Provence Salad

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This is as simple as it gets, friends!  A tangy, herby vinaigrette drizzled on top of a bed of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, nicoise (nee-SWAHZ) olives, and jalapeno fontina cheese.  So what’s Provence about it?  With the addition of herbes de Provence into my red wine-balsamic vinaigrette, combined with nicoise olives that hail from Provence, voila!  You can use a French cheese if you want to take this theme all the way, but I just used what I had on hand.  :)

Herbes de Provence is, hands down, my favorite herb mixture.  It combines thyme, marjoram, basil, fennel seed, lavender, and sage, and I go through it like nobody’s business.  I usually sprinkle it onto vegetables or chicken before roasting.  Utilizing herbs, whether fresh or dried, in your daily cooking repertoire adds more variety to your tastebuds.  I mean, how many of you are sick of the usual salad with Italian vinaigrette, or some other bottled variety that’s been sitting in your fridge for awhile?  Rev it up a little, and you’ll find that you’ll be incorporating more fruits and vegetables in your day because you’re not bored of a certain flavor.

Try to be creative with your salad dressings, by using different types of vinegars (like champagne, rice, white balsamic, apple cider), mixing in different herbs (tarragon, oregano, chives, dill), and using that heart-healthy olive oil.  Typically the vinegar-to-oil ratio for basic vinaigrettes is 1-to-3.  In my vinaigrettes, I don’t use as much oil.  I use almost an equal ratio of both, and the emulsification of the vinegar and oil still works wonderfully.

Provence Salad

makes about 1/3 cup vinaigrette

for the vinaigrette:

1/2 tsp herbes de Provence

1 clove garlic, minced

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/4 tsp granulated sugar

1/4 tsp salt

a couple turns of freshly cracked black pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

for the salad (how much is up to you, but the vinaigrette can serve about 3 people if each person gets 2 tablespoons vinaigrette.  Double or triple the recipe if you’re serving more):

romaine lettuce leaves, torn

sliced tomatoes

cucumber, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2″ slices

1 ounce jalapeno fontina cheese per person, crumbled

Nicoise olives

1.  For the vinaigrette, combine the herbes de Provence, garlic, vinegars, sugar, salt, and pepper.  Whisk until combined.  Gradually whisk in the olive oil until ingredients are emulsified.  Drizzle vinaigrette on top of salad.

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3 Responses to Provence Salad

  1. nutritioulicious says:

    Looks delicious! What’s better than a salad with fresh ingredients?! Thanks for the dressing recipe – I’m always looking for a new way to spice up my salads. Look forward to trying it!

  2. Phi says:

    Thanks for the herb and dressing tip !

  3. Julie says:

    Tram, You bring up a good point about making your own salad dressing. I generally don’t like the storebought stuff much and it’s so simple to make your own with much better results. I think I’m going to buy some Herbes de Provence, I don’t generally use it much but you’ve inspired me!
    Thanks!

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