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May 30, 2015 / Leslie

Garden Salad and Balsamic Vinaigrette

I love a lot of things about summer, but one that I look forward to all year is my garden. I grow a variety of vegetables and flowers, but lettuce and herbs are some of the easiest things to grow. Seriously, no green thumb needed; just remember to water them.

Mixed Greens Grown in a Barrel


I grown my lettuce, parsley, and other herbs in barrels. A raised garden is much easier on my back, and it solves the persistent bunny problem I’ve had for the past few years. Bunnies are so cute, yet soooo destructive. Bunny and I have had a love-hate relationship for years.

Since these are very delicate greens, I use a light dressing on them, usually a vinaigrette. This is one of my favorites:

Recipe: Balsamic Vinaigrette


Balsemic Vinaigrette• ½ cup olive oil
• 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 1 garlic clove, crushed
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
• 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
• ½ teaspoon sea salt
• ¼ teaspoon ground pepper


In a small bowl combine above ingredients. Whisk in the oil until smooth.

You can vary the ingredients according to taste. A 3 or 4 to 1 ratio of oil to vinegar is best. Start with that and add more vinegar if desired.

BasilViniagretteSalad_IMG_2212The dijon mustard is an emulsifier, it keeps the oil and vinegar from separating. I only use a small amount because too much mustard will overpower the dressing.

For a less garlicy taste, instead of crushing the garlic clove in a press, pierce it with a knife and let it sit in the oil for about an hour and remove before adding the oil to the ingredients. Another option is to add a teaspoon or two of minced parsley, which will cut the intensity of the garlic.

The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for a few days.

wkendcookingThis post is linked to Weekend Cooking, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.
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Leave a Comment
  1. Yum! We’re big fans of balsamic vinaigrette and I’m definitely drawn more towards salads and the weather warms up.


  2. Arti / May 30 2015 10:35 am

    Looks almost too beautiful to eat… your mixed greens are like flowers. Wonderful to be able to grow your own salads, Leslie. And thanks for the recipe. 😉


  3. Suko / May 30 2015 10:47 am

    Thank you for sharing your recipe! I like to make my own salad dressings. Your barrel greens look wonderful, Leslie.


  4. Kay / May 30 2015 10:55 am

    Yum, yum! I love vinaigrettes of all kinds. Looks delicious!


  5. Vicki / May 30 2015 10:58 am

    We love salads and our favorite dressing is balsamic vinaigrette! The only other dressing I like is a light ranch. Our yard is mostly sand so a regular garden is out of the question. I’ve been thinking about a raised garden, but love the idea of growing lettuce etc. in buckets.


  6. jama / May 30 2015 11:20 am

    Mmmm, fresh garden salad. Thanks for the dressing recipe!


  7. Sarah's Book Shelves / May 30 2015 1:24 pm

    Those greens look delicious and good to know those and herbs are brown thumb proof! I’ve always kind of wanted a garden, but can’t even remember to water house plants.


  8. Mary / May 30 2015 2:56 pm

    This post makes me want to give growing lettuce a try! The container appeals to me for the same reasons you mentioned 🙂


  9. Carole from Carole's Chatter / May 30 2015 4:58 pm

    I’ve been using sherry vinegar instead of balsamic lately and lilke the change. Cheers


  10. Diane La Rue (@bookchickdi) / May 31 2015 10:29 am

    Thanks for sharing this recipe, I love a good salad dressing recipe.


  11. Beth F / Jun 5 2015 10:26 am

    I like this dressing — it’s very similar to the one I make. And truly, nothing is better than fresh-picked greens.


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