When you are planning a delicious meal and you want a side dish salad, this is the recipe you NEED!! A mix of delicate greens is lightly dressed with fresh lemon juice and parmesan shavings, then is drizzled with a warm rosemary and shallot balsamic glaze. It is bold enough to serve with steak, but simple enough to serve with spaghetti.
RELATED: Fresh Basil Vinaigrette
Side Dish Salad Ingredients
There are two different sections of ingredients for this side dish salad recipe; the dressing ingredients and the salad ingredients.
Salad Greens – In these photos I used a mix of arugula and baby spinach. But use any delicate greens you like: all arugula, spring mix, etc…
Parmesan Cheese – To find really good parmesan cheese look for something that looks dry and craggy, like it was cut from a larger wheel. A good indication is if the rind has writing or markings.
Lemon – This adds a nice bright note to the greens before adding the warm balsamic vinegar dressing.
Balsamic Vinegar – The main ingredient of the dressing/glaze. You do not need to get a really expensive balsamic to make this glaze super delish!
Shallots – Are in the onion family but have a much more delicate flavor. You will find them near the onions and garlic in the produce section. Make sure you very finely dice them for your dressing/glaze.
Rosemary – This herb can be swapped with thyme if you like that better. It imparts the most wonderful flavor to the dressing. You will be removing it from the dressing, so don’t chop the rosemary (or thyme).
Butter – Adds a nice viscosity and helps thicken the balsamic.
Orange Juice – Instead of adding sugar we are adding fresh orange juice to balance the flavors and add a touch of sweetness to the dressing.
Simple Step by Step
- Make Vinaigrette
- Toss Salad with Lemon
- Drizzle on Vinaigrette
- Add Parmesan Shavings
In a saucepan add 6 tablespoon of butter, sauté the shallots in the butter for about 2 minutes. Add the rosemary sprigs and balsamic vinegar. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes until reduced. Remove from the heat and let the rosemary steep for another 5 minutes.
Remove the rosemary sprigs and return the vinegar mixture to the heat. Pour in the orange juice and add the 2 tablespoon butter, simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool while you make the salad.
Add the delicate greens to a large bowl or platter. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the leaves and toss to coat.
Lightly drizzle the warm balsamic over the greens. Serve additional on the side.
With a vegetable peeler, shave some parmesan over the salad.
The dressing for the side salad can be made up to a week ahead and stored in a covered container in the fridge. Because of it’s butter content it will harden in the fridge.
Before serving place the dressing in a saucepan over low heat and warm through for a couple minutes until it is liquefied.
When I have made this side dish salad the past I will make variations depending on what is for dinner:
- Add some black olives, peppers, or tomatoes
- Sprinkle on some pistachios
- Crispy croutons have made an appearance, especially if there is leftover bread that is too crusty to eat.
- Add crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese
- Grill up veggies that need to be used up and add to the salad.
Pair This Side Dish Salad With…
This salad is super versatile, it goes with a dinner like Lasagna, Garlic Steak Bites and Roasted Chicken, but is also perfect to pair with a super casual dinner like Grilled Pork Burgers, BBQ Pork Tenderloin or Chicken Salad.
Check out all the Mom’s Dinner Recipes to plan the dinner that is right for you!
More Side Salad Recipes
Perfect Side Dish Salad Recipe
Dressing – the dressing can be made ahead, see notes.
- Melt 6 Tbsp. butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Add the minced shallot and cook until translucent (about 2 minutes).1 large shallot
- Add the vinegar and rosemary and simmer until syrupy and reduced to about ½ cup (about 5-6 minutes)½ cup balsamic vinegar, 2 large fresh rosemary sprigs
- Remove from the heat and allow the rosemary to steep for a bit – about 5 minutes.don't be concerned if the glaze separates a little, it will come back together with a little whisk.
- Remove the rosemary sprigs from the sauce and discard.
- Now place the saucepan back onto medium low heat and add in the orange juice and bring to a simmer.2 Tbsp. orange juice
- Add the remining 2 tablespoon butter and whisk until the butter is melted and the sauce is smooth. Season to tase with salt and pepper if desired.
- Let cool for a minute or two while you make the salad, but it is great served warm on the salad!
- Place the greens in a bowl or on a platter. Squeeze the lemon across the greens and lightly toss.6-8 cups delicate greens, 1 lemon
- Drizzle a little of the dressing over the greens. Serve additional dressing on the side.
- With a vegetable peeler shave the parmesan over the salad.good parmesan cheese shaved
If nutrition facts are provided they are calculated as an estimate to the best of our knowledge.