Favorite Side Salad

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We almost always have a salad with dinner.  Somehow, I feel like I’m eating healthy as long as there’s some green on the table.  Eating pizza – serve a salad; eating a hamburger – serve a salad.  It goes with practically every meal.  I’ve mentioned that I don’t use bottled salad dressing.  Most salad dressings are chock-full of additives – corn syrups, sugars, preservatives. Because I’m a stickler for ingredient lists, these never make their way into my fridge.  Plus, dressings are SO easy to make.  Seriously, all you need is a little EVOO and a vinegar of your choice.  My go-to is balsamic.

A few of my Grocery List posts have included mention of a side salad (check out French Onion Soup, Chicken Pot Pie, and Roasted Tomato Soup).  I’m going to share with you my all-time FAVORITE salad dressing. Once you make it, I guarantee it will be one of your favorites, too!

Remember when I said that I love most things French? Well, here’s another example. This dressing is a variation of the one my French family made while I was on foreign study in Versailles. (Now, that would be a throwback Thursday post!) I say variation because I honestly can’t remember exactly how Sylvie made hers. This recipe is a result of many attempts at trying to replicate it. It’s not the same, but I think I have created a pretty awesome version, if I do say so myself.

Once you’ve made the dressing, you can drizzle it on any salad combination. We eat all kinds of greens in our house: spinach, arugula, spring mix, romaine. And, just the other day I was reminded how good this dressing is on just some red leaf lettuce. Seriously, that’s all you need. But, if you’re feeling gourmet, throw in some seasonal fruit and a little cheese.

Favorite Side Salad


Greens (any kind or combination; I use one large handful per person)
Fruit (fresh or dried; right now for fall, I’m loving apples and pears)
Cheese (whatever you have on hand; soft or hard)

For the dressing

1 TBS Dijon mustard
1 TBS Balsamic Vinegar
1 pinch Herbes de Provence
1 pinch Salt
Several grinds Pepper


In a large salad bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, Herbes de Provence, salt, and pepper. Once combined, whisk in the EVOO. Add greens and other toppings. Toss just before serving. You can also prepare the dressing in a separate bowl and drizzle, but why dirty another dish when you don’t have to? Untossed, the salad will stay fresh for several hours.

In my opinion, the Herbes de Provence are what really make this dressing special. You can leave them out and still have a nice vinaigrette. But, they are worth it! You can buy them at Williams-Sonoma, and, even with making this dressing several times a week, it has lasted me almost two years! (I’m sure you can find other versions, but I happen to love the clay jar the WS blend comes in; it’s usually sitting out on the shelf above my stove.)

Here is what my dressing looks like:

Dijon Vinaigrette

Dijon Vinaigrette

Bon appétit!

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