uses two!

avo porn

And then comes the dressing. The sun is always coming down at this point, making salad leaves glow and glisten in that last bit of warm light. It’s about 6pm. The prime time for making salad.


And here we get a peak of what it looks like…I love the green onions in here. They add a nice bite.


Now eat your greens!! Or my mom might take that toy away from you!

Vinaigrette for Green Salad

(Recipe from Ina Garten- Barefoot in Paris)

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 egg yolk (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • Salad greens or mesclun mix for 6 to 8 people

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, mustard, garlic, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified. (Or shake it up in a jar if you don’t feel like bothering)

Place the salad greens in a medium bowl and add enough dressing to moisten. Sprinkle with a little extra salt and pepper, if desired, and serve immediately.


-I used my dad’s red wine vinegar for this particular salad. My mom doesn’t like it in this dressing. She normally uses white vinegar. I used what I have.

-When I was pregnant, my mom omitted the raw egg. It doesn’t add that much of a taste to the dressing. Just makes it thicker. If you are scared of an egg yolk, add a dollop of Greek yogurt in. You would never know the difference. I do this with my Caesar salad too.   ***Update**** My mom actually OMITS the egg entirely now! Go figure!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  • Anna/quilted giraffe

    Yum yum! I never understood people who peel avocados with a knife…it’s so easy to just scoop and eat! (Hopefully a few pieces make it into the salad…I think you must have more restraint than I do!)

  • wootowl

    mike is also a peeler. he gets nervous when i whack the knife into the pit to remove it. scaredy cat. this looks nom.

  • jujubefamily

    yet another healthy and fun recipe I get to print from your blog. score!! thanks. craving some avocado big time.

  • Dana

    Salad just isn’t salad without avocado. It’s a fact. I’ve never made a dressing with raw egg yolk in it. I need to bring a salad to my son’s preschool potluck in about an hour and guess what I’m going to make…

  • Valerie

    I love this salad!!!! I’am an Ina groupie….. Your pics are gorgeous.

  • kickpleat

    I’m not a fan of avocado (though I love guacamole), but I love the look of this dressing. I’ve never made one with a raw egg before, crazy but true. Your pics are beautiful.

  • Stephanie

    I have only just discovered your blog and absolutely love it! I have just finished trawling through all your posts – your photos and recipes are divine!

  • Sarah

    This sounds so delish! Thanks for sharing. I’m heading to the store today to get the ingredients!

  • Michelle

    What a great post and a fun tribute to your mom. I {heart} Ina too, so I’m gonna bookmark this one right now!

  • Spinach Salad with Fruits & Goat Cheese › shutterbean

    […] added crumbled goat cheese, a bag of spinach & the remains of the salad dressing used in my Mom's salad to the […]

  • amanda

    This dressing is awesome!! I made it last night, and used your suggestion of a dollop of greek yogurt instead of the egg yolk. I don’t know what it is (the garlic + yogurt?), but the end result is so much better than the regular vinaigrette I normally make. I’ll be using this one from now on. I had my salad with all the same fixings as yours, but I topped it with a few corn fritters. Delicious! Thanks!

  • Scrambled Egg Turnovers › shutterbean

    […] god the zucchini, puff pastry & melted cheddar made up for your shortcomings. I heard that my Mom's green salad was delighted to join you on the plate for lunch! You two make such an excellent couple! I took a […]

  • CamsMom

    Cam keeps telling me I “have” to make this dressing. We went to the Ina website/ cookbook and it had the egg, she said there was no egg. She suggested I check your website. IT HAS EGG, lol. I guess your mom kept the egg part a secret from her. Smart lady, I’ll be doing the same. Until she eats it.

    • Tracy

      Jess- I just found out that my mom actually doesn’t make it with egg anymore! There really isn’t a huge taste difference in the end result! She also told me that she started using White Vinegar instead of White Wine Vinegar. Hope you like it! I know that Cam was a big fan! 🙂

  • Chicken Avocado BLT Salads › shutterbean

    […] Mom's green salad dressing (made with balsamic vinegar) […]

  • i’m stuffed! › shutterbean

    […] started off with my Mom's Green Salad. Always a […]

  • The Italian Feast › shutterbean

    […] mom made her infamous green salad. It's good to get some greens in. Wait til you see what's […]

  • Be back soon! › shutterbean

    […] are going to have a pizza party with my Mom's Green Salad….IN OUR […]

  • Shirleen

    Avocado’s one of my favourite salad ingredients! Its a pity we’re now in late Autumn and avos are not in season and very expensive. Still. Might still go ahead and still get one for this weekend’s dinner. Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

  • Avocado Orange Salad — Joy the Baker

    […] by Shutterbean and yummy salady […]

  • Kate M.

    Made this for dinner tonight using balsamic vinegar. It was de-licious. My husband and I definitely ate enough for six people…by ourselves.

    Thanks for another great recipe!

  • Homemade Ricotta › shutterbean

    […] the coffee! It was the ricotta!  Ina Garten is a genius; but I already knew that. I absolutely love her and this recipe has clearly changed my life. This ricotta is silky smooth and creamy, not gritty […]

  • Salad Diplomacy « Among the Sweet Potatoes

    […] T– and I hosted a salad night for 10 in Nan Ao at the Mas’ house. On the menu were Mom’s Green Salad (akin to a chicken Caesar), a pineapple walnut salad (with homemade pineapple vinaigrette), and a […]

  • lola2012

    Currently sitting in bed eating like..a bucket of this. SUCH a great recipe, thankyou!

  • My Everyday Life: Week 52 – Shutterbean

    […] I made a standing rib roast with horseradish cream sauce, Italian fries, creamed spinach & salad. Everything went well! No fries left…I thought that would be the […]

  • Katelyn

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious!

  • My Everyday Life: Week 52 – Shutterbean

    […] Of course we started with my Mom’s Green Salad […]

  • Flora Margaret

    want. this. now.
    and sunshine.
    also the crispy potatoes you mentioned in this post, which I missed when you first posted them, but just found.
    both the salad and the crispy potatoes are happening at my house tonight, as the snow flies, the skies remain grey and temperatures drop to record low.
    If I add a glass of red wine and the JtheB podcast while making these, and I may just survive another winter day in the midwest.
    bless you sister.

  • Bri

    Dug this up from your archives – making this entire dinner tonight!

  • S

    I have been looking for a salad dressing recipe using my very special bottle of DUKES mayonnaise, I think I’m going to make this salad and use the may in place of the egg/yogurt. I’ll let you know how it goes. 🙂

  • Dinners for the Week - Annie Likes

    […] WEDNESDAY: Enchiladas (from Love Real Food cookbook) and Green Salad […]

Leave a Comment