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I call this my “SURPRISE SALAD” because it is usually a mix of all the stuff left in my fridge. Every time I make it, the salad comes out differently. But it’s always delicious and such a welcome addition when it makes its’ appearance at the dinner table.

And the homemade dressing is brilliant. In fact, my daughter has voted it the best salad dressing on the planet. But she’s a little bias.

So surprise your family with this healthy, nutritious, and delicious bowl of yummy xxx Chef MM


Surprise Salad

  • Author: Melissa Mayo


  • 2 head of romaine chopped
  • ½ red cabbage – shredded
  • 1 cup of celery – chopped into chunks
  • 1 English cucumber – sliced
  • 12 assorted mini peppers – sliced into rings
  • ½ cup spring onions – finely chopped
  • 10 radishes sliced – thinly sliced
  • 2 avocados – cut into wedges


  • ¾ cup of good olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup of fresh basil – finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 TBS mustard
  • ½ tsp crushed chilli flakes
  • Lots of coarse salt and black pepper to taste


Place all the ingredients for the dressing into a blender and puree till smooth. Set aside.

To assemble – Lay the romaine lettuce in a large bowl or on a flat platter. Top with the shredded cabbage. Scatter with the cucumbers, celery, mini peppers, spring onions, radishes, and avocado.

Dress the salad just before serving.


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I'm Melissa, your host & tour guide.

A Food Network chef, author, mamma, eternal optimist, wannabe-mermaid, spice mixologist, and “dough therapist” (yep, it’s a thing)—

I'm also the founder of Susina Cucina, the gorgeous, Italian cooking school I manifested into my reality. I’m obsessed with Aperol spritzes, travel, and mouthwatering food… especially pizza and pasta.

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