Kitchen sink salad with basic vinaigrette

Spruce up your next salad with seasonal spring veggies

This light, refreshing salad recipe includes cucumbers, tomatoes and red peppers topped with a tangy vinaigrette dressing. The best thing about this salad? It’s so versatile! For a springtime twist, trade lettuce for a mix of in-season greens like spinach, watercress, or even dandelion greens. Toss in your favorite seasonal spring veggies, like artichokes, asparagus, beets, peas and radishes.

Prep time: 25 minutes

Servings: 4 (Yields 1½ cups of dressing)

Vinaigrette base

Build your own vinaigrette to complement the flavors of the fresh vegetables you’ve chosen. Start with this simple, delicious vinaigrette base and experiment with delicious additions to find a combination you’ll love.


  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup wine vinegar (red, white or champagne)
  • Juice of 1 lemon or lime
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh herbs (thyme, oregano, chives, parsley, basil, tarragon, mint or chervil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Optional vinaigrette additions

  • For sharpness: capers, olives, green peppercorns, salty cheeses such as Parmesan
  • For liveliness: diced shallots, scallions, sliced chives, pickled onions (with their juice)
  • For pungency: fresh garlic, pounded to a purée with salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • For nose tingling: mustard, horseradish
  • For richness: creme fraîche, sour cream, yogurt, goat cheese, hard-cooked egg yolk
  • For smoky sweetness: strained juice from roasted peppers
  • For exotic fragrance: saffron, a pinch soaked in warm water or other liquid
  • For mystery: citrus juices, including tangerine, lime, lemon or orange, reduced by simmering to a concentrated essence
  • For spice: ginger, cumin, paprika, coriander



  • Greens of your choice
  • 1 avocado, cut and cubed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (green and white parts)
  • 2 ounces hard cheese, such as gruyere, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium tomato, or several cherry tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ cup cooked whole grains, such as farro, freekeh or millet


Step 1: Mix the Vinaigrette

Combine all base ingredients in a Mason jar and shake to emulsify. Add optional additions, to taste, and shake again to mix thoroughly.

Step 2: Build the Salad

Lay greens on a platter. Place each salad ingredient separately to create a striking combination of colors and textures.

Step 3: Mix and Serve

When ready to serve, toss veggies to thoroughly mix. Plate the salad, and pass vinaigrette around so everyone can drizzle the desired amount onto individual salad servings.

Source: Sharp Health News

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