The BEST Salads are Simple!

I love my salads simple. A few fresh ingredients can bring a salad to life without overdoing a simple side dish. This salad is bright, healthy, satisfying, and also beautiful. You get a perfect creamy texture with the soft and mild chèvre cheese, a tangy sweet from the olives and carrots, and a light dressing to wrap it all together. Let’s dig into what makes this salad a little extra special…

Start with Simple Ingredients for a Versatile Salad

This is salad is simple and fresh making it a delightful side to any meal all year long!

Salad

  • mixed greens
  • basil leaves
  • Carrot ribbons (use a potato peeler to create ribbons)
  • Castelvetrano Olives
  • Chèvre or goat cheese

Lemon-Garlic Salad Dressing

  • olive oil
  • fresh lemon juice
  • garlic
  • crushed kosher salt and black pepper

A Fancy Carrot?

I fancy up this simple salad by making carrot ribbons. A simple process of taking a potato peeler and making shreds on a whole carrot.

I love the taste of carrots, but sometimes they can be a mouthful to chew, am I right? I like the thinness of these carrot and prefer the texture of these thin ribbons to any other raw carrot variety. Not only to they look pretty they are easier to eat and my children love them too! Who knew?

Salad Recipe

Let’s talk Olives…

As an Italian I take my olives very seriously! There are as many raw olive varieties as tasty olive oils and they all taste equally different. One of my favorite olive varieties is Castelvetrano Olives from Southern Italy (mainly Sicily). Castelvetrano olives are Italy’s most ubiquitous snack olive. Bright green, they’re often referred to as dolce (sweet), and come from Castelvetrano, Sicily, from the olive variety nocerella del belice. They have a Kermit-green hue, meaty, buttery flesh, and a mild flavor. They are so delicious to snack on plain as the flavor is so unique and satisfying. These olives can make an olive lover out of anyone!

They also grow them in California and you can buy them now at most any American grocery store. I highly recommend buying all olives, especially this variety, with the pit in them as they are more fresh that way. The Castelvetrno is tender and crisp, almost fruit-like. An olive you must try if you haven’t already.

Salad Recipe

Next up… what is Chèvre or Goat Cheese?

Not defined by one type of cheese, the term Chèvre includes several French cheeses made using milk from goats. A majority of goat cheeses come from France, the most famous among them being Bucheron, Chabis and Crottin de Chavignol. This is a cheese that is easy to digest and is great for those with milk allergies.

Once you try a good variety of goat cheese you will be hooked. It can feature a soft, semisoft, firm, or hard texture that indicates its moisture content. They come in many sizes and shapes, such as round patties, log-shapes, drum-shaped, pyramids, round loaves, long loaves etc. Chevres are excellent dessert cheeses, often served as snacks or before dinner drinks. I like the soft or semisoft variety best! Any kind of goat cheese variety will do for this recipe.

salad on plate

Light and Fresh Salad Dressing

My worst nightmare is thick and gooey salad dressing. A dressing is supposed to lightly coat the greens and not drown them into a mushy oblivion! With any of my salad dressing recipes you will find fresh ingredients, usually with an olive oil base, that mix together in a glass jar. Easy peasy and so DELISH!

More delicious Recipes

Arugula, Apple, and Pistachio Salad in Parmigiano Cups

Berry and Goat Cheese Salad with Honey Citrus Dressing

Peach and Mozzarella Salad with Orange, Basil, and Poppy Seed Dressing

Greek Style Pasta Salad

Italian Seafood Salad (Insalata di Mare Antipasto)

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Salad Recipe

Carrot, Chèvre, Basil, and Olive Salad with Lemon Olive Oil Dressing

  • Author: Elena Davis

Description

A few fresh ingredients can bring a salad to life without overdoing a simple side dish. This salad is bright, healthy, satisfying, and also beautiful. You get a perfect creamy texture with the soft and mild chèvre cheese, a tangy sweet from the olives and carrots, and a light dressing to wrap it all together. It goes well as a side to any meal! 


Ingredients

Scale

Salad

  • 8 oz package of your favorite mixed greens
  • 5 basil leaves, torn by hand
  • 1 cup (about 12 whole carrots), peeled into ribbons (use a potato peeler to create ribbons)
  • 1/2 cup (about 4 oz) Castelvetrano Olives
  • 4 oz Chèvre cheese variety of your choice, crumbled with hands

Lemon-Garlic Salad Dressing

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small crushed clove garlic
  • crushed kosher salt and black pepper

Instructions

Salad 

  1. In a large salad bowl or plater add the mixed salad and the basil. Mix until evenly distributed. Add the rest of the ingredients on top of the salad. Do not toss.
  2. Add all of the prepared dressing on evenly on top of the salad 10 minute before serving. Do not toss or all the ingredients will fall to the bottom. The dressing will eventually coat the bottom of the salad as it sinks. The salad will toss naturally as it is served.

Lemon-Garlic Salad Dressing

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Store the dressing for up to a week in a glass container or mason jar.

 


Notes

Dressing will keep in the fridge for up to 1 month