This spring greens salad recipe with Parmesan and lemon vinaigrette sings with simplicity and clarity: clean, green spice from spring greens, brightness from lemons, nutty crunch from almonds, and just a touch of salty earthiness from Parmesan cheese. Nothing more, and nothing less. Even the vinaigrette is minimalistic—just extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and salt and pepper.
When it comes to cooking, I believe that the vast majority of the time: less is more. Even truer if you’re working with quality ingredients that are fresh and in season. You don’t want to be hiding the color or flavor of ripe fruits and vegetables by having too much going on in a dish.
Because of the refreshing zest of this greens salad recipe, I find it to be ideal as a palate-cleanser, not unlike the way you may eat salad in between courses if you’re dining abroad. It’s also light enough for an anytime-snack when you need a picker-upper without feeling weighed down.
You’ll notice the recipe below includes roasted garlic. Typically when I make this salad, I don’t use garlic, but everyone around seems to be getting the “spring bug,” so I added it in this time as an immune booster. By no means is the garlic necessary for the salad; it does add a nice depth of flavor, however. I leave it below in the ingredients as optional. Decide for yourself if you want it in the salad.
Spring Greens Salad Recipe with Parmesan and Lemon Vinaigrette
Makes about 4 servings
4 cups spring greens (baby arugula and field greens are especially nice!)
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
¼ cup slivered toasted almonds
¼ cup roasted garlic cloves (optional)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Combine greens, cheese, almonds, garlic (if using), and zest in a large mixing bowl; set aside.
Combine oil and lemon juice in a small bowl; whisk vigorously with a fork until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pour prepared vinaigrette over greens; toss gently with hands to coat. Serve immediately.
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