Q&A: How to Use Fresh Herbs in Salad

Q&A: How to Use Fresh Herbs in SaladHello Wednesday!

Let’s dig right into our question this week, which is once again totally timely as we start to lighten up our meals with a nod to spring. (Is it too early to be super psyched for summer? No?! Okay, good- cause I’m totally impatient for shorts and sunshine.)

Q. I keep noticing on restaurant menus that their salads include fresh herbs. How can I use fresh herbs in my salads at home and how do I know what tastes good together?

A. Ooooh…what a great question! I love how you sleuth out new cooking ideas on restaurant menus. That’s a totally Lauren thing to do. (And I may or may not sneak iPhone pics of my favorites.)

On to your question- let’s talk about incorporating fresh herbs into salads. Fresh herbs add interest and finesse to any salad and are so much more than a garnish. I’m not the most willing salad eater, but don’t need any coercion to dig in for seconds or thirds when the salad is laced with fresh herbs.

Parsley: Curly or flat, you can never go wrong with parsley. If you’re using curly, I prefer it chopped quite finely so it doesn’t scratch as you chew. If you’re opting for flat leaf parsley, you can either chop it fine or just de-stem it and put the leaves in whole.

BEST SUITED FOR: Any type of green salad. Also great in egg salad and quinoa salad

  • Salads with garlic, lemon and olive oil dressing are out-of-this-world with a generous helping of parsley.
  • Parsley pairs well with fish, so a salad topped with salmon or tuna is great with parsley.
  • For a double helping of herbs, pair it with basil or mint.

Mint: Mint infuses any salad with life. It adds instant freshness and cooling.

BEST SUITED FOR: Great in bean salad, fruit salad and almost all green salads.

  • Great with a yogurt based dressing.
  • Plays well with ginger, honey and lemon- another salad dressing option.
  • Mint also pairs well with feta cheese, cucumbers, pears, tomatoes and carrots.  

Basil: I love to stack my basil leaves on top of each other, roll them into a cylinder, and then cut them across, creating beautiful thin ribbons of basil.

BEST SUITED FOR: Spinach salad, egg salad, and quinoa salad.

  • Wonderful with a spinach salad topped with chicken or egg
  • Outstanding with a garlic-based and olive oil based dressing
  • Great with both goat cheese and feta cheese
  • Pair it with tomato and/or thin slices of zucchini

Cilantro: Cilantro has a very loud, specific flavor. You either love it or you don’t! 

BEST SUITED FOR: Asian-inspired salads.

  • Great with lemon, lime or yogurt based salad dressings
  • Add ginger or garlic to your dressing too
  • Salad additions include avocados, tomatoes and white fish
  • Try it with dill and mint for a fresh and exciting combination

Do you have a question for me? I’d love to hear! E-mail me at theorganizedpantryblog@gmail.com.


3 thoughts on “Q&A: How to Use Fresh Herbs in Salad

  1. joyceappleby says:

    I loved reading your blog on fresh herbs in salad. Thanks for the ideal vinaigrette too, for all occasions. Must try the quinoa salad, especially if it travels well in summer. We take a lunch along most days whether the weather is fine or not…but making it ahead and thinking of healthy, tasty new ideas is challenging! Thanks for the great ideas! Keep them coming! JA


    • Lauren says:

      Thanks Joyce! Yes- coming up with new and exciting lunch ideas can be challenging. I’m glad you like the vinaigrette recipe- it has a mega favourite of mine!


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