‘Everything from the Fridge’ Salad Is My Go-To Lunch

All you really need is good olive oil and flaky salt.

4 min read

Hi! My name is Hannah and I bet I can make an awesome salad from whatever’s in your fridge. 

“But,” you might protest, “There’s nothing much in my fridge.” 

That’s the whole point! I got you. 

But before we get into the fridge components of your salad, it’s the dressing (or not even dressing!) that will make your salad shine.  

If you already have a jar of mustardy vinaigrette or creamy green goddess, you’re ahead of the game. But you don’t need fancy salad dressing — or any salad dressing at all. All you need is decent extra-virgin olive oil and crunchy salt. 

What constitutes quality EVOO? Like any matter of taste, it’s the one that you find delicious. The best olive oil is fresh — check the harvest date—and comes from a specific region. Like wine, there are excellent oils to be discovered from all sorts of places around the world, from Greece to Portugal to Tunisia to California. Lesser quality oils often blend olives from multiple regions and countries (the bottle might say something like “Mediterranean blend”). While blended, less expensive versions are ideal for cooking, save your best bottle for drizzling. A salad is the ideal application for your best olive oil, because you’re really going to taste its nuanced flavor. 


No sad desk salad here, only works of impromptu culinary genius.

The second necessity is salt. For salads, I love Maldon. It’s been made with the same traditional artisan methods from the picturesque English coastal town of Maldon since 1882. The pyramid-shaped crunchy flakes make it extra light and wonderfully unique. The flavor has a fresh intensity, and that flaky, generous size of each grain will give your salad a luxurious, melt-in-your-mouth crunch. 

You could add a squeeze of lemon juice or a glug of vinegar if you love that acid zing, but I usually have tomatoes on hand, which do the trick in my book. 

Speaking of tomatoes, what to put beneath that simple, perfect dressing of olive oil and salt? 

Almost anything. 

Veggies you want to use up. Greens are classic but not essential. 

I love raw cabbage and carrots for their crunch factor. 


If I’m bored of the same cucumbers and bell peppers I always have, I’ll cut them in new shapes — maybe spears instead of slices, or abstract chunks. 

Veggies alone do not make a satisfying lunch. I love leftover lentils or chickpeas for adding heft and protein. Hard boiled eggs or chicken thighs work as well. Leftover roasted sweet potatoes impart oomph and interest, too. 

Now for fun. I want new flavors and textures. Croutons and roasted nuts are classic. I love picking up chichi jars of antipasti and pickles to add to my salads — a spoonful of the marinating liquid gives extra life to my dressing, too. Olives and anchovies for the win, always. 

Cheese! Don’t skimp on cheese. Blue cheese or briny feta. Tiny balls of fresh mozzarella or a giant blob of burrata. 

One more drizzle of peppery EVOO. 

One more sprinkle of flaky salt.

No sad desk salad here, only works of impromptu culinary genius.


Need some more structure? Follow this loose formula for guaranteed goodness in a bowl:

  • Veggies: greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, radishes, the sky's the limit!

  • Something hearty: lentils, chicken, tuna, chickpeas, salmon, farro, tofu

  • Something crunchy: croutons, slivered almonds, wonton strips, pumpkin seeds 

  • Something fun: peppadew peppers, olives, cheese of any kind, bacon 

Toss in a big bowl. Drizzle generously with your best extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle plenty of flaky salt. 


  • Photographer: Paul Quitoriano

  • Stylist: Mary Rupp

  • Art Direction: Sarah Ceniceros