This loaded French Green Salad with a classic French vinaigrette will be a welcome addition to your salad arsenal. It is quick and easy to put together and goes with absolutely everything you can imagine.
In our loaded version of this French classic we have combined fresh leafy greens, cool refreshing cucumbers and healthy fat avocado and smothered them in our super delicious classic French vinaigrette for a salad that suits anything and everything.
The ingredients in French Green Salad
- Mixed Salad Leaves – we have used a mesclun mix (also called spring mix) for its various colours and textures. Feel free to use any soft leaf lettuce such as an oak leaf, baby Gem lettuce or a Boston/Bibb/Butter lettuce.
I prefer to use the soft lettuce varieties for this salad because they suit the delicate French vinaigrette but if you would like to use a Romaine/Cos lettuce then finely shred it.
- Persian or Lebanese Cucumbers – or any small seedless cucumber are ideal for this salad you could also try English or Kirby cucumbers. Regular cucumbers have tough skins and seeds that contain a lot of water, which will make your salad soggy and dilute the dressing.
- Avocado – I like it here for its soft creamy texture also the healthy fats in the avocado will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
- Vinaigrette – this wouldn’t be a French Green Salad without this delectable dressing the only change I would make is to leave out the shallot if you don’t like onions. Or swap the vinegar with some citrus instead – try a combination such as lemon, orange and pink grapefruit. But keep in mind it will not keep as long in the fridge.
- Consider adding – a variety of nuts, soft herbs (basil, mint, tarragon, dill), cheeses (feta, goats cheese, parmesan), some tanginess (baby capers or chopped green olives) or even a touch of some sweetness with the addition of dried cranberries, cherries or currants
Avoid Soggy Salad
- Make sure that your salad leaves are completely dry either by draining in a colander and patting dry with a clean kitchen towel.
- The best way to dry salad greens is by spinning them in a salad spinner, this removes the excess water. With the added advantage of allowing the delicious French vinaigrette to adhere to the leaves without watering it down.
- Add the vinaigrette to the salad just before serving to prevent them from going soggy.
It Easily Makes a Meal
While this simple little salad makes the ideal side to almost anything (we have some serving ideas below for you) it can easily be transformed into a meal adding some protein such as:
- BBQ shrimp prawns
- Grilled Chicken
- Pulled Pork
- Seared Skirt Steak
3 Easy Steps to Making This Salad
1PREP YOUR GREENS
Wash your salad leaves, remove any wilted or damaged leaves then, either pat dry with a clean kitchen towel or spin dry in a salad spinner.
Wash your cucumber, cut off the top and bottom, then peel leaving alternate green strips. Then cut into rounds.
Wash and peel your avocado, dice and squeeze some lemon juice on top to prevent browning.
2SHAKE UP YOUR DRESSING
Finely dice your French shallot, place all the vinaigrette ingredients in a glass jar, season with some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Shake your dressing until it emulsifies (everything is well combined).
3ASSEMBLE YOUR SALAD
Place everything in a large mixing bowl, pour the dressing over the salad, season and toss well to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
Arrange in a salad bowl and serve immediately.
Need some serving ideas?
This is such a simple salad, full of nutrients and suits just about everything.
We served with our French Green Salad for dinner with some friends. But it is elegant enough to serve at a dinner party, casual enough for a BBQ or pot luck, it makes a quick and easy side for weekday dinners (a great partner to a store-bought charcoal chicken).
Pointers for making ahead
To make this salad several hours ahead of time for a party:
- Wash and completely dry the salad leaves and keep in a dry bag in the crisper section of your fridge
- Cut the cucumbers, pat them dry and place them in a covered container in your refrigerator.
- Cut the avocado and add plenty of lemon juice to prevent browning and keep it in a covered container in the fridge (only 1-2 hours in advance).
- Make the dressing and store in a sealed glass container in the fridge.
- Then when your guests arrive, simply put it together, shake the dressing before pouring over your salad, then toss and serve!
Other green salad recipe:
- Salad Spinner
- 4 cups mixed leaves (approximately 120 grams)
- 1 medium Lebanese or Persian Cucumber (approximately 120 grams)
- 1 large avocado (approximately 300 grams)
- 2 tbsps finely chopped shallots
- 2 tbsps red- or white-wine vinegar
- 2 tsps Dijon mustard
- 4 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Wash the salad leaves and either pat dry or spin dry in a salad spinner.
- Wash, trim and peel your cucumber leaving alternate green strips then cut it into rounds.
- Peel and dice your avocado.
- Finely dice your shallot and place in a glass jar with the remaining dressing ingredients. Season and shake until emulsified.
- Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl, pour over the dressing, season and toss until combine.
- Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
- Arrange in a salad bowl and serve immediately.