Simple Garden Salad Elevated
Who doesn’t love an easy salad?! Orange vinaigrette is my favourite light citrus salad dressing recipe and it goes so well on a garden salad. And by garden, I mean any little bits of fresh greens or veggies you find growing in your yard as you prepare dinner. One of my favourite salads because often, especially early in the year, I only have a little bit of this and that and the sweet tartness of orange brings everything together beautifully.
Composed Salad For The Win
By walking through the garden with a bowl and picking a few leaves of lettuce and kale, a little watercress, a radish or two and some peas, all of a sudden I have a lovely salad for 4! My garden may look pitiful sometimes but when I put this simple offering of fresh vegetables on the table, it suddenly looks impressive. You can toss and serve this in a bowl, but to really elevate your beautiful garden greens, serve them as a composed salad on a big plate. Simply arrange in a circle or a straight line across the plate and drizzle dressing over top.
If You Want To Grow Your Own Salad
Almost anyone can grow a few simple vegetables if you have a garden or patio space. From a small little garden to large yard, decide on what you want to grow based on what you most love to eat. In the photo above you can see vegetables from my own garden. I have a small row each of peas, lettuce and radishes and four sprouting broccoli plants that continuously provide small florets. Here’s a really wonderful and informative article from Greenery Guide on growing your own food. I highly recommend giving it a read. Don’t be afraid to try some small veggies in pots too. Zucchini, tomatoes, cukes and more can very successfully be grown in patio pots.
Best Orange Vinaigrette
Orange vinaigrette is a lovely versatile dressing that goes well on a variety of salads. A little sweet, tart and barely salted, this pairs well with mild lettuces and peppery ones too. (Try it with a little goat cheese and watercress in the spring!) I particularly like this on a salad with peas (snap peas or shelled peas work equally well) and have been known to use thawed frozen peas in the winter.
I almost always have various bright citrus fruits in my kitchen. For this I use one large orange, cutting half for juice and half pared into small wedges for garnish. A touch of honey highlights the natural sweetness. Next a little extra acid is added with a squish of fresh lemon and a dash of red wine vinegar, then tempered with a little pepper for a simple salad dressing with a depth that keeps you coming back for more. (As a side note, although it’s not common, do you know you can grow oranges and other citrus here in Canada? For more information, check out the amazing and inspirational Garden on Salt Spring Island, BC)
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- 4 tbsp Orange Juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 tsp Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 tsp Honey
- 4 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/4 tsp Each, Salt and Pepper
- *Optional: 1/2 tsp chopped fresh Thyme or Parsley
- Mix orange juice, lemon juice, vinegar and honey together honey is fully incorporated.
- Whisk in olive oil, salt and pepper and herbs if using until blended and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
- Toss with 8 cups of seasonal greens and fresh vegetables sliced thinly. Alternatively, sprinkle this over individual composed salads.
- Store any leftover dressing in a covered container in the fridge for up to one week.
Want More Salad Inspiration?
Check out some of my other favourite salads:
Have a great day and let me know below if you’ve tried and loved any of these recipes!