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Italian leaf salad recipe

Italian leaf salad recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Salad
  • Green salad

A wonderful variety of salad leaves are tossed together with spring onions, peppers and cherry tomatoes in a grapeseed oil and basil vinaigrette. Enjoy as a side salad.

5 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 110g romaine lettuce, torn, washed and dried
  • 50g torn escarole
  • 50g radicchio
  • 55g red leaf lettuce
  • 4 tablespoons chopped spring onions
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced into rings
  • 1/2 green pepper, sliced in rings
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

MethodPrep:15min ›Ready in:15min

  1. In a large bowl, combine the romaine, escarole, radicchio, red-leaf, spring onions, red pepper, green pepper and cherry tomatoes.
  2. Whisk together the grapeseed oil, basil, vinegar, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Pour over salad, toss and serve immediately.


If you can't find escarole, substitute in chicory instead.

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  • 1 pound corkscrew pasta with lines, such as cellentani or cavatappi
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped (about 2 handfuls)
  • ½ cup vegetable stock or water
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • ¼ pound thick slices provolone, chopped
  • 6 roasted red peppers from a jar, cut into small dice
  • 3 cubanelle peppers, cut into small dice
  • 1 red onion, cut into small dice
  • 7 to 8 pepperoncini from a jar, cut into small dice

Place a large pot of water over high heat to boil. Once boiling, add some salt, drop the pasta and cook to al dente according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, combine the garlic, parsley, vegetable stock, and red wine vinegar in a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine then stream in the EVOO while the machine is running.

In a large bowl, toss the pasta, dressing, chopped provolone, and all the veggies together.

Salad recipes

A salad is always a welcome addition to a dinner table, whether served on the side, at the start or as part of the main event itself. With such an abundance of beautiful countryside and its glorious Mediterranean climate it's no surprise Italy has an enormous supply of enviable fresh produce, and their plentiful supply of vibrant herbs and greens, plump courgettes and numerous varieties of world famous tomatoes make an excellent starting point for delicious salad dishes.

This collection of colourful salad recipes contains inspiration from some of Italy's best chefs. Fabrizio Marino's Butterfly salad is a visually stunning healthy recipe which would prove a talking point at any dinner party, and Norbert Niederkofler's Sweet and sour vegetable salad is similarly striking with a colourful mix of radish, beetroot and carrots. Salvatore Elefante's seafood salad recipe matches the sweet flavour of lobster with pepper rocket and marinated spring onion, while Cristina Bowerman combines agretti, iceberg lettuce and peas to form a salad bed for her tender veal fillet.

This grilled lettuce technique is pretty much foolproof, but here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Most important: slice the head of lettuce VERTICALLY, think lengthwise. This keeps the leaves connected to the core, thus your leaves staying together, nice and firm.
  2. Make sure your grates are clean, and brush them with a little oil.
  3. Turn that grill up to medium high, no need to be shy. This will give the lettuce those beautiful sear marks and infuse a smokiness.
  4. Don’t forget the fresh lemon juice. This is key to making the natural flavors of the lettuce sing, and brightens the entire dish.

You can watch this Grilled Lettuce video to help guide you in making it as well!

This might just be the technique that turns your salad naysayers into believers. When I was filming this video with my talented friend Wale, him hustling with the camera while I brushed, grilled, and ate, the least I could do was offer him was the of result of our work. I offered, and he hesitated…. “I’ll try it, but I don’t like lettuce.”

He took one bite, sat silent, and then… “Okay, I guess I like lettuce”. Three days later he texted me a picture of grilled lettuce, the starter to the dinner he had made for his girl. I’ll take that as a win. Hope you enjoy it just as much, xo.

Leaf salad with parsley vinaigrette

A simple leaf salad is the perfect partner to just about anything: a bit of salmon cooked in a pan for five minutes, a steak, roast chook or a cheese platter. Photo: William Meppem Difficulty Easy Dietary Gluten-free

Never underestimate a green salad. Crisp leaves and an acidic vinaigrette are a perfect foil for all sorts of creamy, meaty and savoury dishes.


This is a popular method of preparing potato salad in southern Italy, particularly during the warm summer months. To ensure its success, select new potatoes of relatively the same size so that they cook at the same rate. If you don't have Italian-style flat-leaf parsley, use the curly-leaf variety instead.
Makes 6 Servings

• 1 3/4 pounds small new potatoes, preferably red-skinned, unpeeled, scrubbed
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan or medium stockpot with salted water to cover bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle boil and cook until the potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes, depending on size. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir in the parsley and garlic. Let stand about 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

As soon as the potatoes are cool enough to handle, yet still quite warm, cut them in half or in quarters, depending on size. Stir the reserved dressing a few times, and add the warm potato halves. Toss gently until the potatoes are thoroughly coated.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Alternatively, let cool to room temperature and refrigerate a minimum of 3 hours, or up to 2 days, and serve chilled or return to room temperature.

Calories 141 Protein 2g Total Fat 7g Sat. Fat 1 g Cholesterol Omg Carbohydrate 19g Dietary Fiber 2g Sodium 164mg


  • 3 heads romaine, washed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 large ripe tomato, cut into 6 wedges
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 15 Kalamata olives
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 hard boiled egg, cut into quarters
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 Cup Italian dressing (recipe follows)

For the Italian dressing:

  • 1 Cup red wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

37 Best Salad Recipes

A big, bountiful salad is the best way to celebrate delicious seasonal produce! Here are 37 stunning salad recipes I love to make again and again.

Salad recipes are my favorite way to showcase vibrant, in-season produce – fruits and veggies that are so good on their own that you don’t need to do much to make them into a delicious meal. On cold winter nights, I like to brighten up our dinner table with a big, colorful mix of root veggies and hearty greens. On beautiful, warm days when I’d rather be outside than in the kitchen, summer salads are the perfect solution: they’re simple to toss together, but they’re totally delicious nonetheless.

Whether you want to add more plant-based meals to your diet or are simply looking to change up your salad game, you’ll find tons of inspiration in the salad recipes below. With everything from green salads to pasta salads and beyond, these recipes are perfect for passing at potlucks, serving as dinner sides, and enjoying as full meals on their own.

Slaw Salad Recipes

Slaws are some of the best make-ahead salad recipes out there. Typically made with hearty vegetables like cabbage, kale, or broccoli, they’re sturdy enough to be dressed ahead of time. I like to accent the veggie base with a punchy dressing, herbs, and even fruit for maximum flavor.

Make this salad for your next picnic, and it’ll be a guaranteed hit. A tahini miso dressing gives it a creamy umami coating, while peaches add juicy pops of sweetness. I finish it with toasted pepitas for crunch.

You won’t miss the bacon in this lightened-up take on classic broccoli salad. Smoky roasted nuts take its place, adding delectable savory bites. A lightly creamy, sweet & tangy dressing takes the whole thing over the top.

As soon as the temperature starts to dip in the fall, I look forward to making this salad. Made with just 7 ingredients, it’s a breeze to put together, but a bright lemon dressing, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and dried cranberries make it zippy, fresh, and satisfying.

Pasta Salad Recipes

You couldn’t make a list of salad recipes without including this category! Pasta salads are the ultimate summer picnic food or party dish any time of year – they’re great to make ahead, they can double as a side and a main dish, and they’re a hearty showcase for the season’s best produce.

As its name suggests, this one is a breeze to make. Just whisk together the zippy lemon dressing at the bottom of a big bowl, add the other ingredients, and toss to create a heavenly tangy/creamy/crunchy/fresh summer combo.

Diced mango adds a surprising sweet twist to this colorful orzo, red onion, bell pepper, herb, and cucumber salad.

My veggie-packed take on a deli-style pasta salad! I swap spiralized summer squash for half the noodles and a creamy tahini dressing for a mayo-based one. It’s a healthier version of the grocery counter classic, but it’s just as good.

Sun-dried tomatoes add delicious umami bites to this super green combination of summer veggies, basil, pasta, and pine nuts.

A mix of jammy roasted cherry tomatoes and juicy fresh ones makes this guy one of my favorite summer salads. With spiced roasted chickpeas, tangy feta, and big pearls of couscous, it’s hearty enough to be a meal on its own.

Not your average pasta salad! Tossed in a tangy sesame-ginger dressing and piled with green veggies and avocado, this soba noodle salad is a light, refreshing summer meal.

Green Salad Recipes

A big green salad is one of my go-to meals all year round. In the summer, the lettuces I find at the farmers market are so soft & sweet that a big green summer salad is really a treat. In the winter, I use a bright, bold dressing to punch up hearty greens like kale. I’ll often make these recipes for lunch, but you could also toss them together to serve as a side dish at your next cookout or dinner party.

Savory shiitake walnut taco “meat” is the star of this salad, and zippy cilantro lime dressing gives it a fresh finishing touch. Enjoy this salad as a meal on its own, or serve it as a starter with fajitas or tacos.

This plant-based riff on a classic Cobb salad swaps baked tofu for chicken breast and smoky toasted coconut for bacon. A creamy, tangy dressing ties it all together.

12. Grilled Romaine Vegan Caesar Wedges

One of my favorite green salads of all time! Crisp romaine gets lightly charred, then drizzled with an irresistibly tangy cashew vegan caesar dressing. This one is on page 111 of our new cookbook, Love & Lemons Every Day.

This vibrant kale salad is a treat year-round. I pile it high with a rainbow of crunchy veggies, toasted seeds, creamy avocado, and savory roasted chickpeas. Doused in a tangy carrot ginger dressing, it’s hearty enough to be a meal on its own.

Tomato Summer Salads

If there’s one veggie (or fruit, if you’re looking to get technical) that’s the star of summer, the tomato is definitely it. Here are some of my favorite summer salad recipes that put tomatoes front & center.

I love how big cubes of feta, juicy tomatoes, olives, herbs, bell peppers, and cucumber tumble together in this stunning summer salad with a homemade Greek salad dressing. You only need 7 ingredients and a few minutes to put together this juicy/crisp/tangy/savory combo. What are you waiting for?

Fresh chiles add some heat to the sweet, juicy mix of tomatoes & watermelon in this recipe.

Roasting cherry tomatoes gives them an intense sweet & savory flavor that’s fantastic alongside eggplant, arugula, and nutty farro.

17. Heirloom Tomato Fattoush

Once you start bringing home those juicy farmers market heirloom tomatoes, make this salad! It’s my non-traditional take on fattoush, a bread salad made with toasted pita. This one has a layer of lemony yogurt and is topped with crispy chickpeas, and lots of fresh herbs. Find it on on page 125 of Love & Lemons Every Day.

The secret to this salad is marinating the tomatoes in a splash of olive oil & sherry vinegar. They become rich & tangy – the perfect contrast for fresh basil, avocado, and a little orzo pasta.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Check out this recipe to find my best tips for making a classic Caprese summer salad.

Corn Summer Salad Recipes

If tomatoes are #1 in the summer, corn comes in as a close #2. Grilled, steamed, or fresh off the cob, it’s the perfect addition to all sorts of summer salads.

This fresh corn salad features all my summer favorites: grilled sweet corn, juicy peaches, and lots of fresh basil! To highlight the crisp, fresh ingredients, I toss it with a zesty chile lime dressing.

If you’ve ever had Mexican street corn, you know that the combination of charred corn, crumbly Cotija, creamy mayo, and cilantro is a hard one to beat. I like to spice mine up with sriracha or adobo sauce, too!

Summer Panzanellas

Panzanellas are hands down my favorite summer salads. You just can’t beat big cubes of bread tossed with juicy summer produce and a good tangy vinaigrette. You can always serve these salads as a side, but they’re great main dish options as well.

Panzanellas may be Italian bread salads, but this recipe’s not all about the bread. Crisp, juicy sweet corn is front and center, playing perfectly off a tangy dressing and bitter greens. I use the corn raw, so this panzanella is super simple to toss together.

Grilled peppers add a lovely sweetness to this veggie-packed summer salad. Along with the veggies, creamy fresh mozzarella makes it extra yummy.

I like to call this one an “everything summer salad.” It’s bursting with juicy peaches, tomatoes, crisp corn, and fresh basil – the best that summer has to offer.

When you’ve made zucchini bread, zucchini cake, baked zucchini, and zucchini pizza, and you STILL have zucchini, make this panzanella. The grilled squash is a great jammy contrast to crisp cucumbers and bursty cherry tomatoes.

Potato Salad Recipes

It’s taken me a while to get on board with potato salad, but over the last few years of experimenting with bold dressings and different mix-ins, I’ve become totally hooked. Here are a few of my favorites.

This lightened-up rendition of classic potato salad has a luscious Greek yogurt dressing with just a bit of mayo mixed in. It’s the perfect make-ahead salad, as the flavor deepens as it sits in the fridge.

If you’re grilling veggie burgers, make this summer salad right along with them. Not only are the potatoes grilled here, but the blueberries are too! A yummy grilled scallion vinaigrette, fresh herbs, and pickled onions accent this fun sweet/charred pairing.

28. Chimichurri Potato Salad

I toss this potato salad in a tangy, herbaceous chimichurri instead of a creamy dressing. It’s a fan favorite from Love & Lemons Every Day – find it on page 119.

This summery bean salad is incredibly versatile. Dress it up with a soft-boiled egg or chickpeas to make it a meal, or serve the mix of potatoes, green beans, and lemony dressing as a simple grilling side.

Fruity Summer Salads

Of course, your summer salads should feature the wonderful fresh vegetables we have at this time of year, but it’d be remiss not to take advantage of the fantastic fruits that abound too! Stone fruits, berries, and melon are all delicious sweet additions to summer salad recipes.

Skip the tomatoes the next time you’re making tabbouleh, and use dried tart cherries instead! They add great chewy texture and sweet/tart flavor to this fresh dish.

Or…use strawberries! Like tomatoes, they’re juicy & sweet. Another nontraditional ingredient – feta – adds a great salty contrast to the berries in this recipe.

This poke-inspired summer salad features juicy cubes of watermelon and crunchy macadamia nuts along with conventional poke fixings like cucumber, ginger & avocado. I toss it all in a tangy tamari-lime dressing to make a super fresh, fun summer dish.

Sure, we all love tomatoes & basil, but peaches & basil are just as good.

Another fruity caprese combo! This time, I use strawberries as well as cherry tomatoes, and I gussy it up with a balsamic reduction, avocado, and toasted pecans for a sweet, nutty crunch.

Fruit salads are a party essential, and we absolutely love this fresh lemon-ginger one. I like to use a star cookie cutter to cut the melon for festive flare!

Make this ultra-refreshing salad on hot summer days! Creamy avocado, tangy feta, and bright lime wonderfully accent cool, juicy melon and cucumber. A handful of fresh herbs is the perfect finishing touch.

Chopped Medjool dates and aromatic cumin add a surprising sweet twist to this hearty chickpea salad. Topped with roasted red peppers, grape tomatoes, and a big sprinkle of goat cheese, it’s a good salad to pack for lunch, but it’s also a guaranteed hit at any gathering.

If you love these salad recipes, check out my favorite appetizers, soup recipes, dinner recipes, and top vegan recipes next!

Kale Apple Goat Cheese Salad

This colorful, healthy kale salad recipe is loaded with crisp apples, goat cheese, and pumpkin seeds, then tossed with creamy apple cider vinegar dressing for a light and refreshing take on the regular kale salad.


  • 2 Bunches of Italian kale, stems removed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Creamy apple cider dressing (or more to taste)
  • 2 Sweetango apples, cut into matchsticks
  • 4 oz Goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin seed clusters

Creamy Apple Cider Dressing

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp sugar


  1. In a small bowl toss all ingredients for the pumpkin seed clusters together. Set a small saucepan over medium-high heat and add the mixture. Heat, tossing constantly until the sugar starts to melt, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat to medium or medium-low (depending on your stovetop). Continue to toss the mixture until all the sugar is melted and the pumpkin seeds are lightly toasted, about 2-3 minutes longer. Turn over onto a piece of parchment or wax paper. Let cool completely and break into large chunks.
  3. In a small bowl add all ingredients for the dressing and blend until smooth. Set aside or make ahead. Dressing will last in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  4. To assemble the salad, toss the kale in the dressing. Use more dressing if the salad seems too dry. Using your hands, squeeze or “massage” the kale while dressing it. This will make the kale more tender. Top with apple matchsticks, crumbled goat cheese, and sweet pumpkin seed clusters.

How To Make A Big Italian Salad

Step 1: Make the Homemade Italian Dressing

Combine the parsley, basil, oregano, garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and honey in the bowl of a food processor blitz to blend.

Step Two: Assemble and Toss the Salad

Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Right before serving, add about half of the dressing and toss well. Add more dressing little by little as necessary be sure to dress greens very generously, otherwise salad will be bland. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Reserve the leftover dressing for another use.

Pair this salad with a good bread and some Italian comfort food. Or, for a main course, top it with grilled chicken, shrimp or steak. Enjoy!