Baby Leaf Garden Salad with Crispy Rosemary Croutons
Although the rosemary croutons are delicious, you can swap the rosemary bread for olive bread or a plain rustic loaf for a different flavor if you choose to. Perhaps rosemary bread is not available where you are, so just pick out something you like. If you like the idea of rosemary, you can use a plain rustic loaf and sprinkle dried rosemary over it before baking the croutons for a similar result. You can also use dried oregano, dried basil or another herb or combination of herbs.
The sky is the limit when it comes to inventing your own salad recipes and if you want to make a garden salad there is only one rule – the majority of the ingredients must be fresh. They do not necessarily have to come from your own garden (although that would be great!) but you should include plenty of fresh ingredients and preferably some crunchy or crispy ones to contrast with the softer ones. Some ingredients come in crispy and soft forms and that includes lettuce. Round lettuce is soft but iceberg lettuce is crispy. Other crispy or crunchy ingredients that you could add are carrot, bell pepper, celery, bacon bits and nuts.
If you want to adapt this recipe, go for it. You might like to keep all the original ingredients and throw in some dried fruits or nuts, or a handful of crumbled bacon or even some crumbled feta or blue cheese. The basic garden salad recipe is simple enough to accommodate most other flavors and textures. You might like to swap the cherry tomatoes for sliced big tomatoes or use spinach instead of the mixed baby salad leaves. Any of these changes would be fine.
- 8 oz rosemary bread, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 8 halved cherry tomatoes
- ½ chopped white onion
- 3 cups mixed baby salad leaves
- Olive oil, as needed
- Salt and black pepper. to taste
- ½ tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Put the bread cubes on a baking sheet and drizzle the olive oil over them.
- Bake for 13 minutes or until toasted, then set to one side to cool.
- Toss the mixed salad leaves with the cherry tomatoes, onion, and croutons.
- Whisk the thyme, mustard, pepper, orange juice, lemon juice, basil, and salt together to make the dressing.
- Toss the dressing with the salad until everything is coated.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve right away.
This garden salad is a riot of color with the vibrant hues of the cherry tomatoes, salad leaves, toasted bread cubes and more. This is a wonderful side dish for a plain grilled fish or chicken breast or you can serve it alone for lunch or supper, or as an appetizer. In fact this delicious crunchy garden salad recipe is very versatile. Make sure everything is cut into bite-size pieces so you can enjoy it with a fork. The rosemary croutons make this salad extra-special and give it a gourmet touch. If you are looking for the best garden salad recipes, this would certainly be a strong contender.
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