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Garden Salad

Everyone needs a quick go-to Garden Salad that pairs with just about anything -- and this is that recipe! Toss romaine lettuce and fresh veggies with a simple vinaigrette that takes mere minutes to whip together.
Course Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish, Vegetarian
Cuisine American, Healthy, Vegetarian
Keyword Garden Salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 -6 as a side
Calories 168kcal
Cost $5.62



  • 7 cups chopped Romaine lettuce Note 1
  • 1 cup cucumbers, cut in half moons Note 2
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion optional
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot Note 3
  • Optional: 1 large ripe avocado, 1 cup croutons, Cheese to taste (like feta, goat, sharp Cheddar, or Parmesan)


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or use apple cider vinegar)
  • 2-1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (~1 clove)
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced shallot, optional
  • Fine sea salt and cracked pepper


  • DRESSING: Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small jar with a lid. Add salt and pepper to taste. (I add 1/4 teaspoon each.) Cover and shake the jar until ingredients are well combined. Use a spoon if needed to stir up settling honey.
  • SALAD ASSEMBLY: Add completely dried chopped lettuce to a large bowl (Note 1). Top with cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and grated carrot. If enjoying immediately (Read instruction #3 first) also add in the avocado, croutons, and cheese (if using). Drizzle dressing over salad. (We like it all, but you may want less depending on how dressed you like your salads.) Toss, season salad to taste with salt and pepper if needed, and enjoy immediately!
  • STORAGE: This salad doesn’t sit very well with the dressing, croutons, and avocado mixed into it. If you aren’t planning to eat the entire salad at one sitting, toss and add dressing, avocado, and croutons only to the lettuce you’ll be eating right now. The salad dressing can be made in advance and will stay fresh for 3-6 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Be sure to thoroughly mix/shake the dressing again before using. If the dressing separates or forms clumps, it’s just the olive oil solidifying, which it does at cold temps. Take the vinaigrette out of the fridge about 20-30 minutes or so before you need it and bring it back up to temperature. Then shake it up to remix.



Note 1: Lettuce: Chop, wash, and thoroughly dry the Romaine lettuce before tossing it with the dressing. (We love using a salad spinner!) If the lettuce is at all wet from being washed, it will water down the dressing and the salad won't be as pleasant. If time permits, chill the washed (and dried) lettuce and salad dressing and keep refrigerated until you're ready to assemble.
Note 2: Cucumber: We love using crisp and flavorful cucumbers like English cucumber or Persian (sometimes labeled salad cucumbers) cucumbers.
Note 3: Carrot: This is about 1 large carrot. We like to grate it on the large holes of a cheese grater.
Nutrition information doesn't include optional toppings. 


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 31mg | Potassium: 415mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 10044IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg