healthy tasty garden salad the way nonno makes it

Nonno’s Healthy Signature Tossed Garden Salad, Nonno Knows Tasty Salad.

No meal is really complete without a tasty and healthy salad.  A good fresh salad provides the health benefits of fresh vegetables and Nonno’s favorite has a splash of fruit.

Nonno makes variations of this very easy to make, tasty and delicious garden salad quite often, but, the original is a staple salad for Nanna and Nonno`s weekly family Pasta Sundays. There never seems to be any left over.

You can add take away or even additional ingredients to it if you choose. It is great with your favorite cheese, sliced carrots, walnuts, cranberries etc.   The options are endless.

Preparation time is about 20 minutes

What you will need to make Nonno`s Signature Tossed Salad:

  • 1 small head of Romaine Lettuce chopped (Nonno likes to use big pieces – Romaine lettuce hearts are good too)
  • 1 cup of Baby Spinach chopped
  • A few leaves of Boston lettuce (cut in big pieces like the Romaine)
  • 1 Pomegranate (Nonno gets all the seeds out underwater by filling the sink with enough cold water to cover the Pomegranate, slicing the top and bottom off and quartering the Pomegranate underwater. He then uses a small colander to collect the seeds) Nanna showed Nonno how to do it.
  • 1 small Belgian Endive cut in half lengthwise and then in 1/2“ pcs
  • 1 small Radicchio chopped
  • 1 /2 an English cucumber sliced
  • 2 small Tomatoes cut into 8 pieces, and/or 10 to 12 Cherry or Grape Tomatoes cut in halves (How much tomato you use is dependant on how much you love the Tomato)
  • 1/4 Red Onion thinly sliced
  •  1 or two small ripe Avocados, diced
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons of Virgin Olive oil (we know that Nonno prefers Gallo)
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar (Nonno likes the Costco Kirkland brand, not very Italian, but it is a really good rich Balsamic vinegar that rivals the more expensive Italian brands)
  • Two or three pinches of Salt
  • Two or three pinches of course Black Pepper
  • A large salad bowl

How to Make Nonno’s Signature Tossed Garden Salad:

  • Into a large salad bowl, slice all the ingredients above.
  •  Top with the Pomegranate seeds and the diced Avocado.
  • Toss a few times to ensure it is mixed well.  (Don`t let Nanna see you tossing, she prefers using tongs or large salad spoon and fork to mix it up.
  • Add the Balsamic Vinegar. Toss and mix
  • Add the Virgin Olive Oil.  Toss and mix some more.
  • Top with a few pinches of salt and black pepper do a few final tosses or mix with salad spoon and fork.


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8 thoughts on “Nonno’s Healthy Signature Tossed Garden Salad, Nonno Knows Tasty Salad.

  1. Thank You

    I am a big veggie eater at this time in my life, your salad recipe sounds tasty so I have saved the recipe to prepare on my own to give it a try.

    I have found eating more veggies has improved my arthritis aches and pains, I urge anyone with aches and pains to add more veggies and preparing this tasty salad would be a good way.

    1. Hi Jeffrey, 

      Thank you for visiting and the positive feedback.

      Kudos to you for adding more vegetables to your diet and I am happy to hear it has had a positive affect on your health.  

      I find that far too many people do not eat enough vegetables and the sad thing is that whipping up something like a simple salad with vegetables (and even fruit) is such an easy way to address that.

      I hope you enjoy Nonno`s Tossed Garden salad as much as we do.

      the very best regards,

      Nonno Knows 

  2. When I was a child, my Dad was a meat and potatoes kind of guy, but we had a garden at the side of our house that Mom made us help cultivate and pick fresh vegetables from. So, I learned early on the good taste of vegetables and how good they are for me.
    Today, my family loves vegetables as much as I do and we have a small space in our backyard that is dedicated to growing fresh veggies just like in my childhood.
    Thanks for the really tasty looking garden salad recipe, I am looking forward to trying it with my family. Is balsamic vinegar and olive oil the only kind of dressing that you use with it, or do you have other recommendations?

    1. Hi Ed,

      Thank you for visiting and the feedback.

      Glad to hear you had a garden growing up and now have a home garden producing some tasty vegetables. I grew up the same way.  We always had a backyard garden and grew many vegetables and herbs. I have also carried that tradition on in our backyard – There is nothing better than the fresh stuff. 

      To your question on anything else added for dressing, we try to keep it simple and natural as possible, so our recipe contains only Balsamic Vinegar, Virgin Olive Oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper for dressing – We do not add anything else. You will find that the ripe Avocados will really absorb the vinegar and oil so be careful not to add too much Balsamic.

      Hope you enjoy the Garden Salad as much as we do.

      Very Best regards,

      Nonno Knows

  3. Wow, this seems like the most complete and most awesome vitamin source out there!

    Thanks for sharing this amazing salad with us.

    Honestly, this thing will detox and cleanse you like nothing else. I’m a meat lover but I also love to add a side salad to my main meals, it makes things that much healthier.

    What do you think about adding pomegranate syrup for dressing?

    1. Hi Simon,

      Thank you for visiting and the positive feedback.

      I can relate, salad is great, but we love our pasta and our pasta dishes always include some kind of meat or fish. The original salad recipe has a nice mix of red and green vegetables and a splash of fruit that as you stated really is a healthy addition to almost any main dish.

      The salad recipe already contains Pomegranate seeds, they tend to absorb the oil and vinegar as opposed to release their juice. I think the Pomegranate syrup may be a good addition, but I suggest you keep it light, don`t use too much or it will overpower the oil and vinegar.

      We treat the posted recipe as our base salad and we do change it up from time to time by adding different things. We add our favorite cheeses, other times we add dried cranberries, sometimes walnuts, other raw veggies like peppers, carrots etc., etc

      I like the idea of Pomegranate syrup, thank you for suggesting it, I am gonna try it.

      Hope you enjoy the salad as much as we do.

      very best regards,

      Nonno Knows

  4. Ahh this looks super nutritious and delicious! I will have to give it a try here next time I get some veggies from the farmer’s market. I have some cherry tomatoes that are about to ripen in my porch garden that would be perfect in it, too! Is olive oil and balsamic vinegar the healthiest dressing that you like or are there other healthy variations you like to try?

    1. Hi Ciara,

      Thank you for visiting and your feedback.

      Nice to hear that you are growing your own cherry tomatoes. We grow them on our deck as patio plants too, small but tasty, we love them. 

      As for salad dressing, excellent question. The olive oil and balsamic vinegar combination is our favorite.  We do use a few different ones in different salads to change things up. I will be posting some of these over the next several months. 

      If you did not check out the Tomato salad post, that is one which we use only olive oil and Oregano  it is one of my favorites. 

      We like simple, so we use the olive oil in combination with red wine vinegar, also with white wine vinegar, with lemon juice etc.  We make one salad with just a few types of lettuce, cucumber and onions, apples and for that one, we use apple cider vinegar.  One of the simplest salads we enjoy is just cucumbers, olive oil and white wine vinegar, salt, pepper and some chopped mint leaves.

      very best regards,

      Nonno Knows 

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