• Yield: Serves 4 as a side dish, and multiplies easily

  • Time: 10 Minutes prep time prep

This is the fresh relief every Thanksgiving menu needs. Greens, both tart and mild, with a few craisins and the simplest and most classic of dressings — solely good tasting oil and vinegar with some salt and pepper. Let all the other dishes on the table cry "Taste all my flavors!" This salad stands serene and elegant in its simplicity.

As to the dressing, there’s no need to mess another bowl making the dressing; do it right over the salad. Trust yourself. Your eyes and your taste won't fail you. Begin with a little oil, barely coating the leaves, then taste your way forward.

Some inspired blends of greens are mild Bibb with baby spinach, curly endive with leaf lettuce, and the luxe winter splurge of Belgian endive with meaty yet delicate mache.

Cook to Cook: Kosher and other coarse salts bring an accent and a crunch to salads that fine-ground salt cannot equal.Skip flavored oils and vinegars. Most are second-rate. It is much better to add fresh flavorings to the greens.


  • 1 big handful of your choice of salad greens for each serving (12 to 16 ounces for 4 salad lovers)

  • 1/2 medium red onion, thin sliced

  • 2 to 4 tablespoons good-tasting oil (extra-virgin olive oil, or walnut, almond, or hazelnut oil)

  • 1 to 3 tablespoons vinegar (red wine, white wine, cognac, sherry, or cider vinegar)

  • Light sprinkings of course salt and fresh-ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries


1. In a large salad bowl, stir together the onion, the vinegar, some salt and pepper. Let it stand for about 30 minutes while you set the table.

2. Wash and thoroughly spin-dry the greens. Tear them into bite-sized pieces.

3. Just before serving, pile greens into the bowl with the onion mixture and add the dried cranberries. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with 2 tablespoon of the oil, and toss to barely coat the leaves.

4. Taste for balance. Add more oil, vinegar, salt or pepper as needed, but use a light hand; you should still be able to taste the greens.

5. Tossed salad waits for no man. Serve it while it’s still standing up and saluting. Once the salad is dressed, serve immediately.

Sally Swift
Sally Swift is the managing producer and co-creator of The Splendid Table. Before developing the show, she worked in film, video and television, including stints at Twin Cities Public Television, Paisley Park, and Comic Relief with Billy Crystal. She also survived a stint as segment producer on The Jenny Jones Show.
Lynne Rossetto Kasper
Lynne Rossetto Kasper has won numerous awards as host of The Splendid Table, including two James Beard Foundation Awards (1998, 2008) for Best National Radio Show on Food, five Clarion Awards (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014) from Women in Communication, and a Gracie Allen Award in 2000 for Best Syndicated Talk Show.