A humble herb salad is perhaps one of the easiest ways to get herbs into your day. Forget gourmet cooking, and just eat them fresh and raw. My mother-in-law used to make this salad for me all the time and it is a little addictive. I love it! This salad was the first time I would go back for seconds and thirds of any green salad. I hope you love it too!
Introducing the humble herb salad
It’s not rocket science, but this simple herb salad is so tasty and easy to whip up you’ll want to lock it in to your weekly routine! But I love it for much more than just how quick and easy it is to throw together.
Herbs are packed full of vitamins and minerals
First, it’s healthy. Yep, that’s an obvious one.
Herbs are power houses of vitamins and minerals and this is a great way to get a variety into your diet.
But it’s a recipe that goes hand in hand with budding gardeners.
And one of the easiest plants to grow!
If you’re new to gardening, or just starting out teaching your kids a few basics, you are probably familiar with the over-eager planting of a newbie when you end up with ten rows of chives or over flowing parsley pots.
It can take a season or two to line up your planting with how you actually eat what you’ve grown. I learnt fast after I realised no one in my household wanted to eat my carefully tended rows of radishes that were all ready to pick at the same time. Easy to grow… harder to get anyone to eat!
So start your kids (and yourself if you’re a beginner) off with a few pots of herbs that are handy to the kitchen, easy to water and fun to watch grow. And then nail the final step… actually use them! Throw a handful in your salad and enjoy the fruits of your labour! This is when kids will really learn the awesome-ness of a little self-sufficient gardening. And it’s just a fantastic skill for them to take with them as they grow up and fly the coop.
Even if they don’t turn out to be avid gardeners, they will always be able to save a few dollars and add a little flair to their meals by growing a few herbs at home on the kitchen window sill.
And if you are interested in learning more about the benefits of herbs (and getting a bit geeky!), The World’s Healthiest Foods is an amazing site with indepth knowledge and amazing research.
Enough chit chat! Let’s get into it…
Easy herb salad
Choose your base
The base of this salad can be lettuce leaves or a mix of meslcun, spinach leaves, baby rocket, whichever you prefer really. I switch between a mesclun mix from the supermarket and lettuce if I have it in the garden. Sometimes I use iceberg lettuce, sometimes the more frilly leaf green and red for a bit of colour pop. All are good! Make sure you give it a good rinse before you use it.
Add your favourite herbs
Now add in any of your favourite herbs – really go for it, we’re not garnishing! Grab big handfuls of your herbs and loosely chop them up, or just tear them into pieces with your hands. For a light summer salad you’ll want to use herbs that are soft and leafy, like parsley, mint, basil, chives, etc rather than the more woody types like rosemary and thyme.
And add a little extra!
Then I just add a few optional extras to really make it sing. Lately I’ve been adding cherry tomatoes, toasted walnuts, and a few shavings of vintage or parmesan cheese. A little drizzle of your favourite dressing, or some light olive oil, and that’s it! Easy peasy, and a super tasty way to get more herbs into your day.
Easy 5-minute herb salad
- 3 cups salad leaves
- 3 handfuls soft-leaf herbs, such as parsley, mint, basil and chives
- 1 dozen cherry tomatoes, chopped into 3 or 4 pieces
- 1/4 cup walnuts, halves or pieces
- small handful parmesan shavings
- 1 tbsp salad dressing (I've used Kewpie Roasted Sesame)
- Rinse and dry salad leaves and put into a large bowl. Use a salad spinner if you have one, or just give the leaves a good shake to get the excess water off.
- Grab a few handfuls of herbs (from your market is fine, but fresh from you garden is best!), and rinse and dry also. Rip them into smaller pieces and mix add to the bowl.
- Toast walnuts over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until mostly golden, and maybe a little charred. You'll smell the roasted aroma when they are about ready.
- Toss the walnuts, tomatoes and parmesan shavings into your salad.
- Drizzle your salad dressing on top and enjoy!