I just got back from the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, CA and I can affirmatively say that I have tried more gourmet foods and recipes than I could have ever imagined. One of those finds happens to include this lemon dijon vinaigrette, which I paired with a French country salad.
French Country Salad
A French country salad typically consists of asparagus, which makes it a wonderful option in the coming month when fresh asparagus will take over markets.
The asparagus is roasted under the broiler with a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt before it’s tossed with the greens.
You can use any type of green you enjoy, be it baby spinach, kale, or arugula, like I’ve shown here. I always love the peppery flavor of arugula with a dijon vinaigrette.
Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
The lemon dijon vinaigrette has the warmth and heat of dijon mustard, but it also has a fresh and vibrant quality from the lemon. Lemon juice and lemon zest really brighten up the dressing and the salad.
The vinaigrette is also really light, as vinaigrettes typically are.
It’s a dressing that could really be used for a multitude of salads, but I especially love it with this French country salad and the roasted asparagus that’s in the salad.
I like to add beets, crumbled goat cheese, and toasted walnuts or pecans to my French country salad.
The sweetness from the beets is a welcome, added flavor, while the creaminess of the cheese is always a pleasant textural addition. The citrus component of this salad would make it a wonderful side to a fish entree like sole meunière.
Either way, this French country salad with lemon dijon vinaigrette is one to be made during your weekly rotation!
French Country Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
A light and tasty salad made with fresh arugula, asparagus, goat cheese, beets, and a delectable lemon dijon vinaigrette.
For the salad
- 1 (5 oz.) bag of arugula
- 1/2 pound asparagus tough ends trimmed
- olive oil to drizzle over asparagus
- sea salt to sprinkle over asparagus
- 1/2 cup sliced cooked beets canned, jarred, home-cooked
- 1/2 cup whole walnuts or pecans toasted
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
For the vinaigrette
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves small garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- zest of 1/2 a lemon
To create the salad
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Cut the asparagus into 1 1/2" long pieces. Spread the asparagus out onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus along with a sprinkle of sea salt. Roast for 4 to 5 minutes, until the asparagus is tender but still has a bite. Allow the asparagus to cool before using.
Toss the arugula with the asparagus in a large bowl; temporarily set aside.
To create the dressing
Whisk all of the vinaigrette ingredients together in a small measuring cup.
Toss the salad with the vinaigrette until everything is lightly coated in the dressing. Then garnish the salad with the sliced beets, toasted nuts, and crumbled goat cheese.