‘Seinfeld’: The Secret to Elaine’s ‘Big Salad’ Finally Revealed

Seinfeld‘s iconic episode “The Big Salad” first aired nearly three decades ago. But, we are just now finding out what all the fuss was about. Why did Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) want George (Jason Alexander) to buy her a “big salad” from Monk’s? What makes it so delicious? Here is the secret to Elaine’s “big salad.”

Seinfeld star Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes | George Lange/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Elaine’s go-to Monk’s order on ‘Seinfeld’ 

Seinfeld Season 6, Episode 2 titled “The Big Salad” featured one of the classic sitcom’s iconic moments that revolved around food. Just like the soup, nonfat yogurt, and Junior Mints that came before it, Elaine’s salad played a big role in the episode. But not because of what was in it.

Elaine’s “Big Salad” was her go-to menu order from Monk’s, the New York City diner that she frequented with George, Jerry, and Kramer (Michael Richards). In the episode, she asks George to buy her a “big salad” to go — which he does. But, his girlfriend Julie (Michelle Forbes) gives it to Elaine in Jerry’s apartment and appears to take credit for the purchase. 

Elaine thanks Julie for buying the salad, which irritates George. So, he mentions to Elaine that he was responsible for the purchase. This leads to a rift between George and Julie because he’s angry she accepted “thanks” that she didn’t deserve. 

“What I would like to know is, how does a person who has nothing to do with the Big Salad claim responsibility for that salad and accept the thank-you under false pretenses?” George loudly exclaims. To which Julie responds, “George, all I did was hand someone a bag.”

The secrets to Elaine’s ‘Big Salad’ are finally revealed

The type of salad and the ingredients were never the focus of the episode, so fans had to guess why Elaine was such a big fan. But now, we finally know the secrets to Elaine’s Big Salad thanks to authors Julie Tremaine and Brendan Kirby. 

They just released Seinfeld: The Official Cookbook, which reveals the mysterious salad recipe. The Cobb-style salad is one of 60 recipes in the book that were inspired by “the show about nothing.”

“‘Tomatoes like volleyballs?’ They could work. Elaine’s favorite is sure to indulge the salad lover in your life,” the cookbook authors write. “This is so much better than two small salads offered by Hildy. No comparison.”

The recipe for Elaine’s ‘Big Salad’ on ‘Seinfeld’

This quick recipe takes just 15 minutes to make two servings, and you should begin by making the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the juice from a lemon, one-and-a-half tablespoons of Dijon mustard, a quarter-cup of extra virgin olive oil, a big pinch of sea salt, and a small pinch of black pepper. You will need to whisk the dressing vigorously until it is emulsified. Or, if you prefer an alternative method, just put all of those ingredients into a mason jar and give it a good shake. Give the dressing a taste, and adjust the seasonings, acid, or oil as needed.


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For the salad, you’ll need iceberg lettuce, an avocado, two hard-boiled eggs, four strips of cooked and crumbled bacon, one cup of shredded chicken, a half-cup of halved grape tomatoes, and a half-cup of crumbled blue cheese.

Shred the lettuce and divide it between two large salad bowls. Then, halve the avocado and remove the pit before scooping the avocado flesh out of the skin. Peel the eggs and slice each one into quarters. Top each bowl of greens with stripes of avocado slices, egg quarters, crumbled bacon, chicken, tomatoes, and blue cheese. Finish off the dish with a generous drizzle of dressing.

Seinfeld: The Official Cookbook is now in stores. All seasons of Seinfeld are now streaming on Netflix.