Cooking Tips

Why You Should Rub Your Salad Bowl with Garlic

Add a little extra flavor to even the simplest salad.

Published June 27, 2023.

Sometimes you want dinner on the table with as little fuss as possible. When you need to get your vegetables, a side salad is usually the easiest option. But sometimes greens with a vinaigrette can feel a little like an afterthought.

To elevate your simple salad (with hardly any extra work!), why not season your serving bowl too?

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Our recipe for the Simplest Salad really is as simple as it sounds. You don’t even have to mix together a vinaigrette; everything gets built right in the salad bowl. The simplicity of it all allows the freshness of the greens to take center stage and adds a special touch to an otherwise easily forgettable salad.

The key to this easy “recipe” (if you can even call it that)? Rub the salad bowl with garlic.

This trick gives a subtle hint of garlic without being too harsh and keeps things extra-easy. You’ll only need ½ clove of garlic since a little of the raw stuff goes a long way.

We’ve tried this trick on many different types of bowls, from the classic wooden salad bowl to aluminum and even ceramic, and our tasters confirmed that it adds a noticeable improvement no matter the material.

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This supersimple salad pairs perfectly with almost any dish, from a Weeknight Roast Chicken to a Weeknight Tagliatelle with Bolognese Sauce (notice a trend here?). Here's how to make it.

How to Make the Simplest Salad

For the best results, use a good quality oil and get creative with your choice of salad greens. 

  1. Rub the inside of your salad bowl with a ½ clove of garlic. 
  2. Add lettuce (try interesting and flavorful leafy greens, such as mesclun, arugula, or Bibb lettuce)
  3. Slowly drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over lettuce, tossing greens very gently, until greens are lightly coated and just glistening. 
  4. Season with vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste and toss gently to coat. Serve.

If you’re worried about residual garlic flavors when you’re done with your meal, you can bake your wooden salad bowl after washing (yes, really!) to make sure that it’s good and clean.

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