Summer Salad with Vanilla Vinaigrette

Summer Salad with Vanilla Vinaigrette

Summer is almost here and the markets are just teeming with gorgeous produce.  I can hardly resist smiling at the mounds of vibrant, colorful vegetables.  Upon spotting a display of striped zucchini and multicolored carrots, thoughts of a fresh, summer salad immediately started running through my mind.  This Summer Salad with Vanilla Vinaigrette features shaved zucchini and carrot atop crisp greens dressed in extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and pure vanilla extract.  The vinaigrette is light and bright with just a hint of vanilla flavor.  Completely unique and utterly addicting.  I actually never imagined such a healthy salad (as in, no bacon or ranch or blue cheese, etc.) could be so good.  After photographing the plate above, I took one bite and could not stop eating.  Continue reading for the recipe.

Zucchinis and Carrots Summer Salad with Vanilla Vinaigrette
Adapted from Around My French Table.

1 bunch young carrots
2 zucchini or other summer squash
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Fleur de sel or kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 handfuls of salad greens

Salad Greens Wash and trim the carrots and zucchini.  Using a mandolin or sharp knife, carefully slice carrots and zucchini into thin ribbons.

In a small bowl or jar, combine extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, vanilla, a few pinches of fleur de sel and several turns of freshly ground black pepper.  Whisk or shake to combine.

To plate, place a handful of greens on a small, chilled salad plate.  Top with artfully arranged carrot and zucchini ribbons (this is the fun part).  Finish with a drizzle of vanilla vinaigrette.  Season with additional fleur de sel and pepper if desired.

Makes 6 servings.


  1. says

    Vanilla Vinaigrette sounds lovely and i adore vanilla ANYTHING!the pics are gorgeous!  Simple, overhead, dark contrast + bright and salad colors also with the dark leaves…just perfect!

  2. says

    Hi Brandon – your salad looks psychedelic! So vibrant it seems like I can taste it from here!
    Love the dressing, I made one last February with vanilla bean and lime. It was a big hit too. Vanilla in a vinaigrette is a winning combination. YAY for summer salads!

  3. Eliots says

    Great pic.  I am getting fresh carrots and baby zucchini now so I will have to try this.  I am intrigued about the flavors!  Thanks.

  4. Nancy Buchanan says

    I love that cookbook!! I haven’t tried this dressing yet but it’s certainly moved up on my “to make list”!
    Brandon – your photos are gorgeous!!!!

  5. Platanosmangoes says

    I cannot wait to make thiw dressing….I am so happy I am following your blog…great posts.


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