July 5, 2023

Balsamic Blue Cheese Salad with Pickled Vegetables

This salad with blue cheese and pickled veggies is a recreation of a salad I recently had at a charming Italian restaurant in Quebec City. The restaurant was located away from the crowded touristy bubble, in an area where it seems locals prefer to dine. (I always make an effort to discover restaurants with excellent reviews that are slightly off the beaten path, as they tend to offer a better experience.) While ordering my entrée, I also craved and needed a side salad. To my delight, the pickled carrots and onions stole the spotlight, providing a really nice twist and reminded me how a simple addition can elevate a dish—just like in this case, the salad. If you have the time and desire, you can certainly pickle your own veggies. However, for added convenience, most grocery stores offer pre-pickled options. Keep an eye out for a jar of pickled carrots and onions, and some may even include cauliflower as well.

I made a simple balsamic vinaigrette for the dressing. Naturally, since blue cheese may not appeal to everyone, feta is a fantastic alternative that can be easily substituted here. This salad has been in regular rotation ever since our return from the trip. I hope you enjoy this nice change in your salad repertoire.  

Ingredients

 2 heads romaine lettuce (or more, depending on lettuce size) cut into bite-sized pieces
 ½ english cucumber, sliced
 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
 4 radishes, sliced thin
  cup pickled vegetables (such as onions, carrots, and cauliflower), chopped
 2 oz blue cheese crumbles (feta can be substituted)
 ¼ cup pine nuts
Vinaigrette
 3 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
 1 tsp dijon mustard
 1 large clove garlic, minced or grated
 sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  cup extra-virgin olive oil
 1 tsp honey, optional

Directions

1

In a small bowl, build the vinaigrette. Whisk vinegar, garlic, dijon, a sprinkle of sea salt, and a few turns of fresh ground pepper together. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking. Taste test and add a small amount of honey, only if needed; set vinaigrette aside.

2

Toast the pine nuts. Assemble the salad by layering the lettuce, cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes, and pickled veggies. Top the salad with crumbled blue cheese and the toasted pine nuts. Spoon vinaigrette over the salad until the desired amount of coverage.

Balsamic Blue Cheese Salad with Pickled Vegetables

Balsamic Blue Cheese Salad with Pickled Vegetables

Category, , , , , DifficultyBeginnerYields4 Servings
Prep Time10 minsTotal Time10 mins

Ingredients

 2 heads romaine lettuce (or more, depending on lettuce size) cut into bite-sized pieces
 ½ english cucumber, sliced
 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
 4 radishes, sliced thin
  cup pickled vegetables (such as onions, carrots, and cauliflower), chopped
 2 oz blue cheese crumbles (feta can be substituted)
 ¼ cup pine nuts
Vinaigrette
 3 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
 1 tsp dijon mustard
 1 large clove garlic, minced or grated
 sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  cup extra-virgin olive oil
 1 tsp honey, optional

Steps

1

In a small bowl, build the vinaigrette. Whisk vinegar, garlic, dijon, a sprinkle of sea salt, and a few turns of fresh ground pepper together. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking. Taste test and add a small amount of honey, only if needed; set vinaigrette aside.

2

Toast the pine nuts. Assemble the salad by layering the lettuce, cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes, and pickled veggies. Top the salad with crumbled blue cheese and the toasted pine nuts. Spoon vinaigrette over the salad until the desired amount of coverage.

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3 Comments

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    Reply
  2. awesome

    Reply
    • Glad you enjoyed it! It’s delicious!

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