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Simple Green Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette

This simple green salad recipe, like all great salad recipes, is ALL about the homemade, honey-kissed shallot vinaigrette. Use any salad green you love—there’s no way to go wrong!


simple green salad with shallot vinaigrette olives and pistachios

Just a Really Great Green Salad, Dressed with the Best Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette

We tossed this green salad together to serve with our beloved chicken paillard recipe, but really it’s a go-with-anything kind of recipe. A very French shallot vinaigrette tops a mountain of tender lettuce—any lettuce you love is fine—and honey-roasted pistachios and green olives add texture and yet another layer of lovely sweet-salty flavor. Some salads are boring, it’s true, but they don’t have to be. They can be like this salad instead! Textural, exciting, sweet-salty-savory, crunchy, refreshing, downright loveable. This is the kind of salad you can throw together when you’ve got people coming in ten minutes, or to accompany an otherwise boring weeknight supper.

lettuce, green olives, olive oil, shallots, lemon, mustard, honey and pistachios

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One Of Our Favorite Salad Dressing Recipes

Sharp shallots and creamy Dijon make perfect partners for a drizzle of honey in this lovely shallot vinaigrette recipe. Mince the shallots as finely as you can, and they’ll really make this salad recipe sing. It’s little things like fresh shallots and lemon zest in this homemade dressing that take this salad from regular to restaurant-quality. Here’s everything you’ll need to make this exceptional dressing:

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Dijon mustard

  • Honey

  • Lemons

  • Shallots

Shallot lemon juice, olive oil, lemon zest salt and pepper and honey in a bowl
Shallot Vinaigrette in a bowl

What Greens Are Best for Salad?

For salad-loving nerds like us, this is a really, really fun question to answer. Salad greens are SO delicious and they come in just about any size, shape, color or even flavor (no, really) that you can imagine. There is a salad green out there for everyone, it’s just a matter of finding the one you love best. Or, if you’re pairing this simple salad with a particular meal, you might select a lettuce based on what goes best with what your main dish is. If you pair this salad with chicken paillard—which again, is what we created it for—a classic choice is spicy, spritely, tender arugula. Seasonality is also always a consideration with salad greens! Look for what’s in season—in the midwinter, purple bitter lettuces like radicchio are peaking, where as in the early summer, you’ll find red leaf lettuce at its tenderest best. The best greens for salad are always going to be whatever is fresh and in season. Topped with crunchy pistachios, salty green olives and a beautifully balanced honey-shallot-Dijon dressing, there’s no way to make a bad salad with this salad recipe. With all of that in mind, here are some of our favorite greens to make this salad recipe with:

  • Butter lettuce. We love it! It’s sweet, tender, crunchy and it seems to go with everything. Plus those little cups looks so pretty, almost like flower petals.

  • Arugula. Perhaps a little spicy for kids, but most grown-ups (and some adventurous kids!) love these assertive, flavorful leaves. Peppery and delicious on their own, when paired with this dressing recipe they become a salad that’s absolutely unforgettable.

  • Mesclun mix or “spring mix”. This is usually just what it sounds like—a mix of lettuces. You can find it at the farmers market from early spring well into fall, or in those plastic clamshell boxes of lettuce at the grocery store. At the farmers market, a lettuce mix like this will often include a varied blend of whatever lettuce is in season—in the winter that might be hearty greens like kale, or in the warmer months it might be a spicy, textural combination of dandelion greens, frisée, baby spinach, mâche or endive.

  • Good old red leaf lettuce. Darker in color than butter lettuce, red leaf lettuce heads are perhaps not quite as perky and pretty but the flavor is always lovely. Plus red leaf lettuce heads are always covered in leaves that are tender and sweet, and (often) quite abundant, so a single head of lettuce will serve quite a lot of people.

Simple Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette, green olives, pistachios, honey, lemon juice and chives in a bowl
Simple Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette, green olives, pistachios, honey, lemon juice and chives on a plate

More Simple, Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes to Try

We love salad so much that we’ve actually rounded up our 30 favorite salad recipes here. But for brevity’s sake, we’ll focus on dressings for a moment. Homemade salad dressing is the only way to go—it truly takes about 30 seconds and the difference in flavor and quality vs. store-bought dressing is huge! Here are four salad dressing recipes we adore:

Tools You’ll Need:

simple green salad with shallot vinaigrette olives and pistachios

You Love It, Right?

Tell us how much you love this salad recipe! We want to know what you served it with, too! Did you serve it with our chicken paillard recipe, like we do? Or maybe some other favorite? Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

Simple Green Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  0 min
  • Calories: 209


  • 1 (5 oz) box lettuce (spring mix, super green mix or butter lettuce mix)
  • 2 Tbsp minced chives
  • 15-20 Green olives, pitted, halved about 3/4 cup
  • 1/4 cups honey roasted Pistachios, chopped

Shallot Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 2 Tbsp minced, shallots
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • freshly cracked pepper to taste


  1. In a large bowl whisk together the olive oil, mustard, honey, shallots, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper until the oil and lemon juice are fully emulsified.
  2. Add the lettuce to the bowl and toss to coat fully with the dressing. Sprinkle with chives, green olives and pistachios.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories209
  • Protein1 g
  • Carbohydrates6 g
  • Total Fat21 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium405 mg
  • Total Sugars2 g

Simple Green Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Christa

    I know it’s a shallot dressing but anything I can sub in? Grocery store didn’t have any!

    The white parts of scallions would work. Hope you enjoy!

  • lauren

    love your recipes!!! was curious what olive oil and dijon you like for your dressings, the oil makes all the difference, thx! xo

    Hi Lauren, Inglehoffer has a great dijon and stone ground mustard, we also like the basic private selection brand from Fred Meyer/ Kroger. La Tourangelle, Filippo Berio and honestly Kirkland (From Costco) are all great olive oils!

  • Christine

    Made the salad for Christmas dinner and it was a huge hit! I've used it for large crowds as well and everyone loves it! Simple, comes together easily and the components are unique enough to make it feel elevated without being too exotic. Love it!

    Thanks Christine, so happy you loved it!

  • Maik

    Love love love this easy salad recipe! We like to add a few home made croutons to add some more texture to it also.

    Thanks Maik! We are so glad you love this salad!

  • Monica

    Absolutely stunning. I wonder how long this dressing will keep in the fridge if I make it in a larger batch and store.

    About a week.