Salad Greens

Explore Michigan salad green sourcing tips for institutions, recipes, and resources.

Spectacular salads can be crafted all year long using Michigan-grown ingredients. Many Michigan farmers use passive solar-heated structures called hoophouses to grow and harvest salad greens even through the coldest winter months. This season's guide features recipe pages that help you design your salad and create dressing from scratch!

Salad greens are vegetables harvested for their leaf and petiole, the stem portion of the leaf. The 2009 Food Code states that "leaf greens" include iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, baby leaf lettuce, escarole, endive, spring mix, spinach, cabbage, kale, arugula and chard. Asian leafy vegetables such as pac choi and tatsoi are also gaining popularity as salad greens in their baby leaf and microgreen forms.

From-Scratch Salad Dressings

Making salad dressings from scratch allows more control over the sodium, sugar and calorie content than using premade dressings. Dressings can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container at 41°F or lower for up to seven days. Be creative and incorporate as many other Cultivate Michigan Featured Foods into your salads and toppings as possible!

Basic Recipe


  • 3 parts fat     
  • 1 part acid    
  • Seasoning to taste


Whisk together the acid and seasoning. Slowly pour in the fat while continuing to whisk. If storing prior to service, whisk again before using as ingredients may separate. 

Fat Options Acid Options Seasoning Options
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Extra-virgin olive oil or olive oil blend
  • Sunflower oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Mayonnaise
  • Pasteurized egg
  • Sour cream
  • Yogurt
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Citrus fruit juice (orange, lemon, lime)
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Rice vinegar
  • White vinegar
  • Dried herbs
  • Fresh herbs
  • Fruit jam or preserves
  • Garlic, powder or fresh minced
  • Honey
  • Mustard (yellow, Dijon, or brown)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Shallot, minced

Sample Combinations

Asian-Inspired Salad Dressing

  • 3 parts vegetable oil
  • ⅓ part red wine vinegar
  • ⅓ part low-sodium soy sauce
  • ⅓ part lemon juice
  • Brown sugar and garlic powder to taste

Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 3 parts oil, any type
  • 1 part vinegar, any type
  • Mustard, herbs, and black pepper to taste

Raspberry Vinaigrette

  • 3 parts olive or canola oil
  • ½ part red wine vinegar
  • ½ part red raspberry jam
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 3 parts olive or canola oil
  • 1 part lemon juice
  • Dried oregano or mint and salt and pepper to taste

Creamy Michigan Honey Dressing

  • 1 part Michigan honey
  • 1 part reduced-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 part Dijon mustard
  • Salt to taste

Promote Michigan products by using these marketing materials in your institution's cafeteria or menus

Cultivate Michigan Resources