This week on Basics, we're taking a look at salad. Salad can be a robust, radiant, and reliable side dish or main course. I'll show you how to make caesar salad, panzanella, and a wedge salad.

Special Equipment List

Salad tossers (optional)

Mortar and pestle

Shopping List

For panzanella:

  • Ciabatta, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • Olive oil

  • Black pepper and kosher salt

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1 medium cucumber, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • Half a red onion, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 6 small balls mozzarella, halved (ciliengini)

  • White wine vinegar

  • Lemons, juiced

  • Dijon mustard

  • 1 small shallot

  • 1 clove garlic 

For Wedge Salad:

  • 4 slices bacon, fried crisp

  • 3-4 Tbsp buttermilk

  • 1-2 Tbsp sour cream

  • ¼cup full-fat mayo

  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar

  • 1-2 cloves grated garlic

  • Black pepper and kosher salt

  • High quality blue cheese, crumbled (to taste)

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce

  • Chives, chopped (garnish)

  • Cherry tomatoes, halved (garnish)

For Caesar Salad:

  • 1 egg

  • 1 bunch romaine lettuce, cut into bite-sized pieces and washed

  • Olive oil

  • Black pepper and kosher salt

  • Garlic powder

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1 ounce freshly grated parmesan, plus more for garnish

  • Half a lemon, juiced

  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 tsp dijon mustard



  1. Cut up ciabatta bread into bite-size pieces and tossed in olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper.

  2. Place onto a baking sheet laying flat and not overlapping each other and toast at 450°F for 5 minutes.

  3. Cut a plethora of cherry tomatoes into halves, a medium cucumber and red onion into bite-sized pieces, 6 small balls of mozzarella into halves, and julienne some basil.  

  4. Place into a bowl, tossing everything together.

  5. For the dressing, mix white wine vinegar, a squeeze of lemon, dijon mustard, 1 minced small shallot, 1 grated clove of garlic, and kosher salt and pepper. Whisk thoroughly together until everything is mixed.

  6. Finally, place the toasted ciabatta bread into a bowl along with the other ingredients. Toss everything together followed by drizzling on the dressing.

  7. Give one more solid tossing and then plate with torn basil on top.


Wedge Salad

  1. Start by browning some bacon. Once the bacon is nice and crisp, be sure to drain the bacon on a paper towel.  

  2. For the dressing, add 3-4 Tbsp of buttermilk, 1-2 Tbsp of sour cream, ¼ cup of full fat mayo, 2 tsp of white wine vinegar, 1-2 grated cloves of garlic, salt and pepper, and then crumbled blue cheese. Once everything has been added, mix it all together.

  3. Cut 1 large head of iceberg lettuce into quarters.

  4. Chop up the bacon and fresh chives into small pieces and halve some cherry tomatoes.

  5. Dress the iceberg wedges with the blue cheese dressing, followed by chives, cherry tomatoes, and all of the bacon.


Caesar Salad

  1. Boil an egg for 3 minutes followed by plunging it into an ice bath.

  2. Cut a head of romaine into bite-sized pieces, place into a colander, and thoroughly wash before eating/using then dry on a paper towel.

  3. While drying, continue to tear into bite-sized pieces.

  4. For the croutons, add olive oil, salt and pepper and toss in bite size bread of choice. Add a bit of garlic powder and toss once more before toasting in your preheated oven until golden brown.

  5. For the dressing, grind one fresh clove of garlic and freshly ground pepper together with a mortar and pestle. Then add an ounce of freshly grated parmesan cheese and mash some more. Then pour into a bowl.

  6. Squeeze ½ lemon into the bowl, add 2 Tbsp of Worcestershire sauce and 2 tsp of dijon mustard. Whisk thoroughly.

  7. In a separate bowl, whisk the yolk of the boiled egg from earlier before adding it to the rest of the dressing ingredients.

  8. Slowly drizzle in ½ cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil while whisking together. 

  9. In a large bowl, dress and toss the salad before plating.

  10. Once plated, add croutons, generous amounts of parmesan cheese (peeled into curls with a vegetable peeler), and several twists of pepper.

Devin Monaghan