Building a Salad

Once again it is salad weather.  In warmer weather, I put away all the heavier, heartier meals, and opt for the lighter meals instead.  We eat a lot of salads in the spring and summer.  And my salads are always loaded with plenty of fresh vegetables and plenty of fresh flavors.

It is also that time of year where my backyard is getting invaded by all the fresh lemon verbena that grows abundantly.  Every year, I find more and more all throughout my yard.  This year, I am even noticing some in the front yard too.  There is absolutely NO way I can ever get through it all, but every year, I try my best to use as much of it as I can.  I just love using it.  I made a lemon-basil vinaigrette to go with our salads, using my lemon verbena for the first time this season.

This is just the beginning of the lemon verbena invasion.  I never complain though.  I love the fresh lemony fragrance and the fresh lemony taste it adds to everything.


When I make salads, I make SALADS!  I always think I am going to make them smaller than I do, and by the time I finish adding little bits of this and little bits of that, my salads end up huge.  One time, one of Larry’s brothers came over for lunch, and we had salads out on the deck.  He made the mistake of thinking it was going to be a small salad and that we were going to be eating light.  Silly Randy.  He quickly learned that was not to be the case.  But, he ate it all anyway.

There is no right or wrong way to make a salad.  Often times I make them with leftover meats.  Sometimes it’s steak, sometimes chicken or shrimp or pork.  But I always use a ton of fresh vegetables.  This time I used some of our leftover steak.  I also added the rest of my shredded carrot slaw, No Fiesta for Cinco de Mayo This year fresh green beans, mushrooms, red and green onions, a large yellow heirloom tomato, cheese (for Larry), avocado and toasted pepitas (for me).  I topped it all with my lemon-basil vinaigrette.


Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette


about 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, stems removed

about 1/3 cup fresh lemon verbena, stems removed, optional

1 TBSP garlic

1-2 tsp black pepper

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

1 TBSP honey


Mix everything together, either by hand or in a food processor, until it is all blended together.  If mixing by hand, chop the basil and lemon verbena fine first.


You can use this as either a dressing for salads, or as a marinade for meats.  This time I used it as my dressing for my salads.  I have some left over that I am going to use as a marinade for something different.  Stay tuned.  …….


Stay well and stay safe Everyone.  ‘Til next time.



Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

30 thoughts on “Building a Salad”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: