Herb Salad With Edible Flowers and Simple Vinaigrette
This herb salad is the epitome of freshness. It reminds me of those beautiful 75-degree days that we rarely see in Alabama. Instead, it seems like we’re stuck with day after day of 95+ degree weather with added humidity! On days like those, I need my food to be light and refreshing. That’s where this herb salad comes in! It doesn’t weigh me down, it’s healthy, and it’s perfect for a late-morning brunch as well.
I often like to top my salad with some toasted nuts, either walnuts or pecans. It adds a nice solid crunch to the overall texture of the salad. I’ve also chosen to add some fruits as well. Fruit is perfect in a summer salad, when all the fruit-bearing plants are in season. The sweet fruit can give you energy on a hot day while adding another refreshing element to the salad.
I’m a big fan of edible flowers, too. While they have a nice effect on the presentation of the salad (they’re just so pretty), they can be quite beneficial health-wise. Edible flowers carry a number of vital nutrients, such as vitamin C and potassium. They’re also packed with healthy compounds like antioxidants, flavonoids, and other phytonutrients. I’m sure you’ve heard of these wonderful little nutrients in the past, but if you haven’t, antioxidants and the like are great for detoxifying and removing harmful substances from your body, and can even prevent diseases like cancer. So the flowers aren’t just there to look pretty, they’re also there to make you healthier!
For the salad dressing, I usually try to whip up a quick and simple vinaigrette. This one is so easy, just four ingredients which are commonly found around the pantry. No need to pick some up at the store!
I made this salad at a live cooking demonstration for the annual City Farmhouse Pop-Up Fair in Franklin, Tennessee this year. It was a huge success! At a live event, table settings and your overall presentation become very important, and I can’t tell you how lovely this salad looked in the end! The bright colors of the fruits and flowers, combined with the deep green of the herbs, turned into an elegant little ensemble I almost felt bad about eating. Well, not too bad. In the end it was delicious!
Now, I get that, for some of you, a salad will never be enough no matter how refreshing it is. If you want to pair the salad with a heartier entrée, then my Roasted Lamb recipe would be perfect. You can also try it with a Turkey Burger, Greek Snapper, or Pecan Crusted Trout if you want something a little lighter. And, of course, you can always have it by itself! It’s more than capable of being the star of your meal. I mean, just look how pretty it is!
All flowers in the rose family are edible as well as impatiens, pansies, marigolds, dandelions, and goldenrod.
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Herb Salad with Simple Vinaigrette
Herb Salad with Fruit and Toasted Nuts
- 4 cups lettuce mix
- 1/4 cup parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup chives cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/4 cup mint leaves
- 1/2 cup edible flowers
- 2 peaches cored and sliced
- 1/2 cup blackberries
- 1/2 cup strawberries sliced
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans) toasted
- 3 tablespoons salad vinegar
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
In a small bowl, add vinegar. Slowly whisk oil into vinegar, mixing constantly to form an emulsion. Add salt and pepper.
Combine lettuce and herbs in a medium sized bowl. Stir in about 1/4 cup Simple Vinaigrette. Gently combine. Drizzle with extra vinaigrette as desired.
Scatter fruits and flowers on top of the salad in a pretty arrangement to your liking. Sprinkle in the toasted chopped nuts and serve immediately.