Cafe Green Salad by Melissa D'arabian

"I am really happy she won the Next Food Network Star challenge and really look forward to watching more of her show " Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian". This is a great recipe that is easy to toss together yet really fresh tasting. Why use bottled dressing when you can do this?"
photo by Lori Mama photo by Lori Mama
photo by Lori Mama
Ready In:


  • Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 1 garlic clove, sliced in 1/2
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 dash soy sauce
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salad

  • 3 cups salad greens (mixed, the darker the better, not iceberg)


  • Rub the inside of a large wooden bowl with the garlic clove and then either discard it or save it for another use.
  • Put the mustard in the bowl and whisk in the balsamic vinegar and soy sauce (a French secret!) vigorously for about 10 seconds to get a creamy consistency.
  • Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Drizzle in the olive oil as slowly as possible with 1 hand while whisking as quickly as possible with the other hand to emulsify.
  • Lay the salad greens on top of the dressing and toss just before serving.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Definitely worth a 5 star rating. It's so simple but absolutely delicious. The flavor of the vinaigrette is perfect. I wouldn't change a single thing. Just make sure you do have enough salad greens so the salad doesn't get over-dressed.
  2. Delicious! I added some sliced strawberries and caramelized almonds to it. I did change it up a little by reducing the oil to 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon of water. Everyone loved the vinaigrette. Thank you for sharing.
  3. Lovely salad recipe with accompanying dressing. The salad dressing is perfect in every way. I wouldn't and didn't change anything. Thanks for posting...
  4. Yum! I added some cucumbers and tomatoes to it. Next time I might cut down on the olive oil a bit, but otherwise -- it was perfect! Thank you for sharing!
  5. Delicious!!! I minced the garlic and added it to the rest of the ingredients and whisked them up. Let it sit for about 15 minutes and then poured it over a mixed green salad. Thank you for posting one of her to watch her...she is so upbeat and smiling all the time. Definately will add this to my recipes.


I grew up in Tucson but moved to Colorado in 1989 and live in a household with my husband, Dad, daughter and 3-year old twin granddaughters. Our 8-year old grandson spends 2 nights a week with us. All of that adds up to often difficult menu ideas to met everyone's tastes. Zaar is very addicting and I love trying the recipes I find here. I like to find recipes of people that I see are still active on Zaar and love it when I hear back from the Chef after I review the recipe. Everytime someone reviews one of my recipes, I like to find one of theirs to make and review as quickly as possible. It's a way for me to find great chefs I don't know yet too! My husband has high blood sugar so we try to watch our carbs, but it is not easy because we love them so much! I was diagnosed with brain tumors in 2005 and so far have had 5 surgeries that have left my eyelid droopy. I hope to have a surgery that will correct that soon!! There is still one tumor they have not removed but my wonderful doctor James Garrity at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN says they will leave it alone until or if it ever causes problems!
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