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Who eats naked salads?

You know, the ones with no dressing whatsoever?

Who here eats those?

Me, for one.

A handful of baby spinach, bok choy, arugula, kale, radicchio, red onions (raw), julienned carrots, peas, carrots, corn, some sliced roasted egg plant, grilled bell peppers and Vidalia onions, avocado, diced tomatoes, a handful of minced garlic and ginger ... and I'm good to go.


Are you a nudist?

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    1. Occasionally I do, especially in the summer when everything is at its peak.

      Thought does a sprinkle of salt and squeeze of lemon count as "not naked"?

      3 Replies
      1. re: foodieX2

        Thought does a sprinkle of salt and squeeze of lemon count as "not naked"?


        I think that's like sunscreen. So yeah still technically naked.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Disagree. Anything that moistens is now dressed IMO. Roasted vegetables that coat your lettuce from the juices, lemon juice etc. are all dressings.

          1. re: melpy

            Even the morning dew from my spinach leaves? Or the pulp from the toe-mah-toes?

      2. Nope.... typically my lunch salad gets a half a lemon squeezed on it, some olive oil, salt and pepper.

        1. Sometimes I like plain shredded lettuce on the plate with my entree. Plain raw spinich leaves same way.

          1. I like my salads to have a bit of fat in them so I only skip the dressing if I add cheese to the salad.

            3 Replies
            1. re: hala

              Me too, which is why sometimes I like a handful of sliced almonds and some chopped walnuts.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Yum! I now know what I am eating tomorrow.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Toast those walnuts, also the almonds, but mostly the walnuts, and you have the food of the gods

              2. My mother in law does. She says that's her favorite way but I know she is lying.

                1. I used to. I really, really dislike mayo and mayo based dressings. I grew up in a part of the country where vinaigrette was unheard of until about 10 years ago. I was in college before I knew their were options beyond ranch and blue cheese. As a kid, I happily ate dry/naked salads.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: mpjmph

                    Where did you grow up? Hidden valley ranch?

                      1. re: Monica

                        Eastern North Carolina - the local food history is wonderful, but salads just a big part of it. We always had sliced tomatoes and cucumbers on the table in season, plus tons of other fresh vegetables, just not salads. The only lettuce we really had available was iceberg, and the dressing options in the store were pretty limited. I don't think my parents ever considered the option of making salad dressing at home because they never learned it from their parents, and I was content to eat plain, raw vegetables.

                        1. re: Monica

                          Or southeastern Illinois, where my favorite relatives came from. I haven't been there since they died, but I was amazed at the shortsightedness of the people as regards food. Meat and tomatoes, not a typo. I never saw blue cheese there, ever, unless my auntie forgot about some cheddar in the bar fridge for a few months.

                        2. re: mpjmph

                          When I was growing up every salad I got had a heaping clump of bottled Thousand Island dressing dumped in one place. 2-3 lettuce leaves would be soaked in dressing and the rest of the salad would be naked.

                          I was about 25 before I realized that more conscientious chefs mixed dressing into the salad greens before serving it.

                        3. To each their own, obviously, but for me, the amout of dressing is in inverse proportion to the amount of interesting "stuff" in it...more tomatoes, protein, etc. and I need less dressing. More lettuce...more dressing.

                          1. yep. arugula/avocado/smoked salmon/dill/artichoke hearts/bell peppers/spring onions is a favorite naked combination.

                            1. If it has feta cheese, maybe melon, tomatoes, "wet" stuff like that, i don't usually use dressing. :)

                              1. I do. Cant stand dressing honestly. If I feel it needs a little kick just add in some fruit. Quality of veggies make a much bigger difference though.

                                1. I'm not a big fan of creamy dressings, but for me salad is a vehicle for vinegar so I always load it up with vinaigrette.

                                    1. I'm a minimalist when it comes to dressing, but not a nudist. In all but top-end restaurants, I ask for "dressing on the side" because I want to avoid the salad being overdressed for my taste (and I usually use less than 1/4 of what the restaurant provides).

                                      So maybe I like a string bikini rather than naked.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: drongo

                                        Very smart, because caesar salads are damn near always totally drowned in a caesar-like dressing.

                                      2. Oh, never mind. I thought it was 'Who eats salads naked'!

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: mwhitmore

                                          I thought it was 'Who eats salads naked'!

                                          You mean there are people that ... don't?

                                          1. re: mwhitmore

                                            I only eat salad naked when I'm at the nudist colony. There, nobody points and laughs.

                                          2. I ate salad with just a squeeze of lemon when I was in the hospital. I lost a lot of weight.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: GH1618

                                              I work in a hospital and am therefore mostly a captive of their cafeteria. They recently revamped the salad bar, mostly to the positive. I now have the option of putting oil and/or vinegar in addition to the usual dressings. It gets a bit tqrt toward the bottom but I so prefer it to the lame-ass "nonfat' dressings they used to have that were so sweet i didn't want to use them, but had no alternative, so I ate them without, and the produce involved was subpar. I enjoy the current salad bar, to the point where I don't bring my own.

                                              1. re: GH1618

                                                A few years ago I was at Costco guiltily enjoying my pre-shopping hot dog (ok, polish sausage) when a family of quite large people sat at the table next to me with their caesar salads. I really started to feel guilty then, obviously someone had finally talked these people into throwing some greens into their bodies at least once in a while. Then I saw each of them pour 3, count 'em 3, of those dressing cuplets on each one of those salads. Although at that point you could almost have called them caesar soups. Suddenly I felt absolved of all guilt and enjoyed my sausage. I could just hear them at their next check up ". . . but Doc, we haven't been eatin nothin BUT salads for months now, even when we went to the Costco on our Hawaiian vacation . . ."

                                                1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                  I hear-tell that the principal source of fat and calories for American men is meat. For women, salad dressing.

                                                  1. re: mwhitmore

                                                    I've always been told that the principal source of fat for men is the gut. For women, the butt-ocks.

                                                    1. re: mwhitmore

                                                      The principal source of calories for American men is women undressing for meat.

                                                2. I pretty much always add lemon juice and/or a drizzle of good olive oil. And S&P for sure. I do not typically care for thick, heavy salad dressings but I do think most leafy greens benefit from...something.

                                                  1. ME!!!!!!! Just some salt (preferably sea salt).

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: jbsiegel

                                                      And how do you get that salt to stick to your lettuces and other ingredients? Or do you not spin your salad prior to eating?

                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                        I just kinda toss the salt on top after it's all on the plate. It seems to work out nicely. (I use an electric sea salt grinder which spreads it out well.)

                                                    2. I did at one point while I was following a NCEP diet like the people in a clinical trial I was managing; it was primarily to save on the allowable daily quantity of fat in favor of other sources.

                                                      Since then I still do it occasionally though really only when the vegetation is really nice.

                                                      1. Must be the hot early summer heat with naked threads making the rounds. Naked potatoes, eating food plain.

                                                        I don't use bottled dressing and I rarely go for oil & vinegar anymore. So, lemon, lime or a flavored vinegar for me if that still qualifies.

                                                        Exceptions: if the salad has cheese, boiled eggs, some sort of sliced meat (chef salad) avocado, roasted nuts or fresh fruit-it's going to be a naked of any and all dressing salad.

                                                        6 Replies
                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                          Have you ever tried lemon juice, lemon zest, a bit of minced ginger and garlic on your greens? Good stuff. The zest brings it over the top. It's transformative on a very primitive yet complex level.

                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                            Variations but you remind me to use that tasty combo soon. Do you keep the ingredients blended in advance of needing it or do you make up a fresh batch as you prepare the salad?

                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                              I like fresh. Maybe suburban myth, but I just find fresh zest to be, um, fresher.

                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                I agree. I find most dressings, light sauces or simple dips taste better made fresh. If garlic sits too long it winds up overpowering everything else in the bowl, don't you find.

                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                  Yes, I do.

                                                                  But, then, there are those times when you do want a dressing (not necessarily for salads) to "age" -- esp. ones with garlic.

                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                    True, like a marinade I would prep ahead and let time be my friend to marry flavors.

                                                        2. I often eat naked salads...depends on my mood. Even when I use dressing, I use _very_ little. I want to taste the more of the salad itself, not the dressing.

                                                          Contrary to comments elsewhere in the thread, it's overdressed salad that I find "boring".

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: The Professor

                                                            I find people that *have* to have dressing with their salad -- usually not an insignificant amount -- are really eating salad more as a chore (or a task) than as a sublime and sensual way to savor the gustatory beauty of vegetables.

                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                              You'd find that, in my case, you couldn't be more off base.

                                                              I am a salad lover (can't go more than 2 days in a row w/out).... but I also love my dressings. I make such a variety with different oils, vinegars & mustards... sometimes with cream, sometimes without, sometimes I don't even bother emulsifying and just toss the salted mixed lettuces with olive oil and drizzle some rwv over it, grind some black pepper -- done.

                                                              Most of the vitamins in your salad are fat-soluble anyway, so if anyone was eating salads for nutritional reasons or "because they feel they have to", they'd be better off using some sort of oil.

                                                              Besides that, a good vinaigrette/dressing really makes a salad shine.

                                                          2. You have the fat component w/ the avocado so it's not that naked.

                                                            10 Replies
                                                            1. re: Chinon00

                                                              Naked was not meant to be synonomic double-entendre for "fat free"

                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                Which fat free salads do you like? And fruit salad doesn't count;]

                                                                1. re: Chinon00

                                                                  Does kimchi count?

                                                                  Or how about Chinese-style marinated cabbage and/or daikon?

                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                    And you eat kimchi unaccompanied as a meal?

                                                                    1. re: Chinon00

                                                                      All the time.

                                                                      I also eat baby spinach on its own, many times.

                                                                        1. re: Chinon00

                                                                          Of course.

                                                                          As opposed to ... what? Medicine?

                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                            Don't invite me over for dinner;]

                                                                            1. re: Chinon00

                                                                              If I did, I'd buy a bottle of dressing just for you. And some avocados. And nuts.

                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                May all how cook for others be as gracious.

                                                            2. Oh yeah, I don't need dressing always, but I'd put some fresh lime squeezing or a splash of some kind of vinegar instead of your garlic and ginger, which I'd consider dressing, but if you don't, then that's what i'm wetting my salad with.
                                                              Sliced roasted eggplant is almost a dressing, IMHO

                                                              1. Sometimes nudist, sometimes not. More often without dressing. I like dressing, but when given dressing I tend to drown my greens, so its safer for my waistline not to make it an option at all and I'm just as happy with none.

                                                                My salads as of late have been a lot less elaborate than yours though, I'm jelous. I need to get shopping!

                                                                1. I do.Especially now that my arugula,and the escarole is thriving in my vegtable garden,with the other veggies. Why mess with the best.

                                                                  1. Does lemon juice count? I used to love lettuce, shrimp, and a sqeeze of lemon. Of course, that was when I was a teenager, and thought that salad dressing was orange, pink or white, and came in a bottle from Vons.

                                                                    1. I consider eating raw greens naked akin to eating raw fish. While considered a delicacy by some, it is still thought of as fishing bait by the majority.

                                                                      You really love your salad, as I counted 17 hands of ingredients. Somebody in your life is very understanding if you can be in the same house after a handful of minced garlic. :-)

                                                                        1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                          Dressing dude here. But undressing chicks here and there. 916!

                                                                        2. i've always ony ever eaten dry salads. chopped peppers, red onions, grape tomatoes - and i'm good to go. sometimes i'll throw in some pickled jalapenos or chopped pickles, roasted mushrooms or eggplant, or hard boiled egg slices for a nicoise version

                                                                          1. This may disgust you, but I love a big pile of arugula with a serving of chipotle mac and cheese on top. Technically, the salad portion isn't dressed.

                                                                            In general, I want some oil and vinegar and maybe a little tahini on my salad, though.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: Isolda

                                                                              Few things disgust me (food-wise anyway), and certainly not Chipotle Mac N Cheese served on a bed of arugula.

                                                                            2. I like salads to be naked except sometimes I like to use vinegar--apple cider vinegar, regular vinegar, balsamic, etc.

                                                                              I guess I no longer judge, notice or care what people put on their salads, because I have seen (and I put this on another thread) the international students at my college (back in the day)--used either eat hot spinach mixed into Activa (they were from Finland) and then others who would eat raw spinach with a TON of (either strawberry or blueberry) flavored yogurt on-top (from China). So, I figured salad dressings could basically be anything, from any part of the cafeteria.

                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                              1. re: GraceW

                                                                                I knew I had seen just about everything when I saw someone pour Orange Crush soda on their salad greens.

                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                      Yeah, no kidding, right?

                                                                                      I saw that and at that very moment I realized that there are those that are among us that are not like the rest of us.

                                                                                      We are *not* alone in this universe.

                                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                        well maybe if you mixed it with some cool whip . . . a creamy fizzy orange dressing (and yes, ive seen whipped toppings of all types on salads - seen, not eaten)

                                                                                1. Oh, yes! I hate greasy salads. A naked one really allows the flavor to shine through -- just a little salt and maybe pepper on top.

                                                                                  I don't oppose a particularly juice tomato on top, though. And, topping a salad with some fried meat is really delicious.

                                                                                  If I do go for a dressing, my favorite is yogurt-based Ranch dressing.

                                                                                  1. I eat fresh air out of spun bamboo bowls from Vietnam. The air picks up a nice hint of the bamboo flavor but without being too heavy.

                                                                                    1. On the list of my favorite foods is iceberg lettuce - whole. While everyone is sitting in front of the TV eating popcorn, I munch on lettuce. I'm addicted. I also love Boston and Romaine - plain, bare, with nothing added. Arugula is a close second - as well as cilantro - I love the smell of both, and love to just take a huge bunch and stick it in a pita pocket. Another favorite is to cut up a variety of lettuces and cover a grilled pizza (discussed this on another post) - no cheese - no tomato sauce - just lettuce on plain grilled pizza dough - definitely no dressings - just salt.

                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: acssss

                                                                                        This sounds strangely good (the whole lettuce munching)!

                                                                                        1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                          Manatees can munch iceberg lettuce all day long. Cute critters.

                                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                              And you know what rabbits do all night! How about you ipsedixit?

                                                                                              1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                                                I like to sleep at night.

                                                                                                I like to keep my "activities" for the day time.

                                                                                          1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                            +1 for munching on naked lettuce. I also like munching on naked sprouts (although it seems that sprouts have been rebranded as "micro-greens" in some places).

                                                                                        2. Going with the theory that lemon juice is dressing - but salt isn't - the only salad I enjoy "nude" is an Israeli salad. Diced tomatoes and cucumbers, some salt and maybe some parsley.

                                                                                          If lemon juice is nude - there are a number of cabbage slaws I like where I just use a mix of lemon juice and salt with items such as shredded cabbage, radish, carrot.

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: cresyd

                                                                                            I love diced fresh tomatoes/cucumbers, and I like adding a small diced onion and of course cilantro/parsley!!! No dressing - because the salt causes the tomato and cucumber juices to emerge and make a natural dressing. Oh so good! And it must be eaten with a huge fresh chunk of warm ciabatta bread - NOT A FORK

                                                                                            1. re: acssss

                                                                                              Good pita is a completely acceptable alternative utensile. I also sometimes like to finish the salad with sumac and maybe croutons or fried pita chips if I'm feeling fancy.

                                                                                              1. re: cresyd

                                                                                                Oh, yes! Agreed with regards to the pita.
                                                                                                In fact a friends of mine makes her salads with pita pieces already part of the salad, which is even better because they absorb the juices and become this soft, delicious mush!

                                                                                          2. By including ginger and garlic, roasted eggplant and grilled peppers, I don't consider that a naked salad. Those are flavoring ingredients, just not in a completely liquid form.

                                                                                            The only salad I eat nekid is sauerkraut. If you can call it a salad, which is how I consider it. I make my own fermented from scratch. I let it go about three months so it is very tangy. The only ingredients are cabbage, salt, probiotic starter (whey from yogurt) and some crushed caraway and juniper berries. Last fall I started making this and eating some plain, by itself, almost every day.

                                                                                            I do use lettuce plain as wraps for certain meals. Something I started doing as a kid, many moons before hearing of Ssam.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: JMF

                                                                                              Wait, hold on a second there my friend.

                                                                                              If you consider ginger, garlic, roasted 'plants, etc. as "flavoring ingredients" than fermentation is like the motherlode of all flavoring ingredients.

                                                                                              It'd be like a "Flavoring Bomb".

                                                                                            2. Not quite a nudist. I like to add a couple sprinkles of red wine vinegar.

                                                                                              1. Haven't tried but when I try to go light on the dressing I make sure to add a good amount of sundried tomatoes (from the big Costco jars where they're sitting in olive oil). The sundried tomato and flavored olive oil is essentially a dressing in itself.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: Bunson

                                                                                                  Love sundried tomatoes!
                                                                                                  I only buy them in olive oil - and I put a large bunch in a food processor and make a delicious chutney!