Summertime calls for refreshing salads bursting with vibrant flavors, and what better way to elevate your salad than with a homemade vinaigrette? Whip up a delightful summer salad by drizzling it with a zesty vinaigrette that will awaken your taste buds. With fresh mint bursting from the garden, we were ready to use it in nearly everything from dropping it in our water, putting it in our cocktails and of course, salads! See below on how to make a vinaigrette that can be as basic or extra as you wish. We chose a good assortment of veggies, fruits and herbs to go with the dressing as well. See below for what we mixed in with our base of salad greens. The Mandoline slicer is a huge help in getting this whole salad chopped and ready in nearly no time. All items can be store bought, but a lot of these were grown in our own garden!
First lets start with the dressing!
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (you can also use red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Mayo (optional if you want it to be creamy)
- 1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
- 2 oz of lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar (or lemon juice), Dijon mustard, and minced garlic (if using).
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can start with a pinch of each and adjust according to your preference.
- Continue whisking until the ingredients are well combined and emulsified. Alternatively, you can put all the ingredients in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously until well mixed.
- Taste the vinaigrette and adjust the seasoning if needed. You can add a touch more vinegar for acidity or olive oil for richness, depending on your taste preference.
- Use immediately or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to a week. Before using, give the vinaigrette a good shake or whisk to re-emulsify.
Feel free to customize this recipe by adding herbs (we like to add scallions and dill), spices, or sweeteners like honey or maple syrup to suit your taste. You can also experiment with different oils and vinegars to create unique flavor combinations.
Now The Salad!
We use a Mandoline slicer to quickly chop up green apples, celery, radish, sugar snap peas and fennel. Chopped fresh mint and green spring onions tossed in some feta along with the vinaigrette and you're ready to dig in! Add candied walnuts if you desire or pepitas! We do several different iterations of this salad throughout the summer. It's a great base to add so many crunchy and refreshing veggies. If you can get your hands on watermelon radishes or are able to grow them at home, they really make the salad pop!