Easy Side Salad with Lemon Juice
An easy side salad that changes things up a bit with shaved Pecorino Romano, toasted pine nuts, and lemon juice.
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Love This Side Salad
Despite it being simple and only incorporating 5 ingredients, this salad offers up a TON of flavor. This is definitely a recipe that showcases how quality ingredients can make all the difference.
What to Serve With an Easy Side Salad
- Any kind of pasta goes perfectly with this lemony salad.
- Pizza! Any kind: caprese, sausage, cast iron, air fryer, you name it.
- This Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin is fantastic. You could also go for these pan-fried pork chops if you don’t have an air fryer in your arsenal.
- Chicken piccata and chicken marsala are also fantastic.
- Massage your greens! Because we’re just using lemon juice as a dressing, we like to push it right into those greens as much as possible for all-over flavor. You’ve probably heard of “massaged kale” before, and even though it sounds ridiculous and pretentious, the method serves a purpose. Massaging your greens tenderizes them. Most simply greens don’t need to be tenderized in the way that kale does, but with this salad, really rubbing the lemon juice into the greens promises bright and tangy flavors in every bite.
- Shave the cheese. Thinly shaved shards of bold Pecorino Romano or Parmesan make for a delicious mouthful and that’s really all I have to say about that.
- Toast your nuts. Sure, you could toss some untoasted nuts over this salad, but toasting the nuts creates a warm rich flavor that can’t miss. So, although this step isn’t necessary, I encourage it.
- Mixed greens. I like to use a nice artisanal lettuce or arugula
- Tomatoes. We definitely prefer small tomatoes, like grape or cherry tomatoes.
- Shaved Pecorino Romano. Or shaved Parmesan.
- Toasted pine nuts. Feel free to swap toasted pine nuts for toasted walnuts, almonds, or pecans.
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice. Though sometimes we use Tessamae’s Organic Lemon Garlic Dressing in this one; it’s amazing.
Other additions worth considering:
- Thinly shaved red onion
- Sliced cucumbers
- Sliced radishes
How to Make This Side Salad With Lemon Juice
- Start by toasting the pine nuts. Heat a dry pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Add the pine nuts to the pan in a single layer and let them heat up until they are golden in color and aromatic. Shake the pan every once in a while to prevent them from burning. This whole process should take about 5 minutes.
- When the nuts are golden in color, remove them from the heat and set them aside.
- After washing your greens thoroughly, pat them dry and pop them into a large serving bowl.
- Squeeze the fresh lemon juice over the greens and, with your bare hands, gently massage the lemon juice into the leaves to evenly coat them.
- Top the greens with tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, and shaved parmesan.
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More Delicious Salad Recipes
- Niçoise Salad w/ Sherry Vinaigrette
- Crunchy Greek Cucumber Tomato Salad
- Healthy Crab Meat Salad w/ Lime
- Caprese Salad w/ Toasted Walnuts
Easy Side Salad with Lemon Juice
- 5 oz greens (arugula, artisan lettuce, spring mix, etc.), washed and pat dry
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 cups halved grape tomatoes
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts You could also use walnuts, almonds, pecans, or hazelnuts.
- 1/2 cup shaved fresh Pecorino Romano or Parmesan
- Place the washed greens into a large serving bowl. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the greens and, with bare clean hands, gently rub the lemon juice into the leaves to evenly coat them all.
- Top the greens with the halved tomatoes, toasted nuts, and shaved cheese. Give the salad a quick toss, and serve.