When I was planning my menu for the week, I had a tough time deciding what to make. Should I cook something new? Should I try out this recipe that’s been sitting on my Pinterest board since last year? Or should I just make one of those three-ingredient recipes from the back of the Kraft box and call it a day?
Then, like an angel in disguise (or maybe because there are only so many hours in a day), inspiration struck! I still had half a bottle of the Homemade Orange Vinaigrette I made last week, and it was just begging to be used. And while all my herbs were wilting in the windowsill (oops), they would make for a perfect salad partner!
How to make Orange Vinaigrette and Herb Box Salad:
Orange Vinaigrette is the perfect summer salad dressing, as it’s light and refreshing! And with just three ingredients (orange juice, oil, vinegar), you can whip up a fresh batch in minutes. It has tons of health benefits too: vitamin C fights free radicals that cause oxidative damage to your cells; while antioxidants from the orange juice help slow down aging by reducing inflammation in the body.
Herbs are like little flavor bombs– they pack a ton of punch for their size! Here I used chives (one tablespoon chopped) because they’re milder than some other herbs and will compliment any dish without overpowering it. Plus, research shows that those who consume high levels of flavonoids have lower risks for heart disease and certain cancers.
- 1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice, about 3 large oranges
- 1 heaping tablespoon of finely minced shallot
- 1 heaping tablespoon of honey (use local if you can). If you prefer the dressing to be a bit sweeter, you may want to use 2 tablespoons of honey.
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tsp of dijon mustard
- about 1/3 cup of good olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Step by step Cooking Instructions
- First off, use a blender to pulverize the honey and orange juice. Use about four oranges for one cup of juice so that you end up with an even ratio (I usually just cut them in half before I start). You should also make sure that it is very finely chopped or blended otherwise your salad dressing will be gritty.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the dijon mustard and olive oil until well combined. Then add all other ingredients into this mixture including the squeezed out bits from pulsing the oranges on high speed in your food processor/blender. Stir vigorously to combine everything nicely! **Please note: If you don’t want as much sweetness then feel free to reduce how many tablespoons of honey are used.
- Finally, pour the dressing onto your salad. Toss and enjoy!
Tips and Tricks:
- Prep time is around fifteen minutes, but it will take less time if you make the orange vinaigrette ahead of time. If not then simply pulse some oranges in your blender with a little honey until they are well blended before adding any other ingredients to the mixture. You may need to use more or less honey depending on how much sweetness you want!
- This dressing would also be delicious on arugula salads, green leafy vegetables like romaine lettuce, or asparagus spears for an easy dinner side dish. **Please note that this salad can be eaten by vegetarians and vegan eaters because there is no meat included in the recipe. This meal requires minimal cooking skills so it is perfect for busy weeknights.
- If you’re in a bind, looking to add some more protein or just feel like adding an extra touch of flavor try with the following additions:
+ Add grilled chicken breast strips when you are tossing together your dressing ingredients (the salad will need about two minutes on either side).
+ Add crumbled feta cheese and diced red onion into the mixture before serving it over mixed greens. If desired top each box with grated Parmesan cheese for that finishing Italian twist!
So, there you have it! I hope this recipe has given you some inspiration to make a delicious and healthy salad. If you’re a salad fanatic, don’t be afraid to try Fall Salad for your next meal. Besides, be sure to check out my blog posts below or follow me on social media for regular updates in the kitchen. Happy cooking!