Italian Tossed Salad – Mom’s Way

italian-tossed-saladMy Mother made the best mixed tossed salad and so did my Mother-in-Law. In fact, all the Moms in my family made the same salad. Forget the bottled salad dressings, the mixing bowl and whisk, and the measuring of ingredients! They all would make their salads with a wonderful mixture of salad greens plus top quality extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar and toss in additional vegetables or meats to complete the dish.

Their salads would be so fresh and tasty and they never measured or whisked the liquids before adding to the salad. The salad was always made in a large salad bowl that would be passed around the table and as a child I always hoped there would be some left for me when the bowl came around. Everyone loved the salad and it would often be eaten alone or wtih the entrée.

In Mom’s home you would never think of eating salad as a meal. However, today we love having salads for lunch or any time as our main meal. This recipe can be served either way, entrée or side, it all depends on how many ingredients you want to add to the mixture. Their tossing tools were their hands. Get ready for a wonderful salad that you will find easy to prepare. This is dedicated to my wonderful Mom and the world’s best Grandma on Mother’s Day!


  • Any salad greens, alone or a mixture: Romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, Bibb, chicory, arugula, or prepackaged salad greens
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Black pepper


  • Cucumbers
  • Radishes
  • Fresh tomatoes, sliced/cherry/grape
  • Onions
  • Fresh sliced button mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Meats and Seafood:
  • Tuna
  • Shrimp
  • Chopped salami
  • Cut up turkey breast/chicken breast
  • Grilled chicken
  • Roast beef
  • Cubed ham
  • Cheeses: grated parmesan cheese/sliced fresh mozzarella
  • Croutons (optional)


  1. Place salad greens and vegetable additions in large salad bowl.
  2. Add meats or seafood if desired.
  3. Pour enough olive oil over mixture to coat the greens.
  4. Carefully drizzle enough red wine vinegar and lemon juice on salad: enough to taste but not to over power the salad.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and toss with hands till well mixed. Serve cold.

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