I know this recipe for Vegetable Chopped Salad With Fresh Herb Vinaegrette has a nice healthy and fresh name and believe me, all the ingredients live up to that claim. However, if I were to truthfully name it…now don’t get nervous…I don’t mean it is not healthy, fresh and yummy…I would actually name it, based on its purpose…Clean Out Your Veggie Bin Salad!
I got the motivation for this salad last year when I started shopping more often at my local Farmer’s Markets. Almost every Saturday, I would grab my reusable shopping bag, trying to be as environmentally conscious as possible, and head out to the market. Just to set the record straight though, I did not wear my maxi skirt and crocheted vest I made in seventh grade when I went to the Farmer’s Market. Only because I would not fit in it!!! So, bag in hand, I walk up to all the beautiful vegetable stands with their array of produce, almost hypnotized by all the colors and variety of fruits and vegetables. As I pick the red tomatoes, orange carrots, yellow squash, green onions and purple radishes, I am a happy girl. Nutritionists advise us to “eat the rainbow” to ensure we are getting lots of different vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants. And that is exactly what I am trying to do here. I have it covered. But, I do not stop there. As the healthy angels continue to sing, I grab cucumbers, kale, zucchini, and whatever beautiful gems will fit in my bag. I walk away feeling very virtuous and ready to eat healthy all week.
Next, I get home and unload all my amazing vegetables on my kitchen counter. I wash them and store them properly. So, fast forward to four days later, when I discover that with every effort in my body, I tried to eat those vegetables, but more than half of them still remain in my refrigerator and pantry. I did not want them to go to waste and the Farmer’s Market was only 3 days away, so I had to do something. Well, you guessed it…The Vegetable Chopped Salad with Fresh Herb Vinaigrette was born. And I am glad it was.
The great thing about this recipe is the fact that you can change up the ingredients based on whatever vegetables you have on had or have a particular taste for. This Vegetable Chopped Salad With Fresh Herb Vinaegrette is packed with over seven different vegetables and the dressing made with fresh basil and lemon juice is so clean. You do not have to stop at seven vegetables and can add in whatever extra vegetables you like. So, think outside the vegetable box, or bin, whatever the case may be. Add things like roasted butternut squash, beets, asparagus or even jalapenos for an added punch of flavor. You can also change up the fresh herbs in the dressing by substituting dill, tarragon or chives.
Another thing that makes this recipe for Vegetable Chopped Salad with Fresh Herb Vinaegrette so easy to prepare is the use of a couple of my go to gadgets. I have to admit, I am a gadgets girl. If you ask anyone that has taken my cooking classes, they will tell you about some of the gadgets I love to showcase. There is my strawberry huller, my jalapeno corer, and my herb mill. But, the one I absolutely love is my chopper, or as Arnold Schwarzenegger would say, the chaaaapa!!! Oh yea, he was talking about a helicopter, not a vegetable chopper. Anyway, it cuts all your veggies into nice, neat, perfectly even pieces and makes your salad so pretty. Another gadget I love is my mini food processor for making the dressing. I just put all the ingredients in and it mixes up so quickly. It is just like the larger models of food processors, but in a small 4-cup size.
Finally, you can enjoy this Vegetable Chopped Salad With Fresh Herb Vinaegrette anytime of year. You can select whatever vegetables are in season. But, I wanted especially to share it with you now since Spring and Summer are just around the corner. So, grab your reusable shopping bag, your crocheted vest and head to your local farmer’s market…those beautiful veggies are waiting for you!!!
- 1 English cucumber
- 1 zucchini
- 3 ripe, but firm plum tomatoes
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 cup baby carrots
- 2 stalks celery
- 3 green onions
- ½ cup garlic stuffed green olives (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon fresh or ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 Tablespoon fresh or ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cups lettuce, torn into bit size pieces (optional)
- Wash all the vegetables well.
- Chop in ½ inch pieces using a sharp knife or vegetable chopper. Place in a medium sized bowl.
- Place all the dressing ingredients, except for the olive oil in a food processor or bowl.
- Process in the food processor until smooth or whisk in a bowl if you do not have a food processor.
- Slowly add in the olive oil, a little at a time, until completely emulsified (blended).
- Pour on the vegetables and toss until well coated.
- Refrigerate for at least one hour.
- Serve cold on a bed of lettuce, if desired.