I'd submit that every house, and not just "the house" in the restaurant sense, needs a house salad, a simple way to dress up greens and get them on the table fast. This is my version of an essential green lettuce salad, with a quick honey-mustard vinaigrette. Make it with some chopped lettuce from the market, baby greens, or cut-and-come-again lettuce from the garden. The toppings are flexible, but recommended. Otherwise, you have the simplest bistro salads, which, albeit, is all you really need sometimes.
Making the honey-mustard vinaigrette
People can get fussy about vinaigrettes; this is the down-home version. Put the ingredients into a small container—old glass jam jars with lids that screw on are great, as are the smallest containers in your set of food storage containers. Get the lid on tight and shake vigorously to emulsify the olive oil with the vinegar. That's it. Seriously. Fresh, amazing vinaigrette.
The recipe below is for enough vinaigrette to generously coat a large salad. You can easily scale up the recipe and store it in the fridge, where it lasts a long time. Despite having olive oil in it, it won't set too much in there. Next time you want to dresxs a salad, set out the bottle of dressing on the counter while you assemble the salad and set the table. By then it'll be ready to go, just give it a good shake before pouring and it's good as new and better than any bottled dressing. I store mine in a glass bottle from the container store, which, to my chagrin, can also be scored at dollar stores and craft stores sometimes. (And if you don't mind wasting perfectly good label tape, ahem, feel free to exercise your compulsive need to label everything and give your house dressing a formal address.)
About the toppings
My standard, always-welcome toppings for my house green salad are cucumber, apple or pear, raisins or dried cranberries, and a nut or seed with some crunch, like sliced almonds, halved pecans, or sunflower seeds. You can substitute any fruit you like; seasonal will always work, pears or oranges in winter, peaches or strawberries in the summertime. The cucumber is nice but not strictly necessary.
Looking for more salads?
- Israeli Salad
- Lentil and Sweet Potato Arugula Salad with Lemon-Harissa Vinaigrette
- Roasted Cauliflower with Green Tahini
Green Salad with Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette (parve)
- Small jar, bottle, or container with a tightly-fitting lid
- 2-3 cups chopped green lettuce or baby greens
- 1 apple or pear - substitute any seasonal fruit firm enough to dice
- 2 Persian cucumbers - sliced (optional)
- ¼ cup sliced almonds or halved pecans
- 2 Tbsp raisins or dried cranberries
- 2 Tbsp sunflower or pumpkin seeds - optional
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil - 60ml
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- ⅛ tsp garlic powder
- Chop the lettuce, if using leaf lettuce. Slice the cucumbers into rounds, if using. Wash but do not peel the apple or pear, then dice. Chop nuts if needed.
- To a large salad bowl, add the greens. Add the cucumbers and apple/pear, and toss. Top with the dried fruit and nuts and seeds, if using. Just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently.