Everyday Salad With Herby Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe

Salad recipes have really branched out over the years, both in terms of ingredients and preparation methods. For example, they can be enjoyed as a starter, as a side, or as a main. They can be served warm or cold, and they can showcase raw or cooked vegetables, not to mention any protein or dressing under the sun. Still, amid countless options, the basic everyday salad is still a culinary staple every home cook should master.

Wellness coach and recipe developer Miriam Hahn brings us this recipe for her preferred everyday salad with herby lemon vinaigrette and says, "I grew up having a fresh salad every night with dinner, and it's such a good habit to get into. Leafy greens are a superstar when it comes to health benefits, and adding a few other veggies along with a great dressing can really top off a meal." Read on to learn how to make this simple salad that is loaded with nutrients.

Gather the ingredients for everyday salad with herby lemon vinaigrette

To make this recipe, start in the produce aisle and pick up some romaine hearts, English cucumber, grape tomatoes, red onion, lemon, fresh thyme, and fresh rosemary. "You can use regular cucumber in this recipe, but I happen to love the extra crunch that English cucumbers provide," Hahn shares. To complete your salad, grab some raw pepitas and pantry staples including olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, salt, and pepper.

Step 1: Chop the lettuce

Chop romaine into bite-size pieces.

Step 2: Make the vinaigrette

In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

Step 3: Toast the pepitas

Add pepitas to a dry skillet over medium heat. Cook for 5-10 minutes, or until they start to snap and toast.

Step 4: Combine the salad ingredients

Add chopped romaine, cucumber, tomatoes, and red onion to a large bowl.

Step 5: Toss with dressing

Add dressing and toss to coat.

Step 6: Add pepitas, and serve

Top with toasted pepitas before serving.

How can I customize this everyday salad with herby lemon vinaigrette?

There are many ways to customize both the salad and dressing in this recipe. Hahn uses romaine as the base of the salad, but many other types of lettuce will work. You can use butter lettuce, spring greens, spinach, iceberg, or red leaf lettuce, to name a few. You're also free to mix and match the veggies in this salad based on what you like or what you have on hand. "I try to be very aware of food waste, so I love using up items that I have in my fridge that may otherwise go to waste. Bell pepper strips, shredded carrots, radishes, sugar snap peas, asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, purple cabbage, peas, and corn are just a few more choices of what you can use in this salad," Hahn shares.

For the crunchy element, you can use sunflower seeds or any type of nuts — like almonds, walnuts, or pine nuts — in place of the pepitas. Topping the salad with croutons is another way to bring in a crunchy texture. Finally, for the vinaigrette, other fresh herbs that work wonderfully in the dressing are oregano, basil, mint, and sage. All provide freshness with a different flavor profile.

What can I pair with this everyday salad with herby lemon vinaigrette?

Since this everyday salad is light and simple, any type of entree will pair with it nicely. Lightly seasoned and grilled chicken breast is a classic option that complements the bright flavors of the lemony vinaigrette. To continue the lemony theme, try making a roasted lemon chicken recipe, or a piece of grilled salmon with a squeeze of citrus. Garlic and lemon shrimp scampi is another quick and easy option that can be served over or alongside the salad.

For some vegetarian options, pasta primavera with seasonal vegetables and a lemony sauce can be a delightful main course to pair with your salad. Stuffed bell peppers filled with a mixture of tomatoes, feta, and orzo make another delicious pairing. Craving something simpler? A handful of rinsed canned garbanzo beans, or perhaps a piece of marinated and baked tofu with herbs, would taste wonderful when adding to this salad.

Everyday Salad With Herby Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe
5 from 26 ratings
With a simple combination of romaine lettuce, fresh veggies, and homemade dressing, this basic everyday salad is a recipe every home cook should master.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
5
minutes
Servings
6
servings
serving bowl of green salad with tomatoes and lemon
Total time: 15 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 hearts romaine lettuce
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup raw pepitas
  • ½ English cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • ¼ red onion, sliced
Directions
  1. Chop romaine into bite-size pieces.
  2. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Add pepitas to a dry skillet over medium heat. Cook for 5-10 minutes, or until they start to snap and toast.
  4. Add chopped romaine, cucumber, tomatoes, and red onion to a large bowl.
  5. Add dressing and toss to coat.
  6. Top with toasted pepitas before serving.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 143
Total Fat 12.1 g
Saturated Fat 1.8 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 8.0 g
Dietary Fiber 3.1 g
Total Sugars 3.4 g
Sodium 222.1 mg
Protein 3.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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