This herby green leaf salad is a simple and light starter for any meal. It pairs well with different flavors and can adapt to many different cuisines.
This salad works especially well to kick off a heavy or indulgent meal, like my ultimate plant-based Valentine’s dinner menu. It’s intentionally light and fresh; the perfect way to start a leisurely three-course affair.
The apples and herbs in this recipe help keep the salad light and the sunflower seeds provide a nice crunch. Feel free to play around with substitutions here. Try ripe but firm sliced pears for the apple (Bosc would be ideal), different fresh herbs like basil or dill for the oregano and parsley, and pumpkin seeds, slivered almonds, or crushed pecans instead of the sunflower seeds.
What makes this stand out from your basic salad though, is the dressing. It initially seems like your standard honey dijon vinaigrette but has a secret ingredient (ground coriander) that gives it an unexpected, and oh so delicious, twist. Be prepared though, once you make this dressing, you’ll never go back to a basic honey Dijon.
Here are a few more reasons to make this salad:
- It’s fresh and crunchy
- It’s easy and quick to make (you can whip this up in 10 minutes!)
- You can easily adapt it to many different main courses
- It’s the perfect light side
- It has a flavorful and seriously delicious dressing
Convinced this herby green leaf salad is worth your time and tastebuds? Let’s dive into the recipe then!
Herby Green Leaf Salad with Honey Dijon Vinaigrette
- For the salad
1/2 head any crisp green leaf lettuce (or use a combination of mixed greens)
1/2 an apple, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped*
2-3 tablespoons hulled sunflower seeds
- For the honey dijon dressing
1 teaspoon runny honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Wash and dry the lettuce.
- In the meantime, thinly slice the apple and chop the herbs.
- Add the lettuce to a medium-sized bowl and sprinkle the remaining ingredients on top.
- Now make the dressing. Add everything except the olive oil to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Pour in the olive oil and continue to whisk until the dressing thickens and emulsifies. Taste it and add more honey, mustard, or salt as needed.
- Just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad and gently mix with your hands to coat the leaves in the dressing. Enjoy right away.
- *You can substitute dried oregano in place of fresh. The taste won’t be quite the same but it will still be delicious. Use 1 teaspoon dried oregano in place of the fresh one.