Easy Lettuce Salad Recipe with fresh garden produce and one secret ingredient that makes this the best green salad! And it takes 15 minutes to make.
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Got lots of lettuce? Make this simple lettuce salad recipe!
In Ukraine, there are as many variations of lettuce salad as there are cooks. I grew up eating this green salad in June and July. It was always different depending on what was in my grandma’s garden and fridge.
This simple lettuce salad recipe is my version of traditional Ukrainian cucumber and tomato salad. And believe it or not, it contains no garlic. Rather one secret ingredient that makes it so much better than any other garden salads.
No matter what you do, it is very hard to mess up this lettuce salad unless you add way too much salt.
What Is the Best Lettuce for Salad?
Boston lettuce, red leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, butter lettuce, iceberg lettuce and any green leaf lettuces are great for this lettuce and tomato salad.
It is made with any thin leaf lettuce varieties and is meant to be enjoyed right away because of the leaves structure.
Ingredients for Lettuce Salad Recipe
7 ingredients are all that’s needed! And this lettuce salad gets major flavor from one secret ingredient – toasted sesame oil!
- Lettuce: Like mentioned above any lettuce would work. I used red leaf lettuce. Salad spinner is a must if you want to enjoy local veggies.
- Cucumbers: Any type of cucumbers like dill pickle, garden, long English, Persian cucumber is good. I would peel tough skin, if any. I used Persian cucumbers.
- Tomatoes: Any type of full grown, grape or cherry tomatoes work for this lettuce and tomato salad. Try tomatoes on the vine, local beefsteak tomatoes or roma tomatoes!
- Herbs: I specifically love dill in a simple lettuce salad. Italian parsley works too but not the same as dill. Try both ways and you will know what I mean.
- Onion: It’s optional. As a kid, I hated it and that’s why I cut it in large slices, so kids can remove. Now I like to add a bit for a zing.
- Oils: Quality extra virgin olive oil and the secret ingredient, toasted sesame oil. It needs to be toasted sesame oil to mimic unrefined sunflower seed oil traditionally used. You can buy it in any grocery store or online.
How to Make Lettuce Salad
This lettuce salad recipe is so delicious and darn cheap. It literally needs 10-15 minutes of prep and goes with everything!
Prep lettuce: Wash preferred lettuce and use a salad spinner to dry. If you don’t have one, use paper towels or linen towels. Drying lettuce is super important for a crispy salad!
Coarsely chop and add to large salad bowl, as you chop.
Slice cucumbers: Remove plastic wrap from English cucumbers and wash. No need to peel, unless using garden variety which can have tough and bitter skins.
Slice into half moons or small rounds, depending on the size of tomatoes you use. It’s a good idea to have both same bite-sized pieces.
Chop tomatoes: Depending on the type of tomatoes you are using, either coarsely chop or cut in halves. Make sure to use sharp knife not to squish tomatoes and have a mushy salad.
Slice red onion: I like to cut my onion in half so one side lays flat, then cut into thin slices. I keep them larger, so family or guests can easily remove them, if needed.
Finely chop fresh dill: To remove flavorful and thin dill leaves from thick stalks, the trick is to hold onto them, then “shave” off the top part with a knife, and then chop finely.
I don’t recommend to use dried dill weed. Only fresh herbs work well in salads. Also mint will do!
Add seasonings and combine: No extra step to make salad dressing separately is required. Add oils, white vinegar (if using), salt and pepper right on top of veggies in a bowl and use salad tongs to combine.
Toss gently and only until ingredients are combined. Lettuce salad tastes best fresh without fragile lettuce leaves bruised and juicy veggies leaking.
Serve Right Away
It is best to serve this lettuce salad within first 30-60 minutes after tossing. Lettuce leaves wilt really fast.
You can make ahead this salad. Add all ingredients to a bowl except oil, white vinegar (if using), salt and pepper. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 8-10 hours. Season and toss right before serving.
Tips and Variations
- Make it creamy: Instead of oil, use Greek yogurt with fat content 2% and higher. Or sour cream for a true Ukrainian version.
- Add some crunch: Toasted nuts or a few sourdough croutons.
- Mediterranean: Make it similar to my traditional Greek salad and add olives, bell peppers, and feta!
I hope you enjoy one of our favorite lettuce salad recipes!
More Salad Recipes to Try
- Italian chopped salad
- Asian chopped salad
- Grilled romaine lettuce
- Spinach avocado salad
- Mexican kale salad
- Wilted spinach salad
- Cucumber tomato avocado salad
- Healthy Caesar salad
Tomato Cucumber Lettuce Salad Recipe
- 1 lb (2 medium) long English cucumbers coarsely chopped
- 1 lb (4 medium) tomatoes coarsely chopped
- 1 lb (large bunch) any lettuce coarsely chopped
- 1 small bunch dill finely chopped
- 1/4 cup white or red onion thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil optional
- 1 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Garlic and white vinegar to taste (optional)
- In a large bowl, add cucumber, tomato, lettuce, dill, onion, olive oil, toasted sesame oil, salt and pepper. The easiest is to add ingredients in order as listed and as you are preparing them like washing and chopping the vegetables.
- Toss gently just until combined.
- Serve immediately or within an hour.
- To make ahead: Refrigerate all vegetables covered in a bowl, and add oils, salt and pepper right before serving.
- Lettuce: Boston, red leaf, romaine, butter, green leaf lettuces are great.
- Cucumbers: Any type of cucumbers (dill pickle, garden, long English, Persian), peeled or not, work.
- Tomatoes: Any type of full grown, grape or cherry tomatoes work.
- Toasted sesame oil: It gotta be toasted, find it in any grocery store or online. It is a staple in Asian cooking. Or just omit.