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Herb Garden Salad

Herb Garden Salad


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Fresh herbs make this salad an ideal light meal or side.MORE+LESS-

6

cups sliced thin romaine

1

cup sliced thin radicchio

1

tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

2/3

cup fresh basil, sliced thin

1/2

cup matchstick carrots

1/2

cup diced english cucumber

2/3

cup grape tomatoes, quartered

1

can (15 oz) artichoke heart quarters

1/2

cup pearl sized mozzarella balls

Salt and pepper, to taste

white balsamic salad dressing

Hide Images

  • 1

    Toss together the romaine lettuce, radicchio, basil, carrots, and cucumber. Place on a serving platter or salad bowl.

  • 2

    Top the salad with tomatoes, artichoke heart quarters, avocado, and mozzarella balls. Season, if desired, with salt and pepper. Serve with a white balsamic salad dressing, or if unavailable use your favorite vinaigrette.

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • Green salads don't have to be boring.I like to add fresh chopped herbs to the lettuce to add extra flavor and dimension to the dish like in this recipe for Herbed Garden Salad. Adding lots of vegetables and colors makes the salad more appealing too.Not only are colorful salads more interesting and flavorful, they are healthier as well. It has been recommended that we eat a "rainbow of fruits and vegetables" each day and this salad definitely helps meet those requirements: red tomatoes, orange carrots, green lettuce, herbs and avocado, and purple radicchio. If you want to squeeze yellow in there too, divide the tomatoes up and use some yellow pear tomatoes as well. Those are great!Salads are a great addition to a potluck or backyard barbecue menu, so think about this one for Labor Day or the next time you are craving a plate of greens!

Garden Salad with Chicken and Creamy Herb Dressing

This recipe turns a simple garden salad into a hearty, healthy meal by topping it with pan-seared chicken tenders and crunchy, garlicky croutons.

The creamy homemade dressing is made with a blend of buttermilk, sour cream, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, onion, fresh basil, and parsley.

The ingredient list may seem a little lengthy, but it only takes a few minutes to prepare and we think the light, fresh flavor of a homemade salad dressing is worth that extra bit of effort.


Personalized Garden Salad

Eating garden salad frequently is a simple way to get more vegetables into your diet. I like to buy a box of organic spring mix baby lettuce leaves. Already pre-washed, they make salad preparation easy. Pick up an assortment of your favourite vegetables at the market, and you can personalize your salad according to your own individual preferences. Adjust your salads seasonally to take advantage of sales.

Wash and chop the vegetables when you get them home. They’ll store in a sealed container in the fridge for several days.

Prepped ingredients make it easy to throw together a fresh, garden salad for lunch or dinner.

When you’re ready for a salad, simply toss a generous portion of your prepared vegetables with this Herb Vinaigrette, gently toss in some lettuce, and sprinkle granola on top. Easy peasy!

Herb Vinaigrette is free from refined sugars.


3 Five-Minute Fresh Herb Salad Dressings

Remember a few weeks ago when I proclaimed, “You should try growing your own food, even if it’s just a couple of herbs”? Well, I’m going to say it again, “You should try growing your own food, especially herbs!” And then, I’m going to give you three simple five-minute reasons to do so. This is where the rubber meets the road, or in our case, the garden herb meets the salad bowl.

Last time we talked about about growing food, I shared my top 10 money-saving foods to grow at home. Four out of the ten foods on my list were herbs. Isn’t that kind of cheating? Herbs aren’t really “food.”

On the contrary, herbs are one of my favorite foods to grow. Herbs require very little effort to nurture and maintain, and can be grown from seeds which means a large pot of herbs costs just pennies. They are the perfect food to grow for the low-maintenance, no-room, impatient gardener. Who me?

A variety of herbs can be found growing in pots on my kitchen windowsill or scattered throughout my small backyard garden bed.

Each spring I go on a must-plant-all-the-herbs frenzy. That time is right about now! Before ordering any seeds, I check SeedsNow.com (remember I mentioned a few weeks ago that this online company is one of my sources for non-GMO, organic seeds?) for information on which herbs actually grow in my area. And then, with a click of a button, my herb seeds are ordered and delivered to my mailbox.

Within a couple of months my kitchen windowsill and backyard garden are full of fragrant herbs just waiting to be clipped and put to good use. And that’s when the fun begins.

With a huge bounty of fresh herbs and more seeds ready to be planted, I’m always in search of ways to use herbs. After all, that’s the fun of growing your own food…using it!

Making homemade salad dressing is my favorite way to use fresh herbs. Homemade dressings require very little hands-on time, lack the nasty ingredients found in most store-bought dressings, and pack a ton of fresh herbs into each recipe for the ultimate flavor explosion.

I know most of us are just ordering seeds for our sun-kissed gardens or windowsill pots, but it’s never too early to start thinking about how to use the bounty of food that will soon break through the soil!

In the name of “planning ahead,” let’s indulge in three super simple five-minute (or less) salad dressings you can make with the fresh herbs you grow this season. These homemade dressings pack flavor and healthy ingredients, and can also be used as meat marinades or veggie dips. Think of these recipes as little pots of gold at the end of the garden rainbow. Of course, you can also use fresh herbs from the store, but if you have any space, even just a windowsill, growing a few favorite herbs at home is the way to go.


Garden Salad with Herb Dressing Ingredients

This salad contains ingredients that feel like they&rsquore fresh from the garden. And although I don&rsquot have a vegetable garden myself (*sigh*, someday) I can still pretend that these ingredients are all freshly picked, right!?

This is a great salad to bring on a picnic or for a potluck. Just save the dressing in a mason jar and pour over the salad right before you serve.

Here&rsquos what&rsquos included in the garden salad:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Mini cucumbers
  • Radishes
  • Parsley
  • Sunflower seeds

This ingredient list is also easily customizable. So if you want to add carrots instead of radishes, go for it. There are no rules here. You can use whatever you&rsquod like.

What Dressing Goes On The Garden Salad?

I created a simple salad dressing recipe that is light in flavor and minimal sugar. The main flavor ingredient is dried thyme, but you can also use fresh thyme which will smell even more amazing.

Homemade salad dressings are always my go-to choice. I don&rsquot buy salad dressings from the store anymore&hellip why? because they&rsquore expensive for what you&rsquore getting, the ingredients aren&rsquot nearly as good of quality as if you were to make it at home, and store-bought dressings are loaded with sugar!

So save yourself some money and learn to make your own salad dressings from scratch.

It&rsquos super easy &ndash you can grab my six healthy homemade salad dressing recipes to get even more flavor ideas.

How To Make This Easy Garden Salad with Herb Dressing

With a little bit of washing and chopping, you&rsquoll have yourself a salad in less than 10 minutes. The only thing that needs cooking is the hard-boiled eggs (which are optional). The rest is easy!


Master Gardener: Basil, a princess in the herb garden

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The Ohio State University (Photo: Submitted)

Basil likes to be pampered and treated like royalty. She only makes an appearance when the weather is warm. When Princess Basil makes her debut, it is with gusto. She is so fragrant that she could rule right up there with garlic royalty for her contribution to almost any recipe. Basil is my favorite herb to grow in the garden.

Basil can be grown from seed indoors or purchased at a nursery as a young seedling. Basil will not grow well until the soil is warm. The temperature of the soil should be at least 50 degrees, although it prefers a warmer 70-degree soil. The night-time air temperature should not drop below 50 degrees. Basil leaves will turn brown if they are exposed to the cold. So mid-June is a preferable time to plant this fragrant herb of the mint family: Ocimun basilicum.

Basil needs six to eight hours of sunlight a day. It prefers moist, but well-drained soil. Basil grows well in containers and raised beds. The soil should be amended with organic matter and be at least eight-inches deep for stronger root growth.

Basil should be planted, from seed or seedlings, a quarter inch deep and 10 to 12 inches apart. These plants will grow 12 to 24 inches high. Basil makes a great neighbor in the garden, as well as in the palette, with tomatoes.

When basil begins to grow it is important to harvest the leaves regularly by removing the top leaves. Just snip the stem where two leaves meet. Each month try to remove one-third of the leaves to encourage new growth.

Plan your summer meals around your basil harvest. Two to three basil plants in your garden should keep you well supplied. Some recipes to try might be pesto, a caprese salad, pasta dishes, bruschetta, margherita pizza, many Thai dishes, and basil tomato grilled cheese. Basil can be mixed with many summer fruits to make a dressing. Refreshing summer drinks can be enhanced with basil leaves. Basil infused water is tasty as is adding leaves to infuse olive oil.

When the harvest is really abundant, wash the leaves and tumble them in a salad spinner to dry. Cut them into small tidbits and fill the bottom of an ice cube tray. Add olive oil and then freeze them into cubes. When frozen, pop the cubes into a container and store in the freezer all winter for recipes that call for a start with olive oil. This can also be done with parsley. Most recipes call for basil to be added at the very end or as a garnish.

Basil. (Photo: Courtesy of Michael C. Green)

Basil provides vitamins and minerals, along with a range of antioxidants. It supplies macronutrients of calcium and vitamin K. Sweet basil contains a high concentration of the chemical agent eugenol and has a clove-like scent. Lemon and lime basils contain limonene which is an antioxidant. In ancient Egyptian history there is evidence that basil was used in embalming and preserving rituals.

Basil is native to southern Asia and the Islands of the South Pacific. In these warmer climates, basil grows as a perennial plant. There are many kinds of basils available to grow in your garden. The most common is sweet basil. There is a less sweet version that is purple. Lemon basil has smaller leaves as does the licorice-flavored Thai basil.

It’s not too late to introduce the princess into your garden.

Just keep her happy by pinching off the leaves and water her when the soil is dry. Basil will reign in your garden until the weather turns cooler. Any time you walk by your basil plant, just pinch off a leaf or two and smell the sweet, royal, uplifting fragrance.

Try this summer tomato, peach, basil recipe:

Ingredients

¼ cup red onion thinly sliced

2 cups grape tomatoes halved

Kosher or sea salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp. olive oil extra virgin

1 ½ tbs. white wine vinegar


Ingredients

  • 3 pounds multicolored baby potatoes, scrubbed
  • 6 medium scallions
  • ⅔ cup olive oil
  • 8 large cloves garlic, very thinly sliced (about ⅓ cup)
  • 2 ¾ teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more for water
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water season generously with salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, 16 to 18 minutes (be careful not to overcook). Drain and rinse under cold water. Let cool for 5 minutes. Cut potatoes in half crosswise, or quarter if large.

Meanwhile, finely chop white and light green parts of scallions (you should have about ⅓ cup). Thinly slice dark green parts (you should have about ½ cup). Cook oil and garlic in a small skillet over medium low, stirring often, until garlic is golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer garlic to a towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon season with ¼ teaspoon salt. Add chopped white and light green parts of scallions to oil in skillet cook over medium, stirring often, until softened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Transfer scallion-oil mixture to a large bowl. Let cool for about 10 minutes.

Whisk vinegar, mustard, pepper, and remaining 2½ teaspoons salt into scallion-oil mixture until thickened and well-combined. Add potatoes, parsley, basil, and sliced dark green parts of scallions. Gently fold to combine. Top with crispy garlic chips before serving.


Garden Herb Salad with Crab and Harissa Vinaigrette

In a small skillet, toast the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds over low heat, stirring frequently, until very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder and let cool slightly. Grind to a powder and transfer to a food processor.

Roast the red pepper and jalapeño directly over a gas flame or under the broiler, turning, until charred all over, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and let cool for about 15 minutes. Peel, stem and seed the red pepper and jalapeño and transfer to the bowl of the food processor with the toasted spices. Add the garlic and vinegar and pulse until the red pepper and jalapeño are finely chopped. With the machine on, drizzle in both oils. Season the harissa vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, combine the crabmeat with the shallot, lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. In a large bowl, toss the lettuce and herbs with 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Fold in the crab mixture. Transfer the salad to plates and serve, passing the remaining vinaigrette at the table.


Make an Italian Herb Garden Salad Dressing Gift Basket

Some links in this article are affiliate links and if you click on them I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.

Supplies

    , basket, or other container to hold gift basket items
  • Optional: tea towel (I love this one from the Hearth & Hand line at Target!) and salad servers
  • Three live herb plants: basil, oregano, and parsley
  • Tissue paper and jute or other type of wrap for herbs (Note: you may want to buy cute pots to put the herbs in if you know they will grow these indoors - this set is really cute and come three to a basket, so you could present the gift in this with just the recipes and spice mix) and Salad Dressing Gift Basket Labels Printable (click links to to both PDFs to open in a new window and download to your computer and printing)
  • Glue stick, scissors, plastic wrap

Instructions

1. Prepare your herb plants.

  • Cut out the herb labels from your gift basket labels printable: cut each herb label into a long strip and then fold over evenly so there's a front and plain back. I notched the ends to look like pennants - you can do that or not.
  • Use a glue stick to coat the inside of one and then wrap it around the top of a bamboo skewer, smoothing as needed.

  • Wrap the bottom of each herb pot with a small piece of plastic (to keep moisture from draining out) and then wrap fulling with tissue paper, tying in place with jute twine.
  • Place the prepared herb labels into the corresponding pot.

2. Make the salad dressing spice mix. In a small bowl, mix together:

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper

Transfer to the spice jar with a funnel. Cut out label from gifts basket labels printable and glue to jar. (I didn't realize until I saw the photo that I had the wrong order for the label - "garden herb" instead of "herb garden." Oops. The printable has the correct version!)

3. Prepare the salad bowl/container.

  • Line the bowl with the tea towel.
  • Optional: if you're worried about the tissue paper bleeding onto the towel (like I was), lay a piece of plastic wrap on top of the towel where the herb plants will be placed as a precaution.

4. Put together the Italian Herb Garden Salad Dressing Basket.

  • Set the herb plants in place first.
  • Add the spice mix in front of the plants.
  • Place the salad servers on the right towards the back.
  • Print the Italian Herb Dressings Gift Basket Cards, cut out each, and add them on the back left. Note: for easier transport, you may want to fully secure them inside the bowl.

And your gift is complete! How easy was that? Really, I love how adaptable this is, too, depending on the type of container you find.

I think this would make a great birthday gift, Mother's Day - or Father's Day for a foodie dad - wedding or hostess gift, don't you? It's a small way to spread a little garden goodness to everyone on your list!

Disclosure: affiliate links in this article will earn commission based on sales, but it doesn't change your price. Click here to read my full disclaimer and advertising disclosure.


Potato Salad Tips

After some trial and error, I’ve discovered some key tips to making great potato salad.

  1. To make the best mayo-free potato salad, reserve some potato cooking water before draining the potatoes. Then, blend the herbs and olive oil with the starchy reserved water. You’ll end up with a creamy emulsification that infuses the potatoes with fresh flavor.
  2. Another trick is to slice your potatoes before boiling, rather than afterward. That way, the potatoes don’t break down into mush when you’re tossing the salad later. Plus, your potatoes cook faster this way (five minutes!). We can thank the experts at America’s Test Kitchen for this technique.

Please let me know how you like this potato salad in the comments! I love to hear from you.

Looking for more fresh side dishes? You’ll find more side dish recipes here. Here are a few that would go well with this potato salad: