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Preparing a Beautiful Salad

Alice Waters

Lesson time 09:56 min

Alice believes the making of a salad can bring as much joy as eating it. Learn Alice’s method for washing lettuces and follow her recipe for Mesclun Salad.

Alice Waters
Teaches The Art of Home Cooking
In 16+ lessons, learn to cook beautiful, seasonal meals at home from the James Beard Award-winning founder of Chez Panisse.
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When I was in France the first time, you go to the market and you'd see a big tablecloth almost, with a mix of salads about this high. And my friend Martine, would just take handfuls of that, she'd bring them home, and she made a dressing out of anchovies and garlic. And in that salad were things like this rocket. I have little tiny rocket that I have here, and chervil, which all of these have very strong distinctive tastes. It always had a little frisee in it, as well, sometimes dandelion greens. But it was the salad that the farmer just picked as he walked down the rows. And so, it could even have some red oak leaf in there. I think of it as a Chez Panisse mesclun salad because I brought so many seeds home from France that, at the beginning, I didn't know where I was going to plant them. And then, I had this idea, why don't I just turn the backyard of my house into a mesclun salad garden and we could really have the real salad at Chez Panisse. And I did that. It's a kind of salad that you can cut it, and then, it grows again. It's an intensive use of space. The amazing thing about cut-and-come-again lettuces is that you can harvest their leaves several times before they become tough or bitter. Then, there's this little speckled salad. Again, a European varietal that we started planting. And I now include that in my own personal mesclun mix and radishes. Sometimes, for the first course at the restaurant, we might have just a little bouquet of radishes and some butter, just like the French do, a little coarse salt. It's really great to have these secret things in the garden that children can plant. And when Fanny was a little girl, I used to plant fraise du bois, the wild strawberry, that has white and red berries. And I used to just hide them around the garden. And she would find them, and she's just eat out of the garden. We also made a bean tee pee. And the beans would grow up and it would make a little house. And she just would go inside this little house and pull the beans off and eat them raw. And it's amazing how children like raw vegetables when they can pick them themselves. It's all about their own empowerment and that they feel like they've found it. The last thing I have here are two kales, a Russian kale and a dinosaur kale. These kales, these little baby kales, are so easy to saute with a little garlic and olive oil. And I use them, mix them with a rice. It's not really enough to make a side dish for a lot of people coming to dinner, but it's enough for me to have for a couple of people, for a lovely lunch. And because it's so small and tender and delicious, it takes no time at all to cook. One of those very spontaneous, last minute things. I love to wash salad. I don't know why. I guess it's because I get to really look at all the lettuces and I get to mix the colors and I like to do it in the water. I'm going to show you the most romantic way to wash salad. It's not the way I always do, but it's the way that my Fre...

Farm-to-table cooking

Alice Waters started America’s farm-to-table revolution. When she founded the iconic restaurant Chez Panisse, her local, organic ingredients sparked a movement and earned her the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef. In her first-ever online cooking class, Alice opens the doors of her home kitchen to teach you how to pick seasonal ingredients, create healthy and beautiful meals, and change your life by changing the food you make at home.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Alice is incredibly inspirational. I learned to slow down and have passion in what I am doing, cooking and balance of daily life. Her passion and attention to detail is wonder Alice is a true American gift...Merci Dear Alice!

I enjoyed learning about basics of fresh food and get simple tips to improve my own cooking. Ms. Waters is an incredible teacher and communicator. The setting for the "classes" was comfortable and welcoming. It was a pleasure to watch and learn.

Listening to Alice Waters speak about food with such intention and passion has dramatically changed my view of food and its role in my life.

It is amazing how much you can play and create with greens, fruits, spices and put together those amazing dishes!


I did not know a salsa verde was Italian. I am accustomed to the Tex-Mex version. Loved the variations!

Judy C.

I am really enjoying the class. I was already familiar with Alice Waters and her Farm to Table Movement. I have read her book "The Art of Simple Food", I am enjoying watching her cook and her pure joy at each ingredient she chooses. It is also interesting the way she interacts with her daughter.

Vivian B.

I tried to roll up my washed salad in a towel and store in the fridge. However, when I went to use it a couple of days later, it was all soggy and quite wilted. I have better luck storing it in my salad spinner or a paper towel. Diid I do something wrong? It was pretty dry when I rolled it in the kitchen towel.

Jennifer C.

Unfortunately where I live 95% of the items she's using aren't available. Will however take some of the general information and apply it to ingredients that are available to me. Was re-inspired to expand my indoor herb garden.

Kathleen K.

I am enjoying this class . So inspiring ..breaking away from the usual way of cooking .. held to following a recipe . She is giving the tools and knowledge to trust your sense of taste and touch . Hurry spring so I can plant some herbs!!


I have really enjoyed every bit of each of the session. Alice is gentle and is so involved with every aspect of putting a dish together, from cooking ingredients to the tools used to prepare it. It's been a joy. Looking forward to more sessions. Just after couple of sessions, I started steaming veggies with herbs like kaffir lime leaves & bay leaves and for last three days, all I have had for dinner is steamed veggies with sea salt, black pepper, and olive oil. Delicious!!!

Regina D.

I love the joy and pleasure she gets from creating. You can see it on her face! Like a child in a candy store. I just love it!

Nancy T.

I'm completely smitten with Alice Water's approach to cooking and to life. This is a fabulous masterclass.


Alice Waters is a beautiful inspiration. She cooks with so much love and respect for the ingredients, so simple but yet fulfilling. Thank you Alice for sharing your gift with us.

Mary M.

I liked presentation--however repeatedly had access denied when attempting to download Alice Waters PDFs for each presentation (I am an all access member)