Every cook should know how to make a simple side salad and lemon vinaigrette. It’s the easy side dish to pair with just about any entrée, comes together in 10 minutes with simple ingredients, and is incredibly versatile. Let me show you how it’s done.
Start with a base of greens. We went with spring greens, but I also love spinach as a base, as well as thinly sliced kale, arugula, and romaine.
Next comes any vegetable you have on hand. My go-to’s are finely shredded carrot, chopped tomatoes, and onion or shallot. But to make it a little more fancy, I also included pomegranate arils, cranberries, and pepitas.
For even more texture and flavor, you could also consider adding things like my Easy Vegan Parmesan Cheese, Actually Crispy Baked Chickpeas or 5-Minute Macadamia Nut Cheese!
Next comes the dressing. Recipes usually recommend adding twice the amount of oil as acid when making vinaigrette. But I find that makes the dressing taste too oily. So I go for more of a 1:1 ratio for better balance, add a little maple syrup to offset the acidity, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
For even more flavor and texture, you can whisk (or blend) in some shallot. Blending it will add more body to your dressing (making it creamier and thicker). Whisking will be more visually appealing as you can see specks of shallot throughout the dressing.
We hope you love and use this side salad all the time. It’s:
Quick & Easy to make
You can pair this side salad with just about any dish. It’s especially delicious with our Smoky BBQ Black Bean Burger, Best Vegan Gluten-Free Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Easy Gluten-Free Vegan Pizza, and Garlic & White Wine Pasta with Brussels Sprouts.
For more salad inspiration, be sure to check out our Sweet Potato & Avocado Green Salad, Roasted Vegetable Salad with Chimichurri, Kale Citrus Salad, Curried Cauliflower Grape & Lentil Salad, or this fan-favorite Garlicky Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas.
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
Simple Green Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
- 3-4 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup good quality olive oil (or extra virgin)
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 pinch each salt and black pepper
- 3 Tbsp minced shallot (optional)
- 5 oz organic mixed greens
- 1/4 cup baby tomatoes
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallot or red onion
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1/4 cup pomegranate arils or dried fruit (optional)
- 1 pinch each salt and pepper
- 2 Tbsp toasted pepitas or sunflower seeds
- First prepare dressing by adding all ingredients to a mixing bowl (or small blender) and whisking (or blending) to fully combine. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more maple syrup for sweetness, lemon for acidity, or salt or pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Prepare salad by adding greens to a serving bowl or platter and topping with baby tomatoes, shallot or onion, carrots, pomegranate arils or dried fruit (optional), a pinch of salt and pepper, and toasted pepitas or sunflower seeds.
- Add dressing to the salad and toss to coat, or serve on the side. Best when fresh. Store salad separate from dressing if keeping for later use. Will keep in the refrigerator up to 2-3 days. Store dressing in the refrigerator 3-4 days. The oil can harden when cold, so let set out for a few minutes to warm and shake well to reincorporate before serving leftovers.
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