The perfect food blogger would never resort to using pre-washed greens, buying instead produce exclusively from the farmer’s market,  each leaf washed with loving care. However, I am not ashamed to confess this particular sin. Quite the contrary, the bag of organic  “mixed greens” found in most grocery stores is one of my best friends, because it makes life so much easier.  To my delight, the latest issue of Fine Cooking had an article devoted to redeeming sinners like me: it offered  several options of salad recipes that,  starting from those handy bags, turn them up into something special. I intend to try all of them, but my first choice was the one featuring a ginger-yogurt dressing and fresh cucumber. I can never resist the call of ginger. 😉

(adapted from Fine Cooking magazine, July 2012)

1-1/2 Tbs. rice vinegar
1 Tbs. finely chopped shallot
2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
2 tsp. thinly sliced mint leaves
salt and black pepper to taste
1/3 cup plain non-fat yogurt
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
5 oz. (5 cups) mixed baby greens
1 small English cucumber, peeled, sliced
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, shallot, ginger, mint, salt, and black pepper.  Stir in the yogurt and olive oil.

In a large bowl, season the greens and cucumbers with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper and toss with enough dressing to lightly coat. Sprinkle the toasted almonds on top, and serve right away.


to print the recipe, click here

The original recipe called for sesame seeds instead of almonds, but I like to have extra crunch in my salad, and felt that the sesame seeds would more or less disappear through the mix.  I also used non-fat yogurt in place of low-fat, because that’s what we had laying around in the fridge.  The dressing turned out light, with the mint and ginger bringing a nice zing to it.   Great, simple salad, perfect way to doctor up those bags that may find their way into your grocery cart… ;-)  Extra-vinaigrette keeps well for a day, the flavors intensify a bit.

Because Fine Cooking doesn’t make their recipes available online for non-subscribers, a while ago I contacted the magazine to know their thoughts on copyright issues. Here’s the deal: they don’t mind bloggers publishing any of their recipes, as long as full credit is given and a link to the magazine is included, so that’s what I’ve been doing, without guilty feelings.  Except, of course, the guilt of buying that eventual bag of salad greens. Pre-washed. 😉

ONE YEAR AGO: Cracked Wheat Sandwich Bread

TWO YEARS AGOAu Revoir, my Bewitching Kitchen

THREE YEARS AGO:  French Bread


  1. Well, I guess I should be asking for forgiveness too then… the bagged version I buy most often is coleslaw – we adore coleslaw but what a process making it… I have found a fresh, delightful prepared version that works for us!!😉. I’m licking my lips at the thought of ginger, shallots and creamy yogurt…what a great (and sensible ;-)) salad Sally!


    • INdeed! Bagged coleslaw is a time-saver like no other! I love the one with broccoli in it, as it will be a very cold day in hell the day I’ll cut broccoli like that myself! 😉


  2. Sally, I saw your thing about the lab move on Facebook, and cannot imagine how you are able to keep blogging, but I am so grateful you do! You must be some type of a superwoman LOL


    • Sonya, I wish I had superpowers, but unfortunately I just struggle and try to do the best I can. The blog is a nice change of pace, allows me to do something different. I might blog about the lab move, though. Once it’s all under control. (sigh)

      thanks for stopping by!


  3. How good of you to ask permission.. now I guess that gives us permission, so thank you!! I admit to being one of those who regularly sins.. with this little handy bags of prewashed lettuce. What a great idea to come up with a series using these. I like your substitution of almonds, I, too, enjoy more crunch in my salad! Can’t wait to see the other recipes! xx Barb


  4. Oh, Sally! Whoever made that rule should apologize, certainly not you or any one of us. I live alone, for me to buy all of the lettuce types present in one of those bags or plastic cartons would cost a small fortune and spoil before I use it all.
    I can see why you found it so hard to resist this ginger dressing. It really sounds delicious!


    • That’s actually a good point! Pretty tricky to assemble all those great baby greens buying them separately, if you cook for one (or two, like me)

      as to the dressing, even though it is a bit too liquid to be consider a “dip”, I enjoyed next day with some celery sticks – so refreshing!


  5. I confess to being another one of the ‘sinners’: I find the bags more interesting in their variety, usually crisper and longer lasting if properly closed [I use oldfashioned clothespegs!]. If some seem slightly past their best the contents are just fine stirfried! One thing which has to be remembered: please WASH thoroughly before use! To avoid fungal growth and give the item longer shelf-life large quantities of chlorine gas are pumped thru’ the greens. Whereas no health damage has yet been proven, most of the bags I have seen in Australia have a big ‘wash before use’ marking – that is the reason and at least yours truly is taking care🙂 !


  6. Finally, I can actually buy one of those bagged lettuces!! I had always thought they had a funny taste or smell, but I’ve gotten them for my son when I’m traveling cuz he doesn’t like to have to fuss with prepping lettuce. I agree with your adding in the almonds for a bit of crunch and the fresh ginger in the viniagrette is a great idea.


    • I think some brands are much better than others – usually you can tell my inspecting the quality of the leaves inside, but for the most part when I stick to the organic ones, I’ve never been disappointed (I do pay attention to the “best if sold by” date)


  7. I couldn’t survive without the bags of pre-washed salad greens. They are life saving – even if it is sort of a sin for food bloggers.🙂 I love the dressing on this salad. It sounds fabulous. Mr. N can’t ignore the call of ginger either. Neither can Miss A now that I think about it. Well, and me. The sushi place always sends home and extra condiment cup with the pickled ginger for me. LOL.🙂


    • Kristy, the pickled ginger! Phil and I fight for the stuff, but I developed a nice method to win the competition… (let’s hope he won’t read the comments…🙂 :

      With the right movement of skilled hands, the chopsticks will grab a huge bunch of pickled ginger, more or less glued together. A polite person would carefully separate the pieces, leaving some behind for the partner. Moi? I pretend not to notice, and with the most innocent look I can come up with, the whole bunch ends up in my mouth. I’d say usually I get 80% of the pickled ginger in any of our sushi meals… he, he, he…

      love the stuff. Love it.


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