If you’re craving spring, a great green salad should be first on the menu! Fresh crunchy vegetables with a simple homemade dressing is packed with all things bright and fresh! Bonus? This fresh garden salad recipe with creamy vinaigrette is as delicious as it is pretty! First Published: April 22,2018… Last Updated: May 22, 2019
Fresh Garden Salad Recipe with Creamy Vinaigrette
When I lived in the midwest there wasn’t a farmer’s market anywhere close. Not in Green Bay, not in Minneapolis. Fresh fruits and vegetables were limited in the wintertime simply because by the time it was transported it lost freshness and flavor.
Here in Fresno, we’re spoiled! The farmers market goes year round. No trudging thru cold or snow, I could even walk to our market, it’s only 2 miles away!
There’s a rainbow of local organic vegetables like I said, we’re spoiled!
And I love it!
The weather here dictates fresh veggies year-round! Time to make a delicious fresh garden salad, don’t you think?
What does a garden salad have in it?
- fresh greens – romaine lettuce, spinach greens, fresh herb salad mix
- cilantro for bright fresh flavor
- thinly sliced bell peppers
- green and red onions
- fresh tomatoes
- fruit – oranges, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries – add your favorite!
You get it, right! Use bright fresh flavors but make it special by thinly slicing the carrots (rather than grating them). Grouping the ingredients together instead of scattering them all around the bowl makes for a pretty presentation too!
Fresh Garden Salad
I also wanted to say a little bit about the recipe for the vinaigrette.
It’s delicious! Tangy, sweet and creamy all in one and I know you’re going to love it. If you haven’t been making salad dressings yourself, start with this one. The flavors are bright and it’s so easy to make!
See the feathery fronds on top of the salad? Those are the tops of fennel. I often use fennel in soups and stews. I save the fronds to top off a salad. They really dress it up and make it extra special without spending any extra money! Plus they are super tasty!
The homemade vinaigrette is simple to make and takes five minutes TOPS! I know when you see videos about how to make your own vinaigrette the olive oil is being whisked into the dressing to emulsify it.
I take a shortcut and use a mason jar! Why? It’s easier, just add everything to the jar, secure the lid and shake, shake, shake. Leftovers are easily stored in the refrigerator and there are less dishes to do – yay!!
If you mix this dressing just a bit ahead of time the shallots begin to pickle in the vinegar. This creamy vinaigrette is outstanding!
Shopping List for Creamy Vinaigrette
- cashew butter
- apple cider vinegar
- olive oil
Garden Salad Recipe
Is eating salads healthy?
Yes! No guilt here. Eating a delicious green salad daily is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself. What to be careful of (sorry not trying to be Debbie Downer…. 🙁 ) is the salad dressing. Heavy mayonnaise-based dressing are high in calories and fat. Vinaigrettes (like this recipe) keep the salad light and guilt free.
How do you make an Olive Garden Salad?
If love the Olive Garden Salad? Now you can make it at home! Grab this recipe How to Make a Copy Cat Olive Garden Salad – from Good Life Eats
So what is your favorite thing about spring? The food, the weather or ? Love to hear it!
If this is the first time visiting at Bowl Me Over, I appreciate you stopping by. If you are considering joining the blog, now is the time! I have a new freebie, a terrific cheat sheet that shows you how to purchase, carve and store a rotisserie chicken. It includes recipes, meal pairings, even calorie counts! It’s really a terrific resource guide.
- Chop Salad with Light Vinaigrette – Bowl Me Over – Bright, light and tasty a homemade vinaigrette is always 100 times better than store bought!
- Simple Salad Packed in Mason Jars – Juggling Act Mama – packed in your lunch or for a picnic with your sweetie this is a great to-go option to get your greens!
- Roasted Beets Orange and Pistachio Salad – Bowl Me Over – You’ll feel like you’re eating the rainbow, this salad is full of delicious flavors and crunch, Roasted Beet Orange and Pistachio Salad mixed with your favorite greens is gorgeous and amazing healthy too!
- Southwest Salad Recipe – Bright fresh crunch in an easy big salad! This southwest salad recipe takes just minutes to make and is topped with a simple homemade vinaigrette.
- Healthy Superfood Salad – crisp vegetables, sweet fruit and crunchy nuts for a flavorful and delicious meal!
- Steakhouse Salad: No boring salads here! – The big bold flavors in this salad will compliment your meal perfectly! Blue cheese, artichokes and hearts of palm pair perfectly with sweet homemade vinaigrette.
- Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad Recipe – crunchy greens and tangy brussels with bright fresh fruit. Top your salad with creamy or tangy balsamic dressing.
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Salad Spinner – the easiest way to clean your lettuce, I love mine!
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Garden Salad Recipe with Creamy Vinaigrette
- 8 cups salad greens torn or cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1 carrot thinly sliced
- 1 green onion thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup red onion sliced into slivers
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup pinenuts
- Homemade Vinaigrette
- 1 tbsp cashew butter
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 shallot thinly sliced
- The ingredients I've listed are a suggestion. Don't be afraid to use YOUR favorite seasonal salad ingredients!
- Clean and dry the salad greens. Tear or dice them into bite sized pieces. Add to a large salad bowl.
- Clean and prepare the vegetables and fruit. Slice and dice - add to the salad bowl.
- Prepare the vinaigrette. Add all of the ingredients to a mason jar. Screw the lid on tightly. Shake, shake, shake hard until all of the ingredients are combined and the oil is emulsified.
- Before serving, lightly drizzle the dressing on the salad and toss. Leftover vinaigrette stores in the refrigerator for up to a week!