You Must Try This Recipe For A Salad Sensation Online

Darlene Schrijver, the voice (and hands) behind @thesaladlab on TikTok, didn’t want to go viral. “During COVID, like everyone else, I was on TikTok, and my daughter was asking me on her way to college to write down our recipes. I was talking about it with a girlfriend and she was like, “Why don’t you put them on TikTok, she’s still on TikTok anyway.”

So Schrijver started posting salad recipes — her first foray into the online cooking community — but she did it with a twist: using test tubes for liquids and beakers for solid ingredients. “I’m in my pajamas, you know, I thought nobody was going to see them,” she laughs, “and then it just took off.”

The Salad Lab now has over 2 million followers on TikTok, and Schrijver is quickly becoming a go-to source for simple yet awesome recipes, and a nice respite from meat and barbecue content online. “I just tried to create what I didn’t see there, I wanted to have a little niche. I went and got a lab idea, experimenting with different salads,” she explained. grew up in a flower shop environment, so I had that kind of creative training, putting different flowers together to create something beautiful. I did the same for the salads, different flavors and different textures.

A self-proclaimed girl from Northern California, Schrijver knows how important community is – online and offline. After her house burned down in 2017, the surrounding community came together for her, and by showcasing Sonoma County wine pairings with her salads, she feels like she’s giving back. She also encouraged the importance of building community through the recipes she posts for her viewers. “I would love for people to come together and cook as a group, all my recipes are usually for four people. I would love to inspire small group parties.

As summer draws to a close, Schrijver has a few ingredients she can’t wait to make the most of before the season is over. “Watermelon is huge in the summer, I just made a vodka watermelon salad. Mangoes are in season right now, I’m planning on doing a tropical week. But the best late summer ingredient? “Oh, tomatoes are in season right now. Heirloom tomatoes and large tomatoes. The flavors are simply amazing. As for base ingredients, “extra virgin olive oil is my base oil, avocado oil too. I discovered white balsamic vinegar, it tastes great.

The future of The Salad Lab is bright (A possible cookbook? Kitchen utensils? It’s all on the table.) For Schrijver, the most important ingredient for the account’s continued success is simple: fun. “I’m having a good time, I don’t want to lose the fun. You can get caught up in the numbers, you can get caught up in the trends, but I really try to stick to just making salads and having fun, and having a drink here and there.

Below is Schrijver’s salad pick for InsideHook readers – The Beverly Hills Hotel McCarthy Salad, named after Neil McCarthy, a famous polo player in the 1940s, requested this Cobb-like salad at the hotel’s Polo Lounge.

Beverly Hills Hotel McCarthy Salad

Yield: 4 servings


For the dressing:

  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • Pinch of salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:

  • head of iceberg lettuce
  • head of romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups chopped grilled chicken
  • Finely diced cheddar cheese
  • 3 or 4 hard-boiled eggs, finely diced
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced beets
  • Applewood-smoked bacon, diced
  • A chopped avocado
  • Squeezed lemon juice


Whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a large bowl, followed by the salad ingredients. Mix and serve.

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