Food is actually what brought Boosheri to Glamour’s proverbial table for the latest installment of That Thing I Always Cook. The Canadian Iranian actor inherited her culinary skills from her father, a baker. “My dad definitely is inspiration, and he’s a jerk in that he doesn’t share recipes whatever his little secrets are,” she says. “In Persian, they call [that personal touch] tofeh akhar, which means ‘the last spit,’ like the chef’s [spit noise].”
Luckily for all of us, Boosheri isn’t afraid to spill her secrets. In particular, she shared her recipe for a dish so beloved, her cousin made her film a tutorial. With avocado, cucumber, oil, and apple cider vinegar, Nikohl Boosheri’s Secret Simple Salad is perfect for summer: It’s light and fresh, and can be served on its own with your choice of protein or on the side of a heartier meal. But what makes the simple salad so secret? “Nutritional yeast,” Boosheri says. “This stuff makes everything taste amazing. It’s nutty, cheesy, and so flavorful. I always feel like they say, ‘Add a tablespoon,’ but I’m like, ‘Add three.’”
The best part? It’s easy to make. “I don’t really follow recipes a whole lot anymore, and I feel like my cooking M.O. is more about simple ingredients that are fresh and seasonal and just keeping everything very simple,” Boosheri says. “My boyfriend does not cook at all. He will curse that a piece of toast, he will burn, but he loves the salad. And when I’m out of town, he can make this salad now.”
Laughing, Boosheri adds, “If my boyfriend can make this recipe, everyone can make it.” We’ll see about that.
Nikohl Boosheri’s Secret Simple Salad
1 part butter lettuce or romaine lettuce (these are crispy greens that don’t get soggy)
1 part leafy greens (spring mix, baby kale, spinach, etc.)
1 part apple cider vinegar
1 part extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
Generous sprinkle of nutritional yeast (the secret ingredient! the star of the show!)
I love this salad on its own but you can make it a heartier meal by adding a protein or add-ins such as:
Tuna (I love Tonnino tuna in olive oil)
Croutons (can be homemade with day-old baguette, sourdough, or gluten-free bread of your choice)
Pine nuts (or any other nuts or seeds of your liking)
Wash and dry your lettuce or use your favorite prepared salad mix. I love to mix butter lettuce with leafier greens to make it more interesting. The butter lettuce (romaine works too) is a must because it gives the salad this lovely refreshing crunch and it doesn’t get weighed down by the dressing.
Cut up and add your cucumber and avocado. I usually use half an avocado if I’m making it for just myself, but you do you! I like how adding the avocado at the beginning makes the dressing creamier when I add it in, but if that’s not your thing, omit the avocado or add it at the end.
For the dressing, I’m more of an eyeball-it kind of girl. I think the rule of thumb here is 1:1 vinegar to oil. You don’t want dressing pooling at the bottom, so start slow and add more if need be. Sprinkle sea salt and pepper to taste.
Now’s the time for the secret ingredient: nutritional yeast (I prefer Braggs). This stuff is amazing and goes well with so many things. You can be super generous here—the point is to coat all the greens and thicken up the dressing.
Time to give ’er a taste. If it’s too vinegary, add more nutritional yeast. Too dry? A little more vinegar or olive oil will help. I’ll sometimes even add a teaspoon of cold water instead of more oil (trust me, you won’t be able to tell). If you like citrus, a squeeze of lemon here gives it a nice pop too! Then you can add your extras like protein, nuts, seeds, or croutons. This salad is highly customizable, so feel free to play!