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Green Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

A restaurant-worthy mixed green salad that you can make at home, any night of the week! You'll love the fresh veggies, toasted almonds, and Parmesan cheese in a quick and zippy homemade red wine vinaigrette!
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword green salad, mixed green salad, red wine vinaigrette, simple green salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 237kcal
Author Blair Lonergan

Ingredients

FOR THE SALAD:

  • 10 ounces mixed baby greens (or other lettuce of choice)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 seedless English cucumber, chopped
  • ½ of a red onion, finely diced
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or substitute with other cheese such as crumbled feta or crumbled blue cheese)
  • Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper or all-purpose seasoning

FOR THE VINAIGRETTE:

  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pressed or finely minced garlic (about 1 large clove or 2 small cloves)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup olive oil

Instructions

  • Toast the almonds until deep golden brown, then sprinkle with kosher salt while they’re still warm. I do this in the microwave by placing the almonds on a microwave-safe plate. Cook on high power for a total of about 2 minutes, stirring the nuts every 30 seconds. Season with kosher salt and let cool.
  • Place greens in a large serving bowl. Add tomatoes, celery, cucumber, red onion, almonds and cheese. Season with salt and pepper or with all-purpose seasoning.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, garlic, salt and pepper. While continuing to whisk, gradually stream in the olive oil until all of the ingredients are completely combined.
  • Drizzle the salad with dressing, toss and serve!

Notes

  • Slowly stream the olive oil into the dressing while whisking. This helps the vinaigrette emulsify.
  • Feel free to adjust the quantities of the different ingredients to suit your tastes. I typically just "eyeball" it!
  • Season the salad with salt and pepper before you add the dressing. This extra seasoning enhances the other flavors in the dish. Try seasoning the greens with our favorite all-purpose house seasoning for even more great flavor!
  • Keep a jar of the toasted, salted almonds in your fridge or pantry for up to a month. 
  • Prepare a double batch of the dressing and keep it stored in the refrigerator for at least a week.
  • Swap out the red wine vinaigrette and instead use balsamic vinaigrette, buttermilk dressing, poppy seed dressing, Ranch, Green Goddess dressing, a classic Caesar, or pepper jelly vinaigrette. A bottle of your favorite store-bought salad dressing is fine, too!
  • Instead of the mixed spring greens, use chopped iceberg lettuce, spinach, or Romaine lettuce.
  • Pick any of your favorite fresh garden veggies. For instance, omit the celery and use bell peppers, radishes, or carrots. I often just grab whatever is lingering in the fridge!
  • I love the great crunch and the toasty flavor from the slivered almonds, but any nuts are great. Other good options include pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. Toasted and salted is the key, though!
  • Just about any cheese will work, too. In lieu of the Parmesan, try feta, blue cheese or goat cheese.
  • Add croutons! It's not always available, but if I have a loaf of crusty bread on the counter, I love to make these delicious croutons in a cast iron skillet.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the salad and dressing | Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 184mg | Potassium: 399mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1285IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 1mg