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 classic French Bistro Salad, 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.
Not the green salad you had in mind? Then pop over to our Ultimate Green Salad Collection for even more inspiration.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- 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 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 cucumbers 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 for some sweetness, try adding some dried cranberries, cherries or currants
🍃How To Avoid Soggy Salad
- Make sure that your salad leaves are completely dry before adding them to your salad. Either by draining them in a colander and then patting them dry with a clean kitchen towel.
- Or my absolute favourite method is to spin the leaves dry in a salad spinner; this way, the French vinaigrette will stick to the salad leaves without watering down the dressing.
- Add the vinaigrette to the salad just before serving to prevent it from going soggy.
3 Easy Steps to Making this Salad
Step 1 - Prepare your greens
Wash your salad leaves, remove any wilted or damaged ones, and either pat dry with a clean kitchen towel or spin dry in a salad spinner.
Wash your cucumber, trim, 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.
Step 2 - Shake-up your dressing
Finely dice your French shallot, place in a glass jar with the remaining vinaigrette ingredients, and season with some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Shake until well combined.
Step 3 - Assemble your French green salad
Place your salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Pour the dressing over the salad, season and toss well to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your liking.
Arrange in a salad bowl, serve immediately and enjoy!
How To Make It A Meal
While French salads make ideal sides to almost anything (we have some serving ideas below for you), this French classic can easily be transformed into a meal by adding some protein, such as:
- For pescatarians, try it with some BBQ shrimp prawns.
- For poultry lovers, try Grilled Chicken.
- For carnivores, try it with Pulled Pork or Seared Skirt Steak.
- For vegans and vegetarians, you can't go wrong with some Crispy Tofu.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
This is such a simple salad, full of nutrients and suits just about everything.
We served our French Green Salad for a casual dinner with friends. But it is elegant enough for a lavish dinner party, casual enough for a BBQ or potluck and makes a quick and easy side for weekday dinners (a great partner to a store-bought charcoal chicken).
Tips and Questions
Tips for Making it Ahead
To make this salad several hours ahead of time for a party:
- Wash and completely dry the salad leaves and keep them in a dry bag in the crisper section of your fridge. If your leaves aren't completely dry, then bacteria could form.
- 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!
How can I store French Green Salad?
Once the salad has been dressed, it really does not keep well in the fridge (unless, of course, you like soggy salad).
You can take out the lettuce; the cucumbers and avocado will be okay the next day. Add some fresh salad leaves and a can of tuna for a quick lunch.
I highly suggest using a salad spinner to spin your salad leaves dry. This makes for a tastier salad as the vinaigrette will not be watered down.
This salad is suitable for most diets, provided that you use a mustard that is suitable for - vegan, paleo, and whole30 diets.
It is great for keto and low-carb eaters as it only contains 3 grams of net carbs!
A Couple More Green Salad Favourites
- Salad Spinner
- 4 cups mesclun mix (mixed salad leaves, approximately 120 grams / 4.23 ounces)
- 1 medium Lebanese or Persian Cucumber (approximately 120 grams / 4.23 ounces)
- 1 large avocado (approximately 300 grams / 10.6 ounces))
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped French shallots (also known as eschallots)
- 2 tablespoons red- or white-wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 4 tablespoons 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 combined.
- Taste and adjust seasonings according to your liking.
- Arrange in a salad bowl and serve immediately.