Easy Gourmet Salad

You know how there are some recipes that have been around forever in your family… but you’ve never taken the time to write them down and save them properly?  This is one of those recipes.  I’m pretty sure I got the idea of this recipe from someone back in my days of teaching elementary school, but I really have no idea who shared it.  We’ve been enjoying it for years in my house.  It’s a simple salad, really, with simple ingredients.  But it’s delicious and satisfying enough to have for lunch, and it’s quick-to-prepare too.  And if you happen to be going to a potluck sort-of event, it’s “gourmet” enough to share this:  Easy Gourmet Salad

Easy Gourmet Salad - RecipeGirl.com

What makes it “gourmet?”  Well, there are a few add-ins that make it special:  sundried tomatoes, feta cheese, golden raisins and toasted pine nuts… oh yeah., and a simple, homemade salad dressing.

Easy Gourmet Salad 1

Start with mixed greens- any sort.  You can use a bag, or you can use 6 handfuls that you picked up at your local Farmer’s Market.

Easy Gourmet Salad 2

Add a large chopped carrot.

Easy Gourmet Salad 3

Then add chopped red bell pepper. Or yellow, or orange or green.

Easy Gourmet Salad 4

Sprinkle in chopped green onions.

Easy Gourmet Salad 5

Add chopped sundried tomatoes packed in oil (but drained).  I suppose you could use regular ol’ cherry tomatoes here, but the sundried ones really give this salad a gourmet- punch.

Easy Gourmet Salad 6

Mix in some golden raisins too.  The raisin-HATER in me says this is all wrong, but since I’ve eaten this salad like 40 dozen times, I know that they totally work in this salad and they’re part of what makes it yummy.

Easy Gourmet Salad 7

Feta cheese crumbles are added in next.

Easy Gourmet Salad 8

And finally add in your toasted pine nuts.  I know pine nuts are super duper expensive, so I wouldn’t be upset you if you wanted to add in toasted almonds or pecans instead.

Easy Gourmet Salad Recipe at RecipeGirl.com

I was quoted in a newspaper article recently that I thought you should never buy salad dressing at the store, and that’s pretty much how I feel.  Its SOOO much better when you make it at home, and it’s really easy to make too.  The super simple dressing you’ll be whipping up for this salad is a mixture of white wine vinegar + olive oil + Dijon + raspberry jam + Italian seasoning and S&P.  Toss it with the salad and you’re good to go with a “Gourmet-Like” salad to share!  And if you have the luck that I’ve had over the years, I think you’ll find that this salad recipe is quite a hit with everyone who tries it.  Have a great week everyone!

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Easy Gourmet Salad

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 20 min

Ingredients:

SALAD:
1 bag mixed greens (or 6 handfuls of greens)
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 medium red bell pepper (seeds & ribs removed) chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup chopped sundried tomatoes packed in oil (drained)
1/3 cup golden raisins
4 ounces feta cheese crumbles
1/4 to 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted (see tips)

DRESSING:
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon seedless raspberry or strawberry jam
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Place greens in a large bowl. Add all other ingredients.

2. To prepare the dressing, add all dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until well combined. Pour over the salad and toss (maybe use a little at a time until you have a desired amount of dressing). Serve immediately.

Tips:

*If you are preparing this recipe as gluten-free, just be sure to use brands of Dijon and jam that are known to be GF.
*To toast the pine nuts, heat a skillet to medium. Add the pine nuts to the pan and stir often until they begin to turn golden. Remove the pine nuts to a bowl or a paper towel to cool.

Source: RecipeGirl.com

Other easy salad recipes on the blogs that you might enjoy:
Easy Caesar Salad with Butter Croutons by Inspired Taste
Quick and Easy White Bean Salad by Simply Recipes
Easy Spinach Salad by Two Peas and Their Pod
Easy Breezy Roast Vegetable Salad by Weelicious
Easy Cucumber Salad with Balsamic Dressing by Kalyn’s Kitchen

Leave a Comment




34 Responses to “Easy Gourmet Salad”

  1. 1

    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen — May 20, 2013 @ 4:16 AM

    A perfect blend of savory and sweet! You had me at “Easy Gourmet Salad”. However, “a few add-ins that make it special: sundried tomatoes, feta cheese, golden raisins and toasted pine nuts” sends this salad over-the-moon delish! And, I totally agree with you about the homemade dressing thing. Pinning! xo

  2. 2

    leslie — May 20, 2013 @ 5:14 AM

    Yep…everyone needs a good family salad recipe!!! This looks great Lori

  3. 3

    Tieghan — May 20, 2013 @ 5:15 AM

    so perfect and is is so pretty! I love simple salads with great ingredients and this is one of the salads! YUM!

  4. 4

    dc — May 20, 2013 @ 5:25 AM

    Looks great! Sadly no pine nuts for me!! But I always have pecans or almonds!! Yum!

  5. 5

    Brenda @ Sugar-Free Mom — May 20, 2013 @ 5:26 AM

    How funny that we would post a salad recipe on the same day! Perfect for Meatless Monday! Love some sweet raisins in a salad, and love the feta too!

  6. 6

    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) — May 20, 2013 @ 5:53 AM

    This salad looks dinner party ready. I love all of the add ins.

  7. 7

    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — May 20, 2013 @ 6:14 AM

    This is one loaded, pretty, salad!! LOVE!

  8. 8

    carrian — May 20, 2013 @ 6:23 AM

    I love a good salad recipe and this one’s perfect for summer!

  9. 9

    Kevin (Closet Cooking) — May 20, 2013 @ 6:44 AM

    What an amazing combination of flavours in this salad! I really like the raisins in there for a touch of sweetness along with the jam in the dressing.

  10. 10

    Liz @ Virtually Homemade — May 20, 2013 @ 6:59 AM

    Any salad with feta I love! I have one store bought salad dressing I swear by. It’s called Martinique French Vinaigrette. It has no sugar and a great ratio of oil to vinegar.

  11. 11

    Maria — May 20, 2013 @ 7:18 AM

    I could eat this salad every day!

  12. 12

    Sheila Johnson — May 20, 2013 @ 7:35 AM

    Yum! I love salads that pile on the toppings weighing down the greens, and I’m with you homemade dressing is the best, although I confess to purchasing it now and then.

  13. 13

    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet — May 20, 2013 @ 8:19 AM

    What a fabulous salad, Lori! Pinning!

  14. 14

    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — May 20, 2013 @ 8:26 AM

    What a great looking, colorful and easy salad! This looks perfect for topping with grilled chicken or fish, too. Wonderful family recipe, Lori!

  15. 15

    Joanne - Inspired Taste — May 20, 2013 @ 10:23 AM

    This looks amazing! I love salads with lots of goodies added. I especially love that you added the golden raisins — yum!

  16. 16

    Kalyn — May 20, 2013 @ 11:39 AM

    I think I would have to ski the raisins but otherwise this sounds awesome. I’m intrigued by that little bit of jam in the dressing!

  17. 17

    sara — May 20, 2013 @ 1:55 PM

    Yum, what an awesome salad! I agree pine nuts are expensive but SO worth it! I get them at Trader Joe’s and they’re at least a little better price-wise! :)

  18. 18

    nessa — May 20, 2013 @ 2:39 PM

    Yummy!

  19. 19

    Catherine McCord — May 20, 2013 @ 4:44 PM

    This looks so darn tasty! Totally makin’ it!

  20. 20

    patsy — May 20, 2013 @ 6:25 PM

    I love all of the flavors and textures in this salad! That’s one I could eat every day!

  21. 21

    kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts — May 20, 2013 @ 6:47 PM

    Lori,
    YUM!
    This salad looks so simple but I bet the flavors combine to really elevate it from simple to divine.

    I need to figure out how to turn my tomatoes into “Sun Dried Tomatoes” because I’d be all over that like . . . well I’d like to learn, anyway.

    Thanks!

  22. 22

    ashley - baker by nature — May 20, 2013 @ 7:55 PM

    I’m currently trying to force more salads into my life! This one would be welcomed with open arms and mouths any night!

  23. 23

    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — May 20, 2013 @ 9:12 PM

    I love salads like this! It’s all about the toppings! And the dressing sounds so yummy too!

  24. 24

    Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective — May 21, 2013 @ 7:25 AM

    Love me a good salad! Yours looks delicious indeed! :)

  25. 25

    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — May 21, 2013 @ 3:33 PM

    Pine nuts are so good on a salad. Nothing beats homemade salad dressing, ever!

  26. 26

    Aimee — May 22, 2013 @ 6:41 AM

    I am planning on making this yummy looking salad tonight. I just got your cookbook in the mail yesterday. I have only read up until the happy hour section and there are at least 20 recipes I want to try ASAP. I can’t wait to look through the rest. Beautiful cookbook, great looking recipes and I love all your personal stories at the beginning of each recipe. I brought another copy of the book for my sister’s birthday and I can’t wait to give it to her.

  27. 27

    Linda — May 22, 2013 @ 1:43 PM

    I made the easy gourmet salad last night. The dressing was so vinegary, it overpowered everything else. Are you sure the vinegar & oil amts are accurate?

  28. 28

    Lori Lange — May 22, 2013 @ 1:45 PM

    Yes, I just made it again on Sunday. The Dijon makes it extra tangy… probably best to dress it lightly, to taste? Sorry you thought it too strong!

  29. 29

    najwa kronfel — May 23, 2013 @ 4:43 PM

    What a great combination of flavors, I could eat this anytime!

  30. 30

    Aimee — May 24, 2013 @ 5:50 AM

    I made this salad last night with dinner! YUM!!! I didn’t need the rest of my dinner, I just needed the salad bowl and a fork! Five stars out of five!

  31. 31

    Nutmeg Nanny — May 24, 2013 @ 8:49 AM

    Oh goodness, this salad is gorgeous! I can’t wait to make this for my husband!

  32. 32

    julie — December 2, 2013 @ 5:50 PM

    Made this tonight. Ahhh-mazin!! My entire family enjoyed it. Thank you! Five stars!!!

  33. 33

    Nancy Long — February 17, 2014 @ 4:27 PM

    sounds yummy and I couldn’t agree with you more. I haven’t bought salad dressing in years. It’s just too easy to make and much better and cheaper

  34. 34

    Nancy Long — February 17, 2014 @ 4:40 PM

    love salads and this one is on the list – will probably throw in some avocado, lately put it in all my salads. Hubby isn’t fond of raisins, but will try to sneak them in, otherwise dried cranberries. Strongly agree with you re salad dressing. Haven’t bought any in years. So quick and easy to make and usually already have all the ingredients, so why spend the money and fresh is so much better.