6 Salad Greens You Can Dress Ahead of Time

updated Jun 8, 2019
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If you serve a salad at Thanksgiving, its final preparation can get lost in the last-minute shuffle of cooking, carving, and getting everyone seated at the table. Many salads need to be dressed at the last minute so the tender greens don’t wilt, but on Thanksgiving or at a dinner party there’s already enough to do without worrying about dressing the salad!

I say it’s time to ditch those tender greens in favor of hearty greens that can be dressed early. If you need a salad that can get dressed and then hang out for a little while, these are the best greens to choose.

These are all greens or vegetables that are usually reserved for cooking, but also take well to being served raw. These sturdy greens actually benefit from sitting in the dressing before being served to soak in flavor.

1. Kale

The darling of the health food world, but nevertheless a classic choice still. Kale gets sweeter and more tender as it sits in its dressing.

2. Collard Greens

The new kale? Perhaps, especially since, like kale, these sturdy leaves benefit from a massage.

3. Swiss Chard

A lighter, more tender alternative to beefy greens like kale and collards, chard is still a substantial enough choice for a dressed-ahead salad.

4. Cabbage

Cabbage’s snappy crispness is perfectly suited to make-ahead slaws and salads.

5. Radicchio

The bitterness of radicchio is mellowed into something more balanced as it marinates in its dressing.

6. Belgian Endive

Like radicchio, endive does well dressed ahead.