Via Carota’s Insalata Verde Recipe (2024)



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I'm confused by the proportion of oil to vinegar: one cup (16 tbsp) to 3 and 1/3 tbsp vinegar? Even with the mustard, that's a ratio of less than 1:5, while most dressings sit somewhere between 1:2 and 1:3. With the addition of the tbsp of water, this seems far too light on acid. Please advise.


I finally tried this last night, preparing it exactly as written, using a good quality sherry vinegar. When I first tasted the dressing, I was deeply disappointed — it didn’t match the expectations the rave reviews raised. It tasted slightly bitter and harsh. I decided to let it sit for 30 minutes. Glad I did. Wow—what a difference. Somehow it mellowed, the flavors melded, and it all came together.


Claudia Cavanaugh

Well what you made was not the salad in question, so maybe not fair to say it wasn't 'the best green salad in the world.'. Next time follow the actual recipe before passing judgment.

Eve V

For any fresh green salad, try this method: toss the greens first in the oil, to coat. This seals them so the vinegar does not cook them, and makes the salt and pepper stick. Toss with vinegar last. You can add seasonings of choice to the vinegar before tossing. (Or not on week nights- )Toss lightly and gently yet thoroughly. (No need to make a mixed oil and vinegar dressing. )


I have been adding a small amount of warm water to my vinaigrette for years. it somewhat dilutes a thick vinaigrette, meaning less oil and it coats the leaves better making for a lighter salad without a loss in taste.I also add it to my vinaigrette dressed warm potato salad after mixing. It gets rid of the clingy, gloppy starch and separates the potatoes.

the mad hungarian

One teaspoon of minced ginger brought this from delicious to amazing. I had already made the recipe twice. I don't know why -- I'm not a ginger fanatic -- but I had this impulse to add some ginger. The ginger is not overpowering-- it just adds depth and a light. It's like having a party in your mouth.

Juanito C.

This is very close to my Mom's recipe, including the essential water. Yes you can drink it, which I sometimes do by the spoonful. However, the real treat is using a good, crusty, chewy French bread to sop it up from the leftovers at the bottom of the salad bowl. Sounds crass, but my friends and I love it. I'll even make extra dressing as a bread dip, often adding a little extra olive oil. When they see an extra saucer in the table setting, they know what will go there.


"Doctored Italian oil"? David's comment flies in the face of many excellent DOC EVOO from Italy. Frankly, I'd trust Italian DOC producers before anyone else.


I made this using red onion (no shallot available) and a mixture of a honey mustard and Belgian Tierentyne mustard, plus a little honey. I used a mixture of greens from my garden -- red leaf, baby romaine, baby kale. My husband, who generally eats "lawn clippings" (as he calls tender greens) only under duress, actually asked for seconds (and sadly there were none)! This dressing is dangerously delicious.


Prepared mustard is more than the sum of its parts. Subbing an equivalent amount of mustard seed and liquid will not yield the same results.The flavor of prepared mustard is largely driven by a chemical reaction that occurs when mustard sits in liquid, but the pH & temperature of the liquid, and the duration of steeping all have a huge impact on the final result.You wouldn't sub grape juice and yeast for wine... this situation isn't that different!


Prepared; it will be whole or slightly cracked mustard seeds in wine or vinegar, with no other spices except salt. The Maille brand calls this type moutarde a l'ancienne or old style; the Pommery brand is moutarde de Meaux; the Edmond Fallot brand calls it moutarde en grains. The labels on the Grey Poupon sold in the US just call it "whole grain."


Any olive oil from italy is most likely doctored with other oils, and not the pure extra virgin oil that you are supposedly paying for. Go with excellent options from Greece, Lebanon, Spain, or California.

P Martin

can someone recommend a good aged sherry vinegar?


Triple washing is far from draconian and is what is needed to remove all soil from the leaves. Washing lettuce properly requires the leaves be immersed in a small bowl of water, repeatedly. If you try this you will see it takes 3 washes for the water to be left without dirt - especially if using lettuce from a farmers market. If you go to the trouble of making the dressing and going to the farmers market to buy lettuce, why would you skip washing the lettuce well?


1 tbspn vinegar 1/2 cup oileverything else the same


I make my own tarragon vinegar...might it work in this dressing?

Caroline Klam

Really good - both the dressing and the entire salad. Made it just as the recipe called for and everyone loved it.


I have made this several times. I do vary the greens some, due to availability and preference. I tear them in pieces instead of stacking.The dressing is over the top wonderful. I’m grateful the recipe makes for lots, as I’m happy to use it on various salad combos. It is a dense dressing, and a little goes a long way. Very good with left over green beans (one of my favs).


How in the heck did this recipe get 5 stars. The proportions for the olive oil and acids are far off the norms. The comments seem more like a 3.5-4 recipe too. I have a pet peeve about recipes that force you to make an absurd amount of an ingredient that is only partially used. I think that making 1 1/4 cups dressing when only 1/4 cup is needed (maybe slightly more) is a waste.

mrs hobbs

i see this recipe has had rave reviews from several years ago. its new to me. i made it exactly as described and was dismayed. there is SO MUCH OIL. the ratio to vinegar seems woefully inadequate. it tasted like olive oil. i used good quality ingredients but to me the sherry vinegar is not strong enough to carry all that oil. i dont know that any vinegar could be. with lots more vinegar and flavors added its a very average dressing


Takes way more than 15 minutes! Maybe an hour?


Made this twice recently and everybody absolutely loved it. I did make it more bite-size and toss it rather than pile it up high since it was a dinner party and people were helping themselves. I used less olive oil the second time, not sure I noticed a difference. It's a keeper!


Unless you are picking lettuce directly from a garden, washing multiple times is a huge waste of water. Is there some taste, texture benefit other than cleanliness?


Followed the instructions and I had all the ingredients but out of the gate the salad dressing was a disappointment. I’ll try again tomorrow after a day of rest to see if the flavors changed. The Sherry vinegar I have and use has worked well with other versions of this vinaigrette. Triple cleaning the greens is something I always do and it’s worth the effort. For now not the best salad ever. I may have to go get the real thing at Via Carota.


Can anyone tell me how much of the dressing is typically used to dress the salad? I was wondering if I could cut the amounts in half as EVOO is expensive. Thank you!


Couldn't find frisee, and cheated by using bagged butter lettuce from Trader Joe's. I didn't have the fancy vinegar, so used half red wine vinegar and half rice vinegar. Everything else was done as written. Everyone at the table was wowed.

eat for pleasure

I’ve made dressing on it’s own lots of times so good. When I make the salad as written I often add apples and pine nuts and I like it.

my. notes

I am reading all of the notes - so many notes. I have no problem triple washing all the kinds of greens. What I want to know is whether you really need to stack these leaves up in an unmanageable tower as recommended? I’m about to make for the first time and am terribly tempted to chop it all up, throw it in a bowl, and massage with the yummy dressing. Is that sacrilege? The idea of this tower is making my OCD fire up.


This is the best salad dressing, I make it exactly like the recipe except less oil. It helps that I live in Southern California and have fresh thyme year around.

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Via Carota’s Insalata Verde Recipe (2024)
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