This Herby Garden Salad with Homemade Lemon Vinaigrette is the quintessential summer salad. Once fresh herbs start wafting their aromas, they’re begging to be picked for this burst of liveliness. This simple, impressive, yet inexpensive meal is packed with flavor from bunches of herbs, fresh fruit, and a vibrant vinaigrette. It will make you feel healthy, happy and satisfied.
Starting out, we would like to thank and show our appreciation to our Aunt Chris and Uncle Scott from Cafe Sucre Farine. Last April, while we conceptualized this blog, our wonderful Aunt and Uncle invited to mentor us in all things Food Blog-related. It was an intensive 3 day crash course! The beautiful pictures you see here were taken and edited by Scott. We aspire to one day reach the quality and content provided by Cafe Sucre Farine.
Last April, my brother/blog cohort hosted ALL our family for Easter. It was a wonderfully chaotic weekend with 10 children, 8 adults, and a poodle! In preparation for our trip, I needed to isolate my children. The last thing I needed was to be the Mom trolling the weekend with a bunch of sick kids. After two days of cabin fever and lack luster weather, I realized I needed a project to keep the Wildlings from revolting. With a sketch pad, a sleeve of Dixie Cups, satchels of seeds, and soil we started our garden!
This little project has turned into a BIG garden. Having helped plant seeds, my children are entirely invested in watching our herbs and vegetables grow. I am now impatiently and frequently asked, “When can we start picking stuff?” or as they walk into the house, “Is this tomato supposed to be green?”
In the Midwest, during the month of June, the only garden items that are ripe and ready are lettuce and herbs. Enter Herby Garden Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette. I send the kids out with their safety scissors and let them hack away. Letting the wildlings harvest bowls with a variety of herbs and different types of lettuce gives them a sense of importance in helping make this beautiful and delicious salad. Unbeknownst to them, helping harvest the garden has a dual benefit, as they’re actually interested in eating something healthy!
Less About the Kids… More About The Salad
This salad is very versatile because you can add any array of herbs that you like (or dismiss the ones you don’t like). Hate dill? Skip it! Love basil? Add some more. You can make this salad your own by crafting and creating your own herb mixture. It will still be delicious as long as you stick to the ratios. Not to mention this Homemade Lemon Vinaigrette would make just about anything taste good! Serve it with a loaf of crusty bread and it will make a complete meal.
Tips and Tricks to Making Herby Garden Salad with Homemade Lemon Vinaigrette
- Feel free to mix up the herbs, but stick to the ratios and try to use at least 3 different kinds. Adding several types will keep your salad diverse and please your taste buds.
- Serve this with a side of crusty bread or some soup to make it a complete meal! Also feel free to add a protein to the top! Try this delicious Lemon Tarragon Thyme Chicken or this Buttery Herb Garlic Skirt Steak.
- Not usually a fan of arugula? Try cutting into smaller pieces with scissors or throw it into your food processor and pulse it until it is much smaller. One of the main issues that people have with arugula is that is comes in such large pieces that it’s hard to chew. If you are still certain you don’t like it, you can replace it with Radicchio.
- Try doubling up the Vinaigrette portion of the recipe and keep it in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. It will be an easy and healthy dressing the pull out and top any of your summer salads!
- Don’t forget to zest your lemon BEFORE squeezing the juice. Also, if you don’t have a juicy lemon, microwave it for 10 seconds and then cut and squeeze. It will loosen the juices and make it easier to squeeze.
- To make the cucumbers a little more beautiful, drag a fork along the edges of the cucumber before slicing. This will make them look like mini flowers! Don’t get it? Check out this short video here!
- Need sweet pecans in a hurry for this salad? Check out the video below for 5 minute air fryer sweet pecans. If you don’t have an air fryer, you can use an oven to cook the nuts. It will take a little longer (watch them carefully around 6-7 minutes and remove them when they start to turn a deep golden brown).
Love this, so fresh and so clean!