Salad: just keep it simple

Put a large bowl on the counter.

With a very sharp knife, shave a clove of garlic into the finest slices you can manage.

Put them in the bowl.

Add good balsamic vinegar.

Add about 3 times as much excellent olive oil.

Add a large pinch of salt.

Dice a tomato and add it to the bowl.

Give it a little mix a and let it all macerate for a few minutes.

Add your salad greens.   I put in a few fresh herbs from the garden: taragon, basil, thyme.  Optional.


Eat with a dash of great enjoyment and a glass of Chianti.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Mattiesettlement says:

    Without pics it didn’t happen:)

  2. This is so simple, that it didn’t need pics.

    Am I wrong?

  3. Mattiesettlement says:

    No. You are not wrong. I just enjoy the pictures of food. Something in my genetics I think.

  4. I am so tempted to make more, I may take photos.

    Perhaps the next time?

  5. Vincenzo says:

    That’s perfect.

  6. Eric says:

    Let’s see. Skip the garlic. Plain old white vinegar in even measure with the olive oil. Pepper not salt. German wine instead of Italian. Now that’s perfection.

    [Keep reading here. o{]:¬) ]

  7. Bryan Boyle says:

    @Eric…gotta have the garlic. One of the major food groups. Besides adding a certain je ne sais quoi to most dishes, it is good for your heart and blood, and keeps dissidents oops vampires 0ops…never mind.

    A day sans garlic is like a day without thankfulness for God’s bounty and favor upon us. And garlic is proof that He wants us here…;)

  8. jcn0903 says:

    Not just that He wants us here, but that He loves us and desires our greatest good!

  9. RichardT says:

    Oh yes, got to have the garlic. Bryan, you’re not too wrong about the dissidents; one of my favourite food writers (Rev. Digby Anderson) said that it was a good test of your dining companions.

    It’s the tomato I’d leave out. And 2 olive oil to 1 of vinegar. But life would be dull were we all the same.

    Father, good to see that your appetite is back.

  10. Andrew says:

    Cucumber slices, paprika, vinegar mixed with water and a spoonful of sugar. And a glass of Egri Bikaver.

  11. Warmiaczka says:

    If it contains garlic, it simply must be good. My mother is always trying to cure our family with ole’ good natural medicines, as her grandma used to do. Garlic is best. If you catch a cold, take several cloves of garlic, cut them into pieces, add parsley, olive oil and some salt. It’s an antibiotic, takes no hostages. It will make you breathe fire. Tastes great with bread and butter(because you really need fire extinguisher…).

  12. RichardT says:

    Warmiaczka, if taken in sufficient quantities, garlic also stops you passing on your cold to anyone else – no-one will come near enough!

  13. cblanch says:

    I only last week started using balsamic and olive oil on salads…after a lifetime of horrible for you heavy dressings. I’m going to try your vinegar to oil ratio as I knew there could definitely be an improvement in mine! Thanks for posting the entire recipe, sounds fantastic!

  14. pattif says:

    Variation on a theme: Take an empty extra virgin olive oil bottle (if you want to go posh, soak the outside to remove the label). Insert a couple of sprigs of fresh oregano. Chop a couple of large cloves of garlic as finely as possible and add, along with a generous quantity of freshly ground black pepper and a generous pinch of sea salt. Fill the bottle with three parts extra virgin olive oil and one part white wine vinegar. Shake well before pouring over salad of choice.

    I first tasted this dressing in Modena, where it was used on a salad of batavia, radicchio and lamb’s lettuce (it doesn’t get much simpler than that); when I got home it took a few days to replicate. It also works very well on bog standard iceberg, chopped tomato, cucumber, red onion and bell peppers. My last pp’s housekeeper used to say he would eat this on his cornflakes if she would let him.

  15. albizzi says:

    Dear father Zuhlsdorf,
    Are you a gourmand or a gourmet?
    Anyways you are tempting us into greed.

  16. Warmiaczka says:

    RichardT, of course, but you see – I’m advertising, so I “forgot” to mention some of social side effects. However, some of them will be easier to face(literally too…) if you apply this medicine to your whole family, in the evening, when you’re all staying at home. Oh, and it will secure your home from vampires. And burglars. Should also work on liturgical dancers(any volunteers?).

  17. Bryan Boyle says:

    Two short observations, in an around about way..

    1. Had the opportunity to attend the taping of one of the old “Emeril Live” shows…don’t you know, I ended up at ‘the bar’, which meant I got to sample some of his creations..and being a fellow Fall Riverite, he was happy to give me extra during the off-camera ‘downtime’. Now, there is a chef who knows HOW to use garlic in the most opportune way.

    2. Have a lady friend with whom I went out to enjoy dinner with one evening at a local bistro in the Princeton NJ area…had a wonderful scampi, with the most savory sauce you could imagine. On the way home…after a delightful dinner…she looked at me and said “You smell like garlic, but in a good way…”.

    Just use it. It’s one of those ‘it’s just plain good for you’, and, if you REALLY don’t like it…spread the finely chopped version of it in your garden to keep the critters away. Works for me…;)

  18. Maria says:

    We had a similar salad tonight Fr. Z., but you can be assured I will be using your recipe shortly.
    Sounds delicious!

    Have you ever dressed salad with pumpkin seed oil which is exclusively pressed in Steirmark?

    It is very difficult to get here in England but I would think easier to get hold of where you are.
    Diluted 50/50 with good Olive Oil, it is absolutely wonderful stuff.

    Makes me almost proud to be half Austrian after all ;)

    Thank you for your recipe Father.

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