Herb Salad Recipe

A lovely herb salad recipe made from lots of summertime herbs, green beans, and corn.

Herb Salad

Those of you who have been longtime readers know that I struggle on the gardening front. Oh how I struggle. Some years I don't even bother planting anything. I'm sufficiently discouraged by the skeletons of previous crops - they greet me when I step out to stretch on my back patio each morning. One neighbor is convinced I'm simply a drip line away from my own personal container garden of Eden. Sure. I was having lunch with two friends back in March, one is an editor for the garden section of a major magazine, the other is an accomplished food writer - she had an article about her (newly) prolific lemon tree in the newspaper that very week. It was inevitable, the topic turned to gardening. I half-heartedly stated, "well maybe this is my year."

Herb Salad Recipe

Thinking back on it, this was more a question than a statement. Over the course of the next five minutes, it was decided that I would grow lettuce. They said, "anyone can grow lettuce." They said, "sprinkle the seeds in a pot, water, seriously, anyone can grow lettuce." So I bought a $100 pot. It might have been $200, I can't remember. Shallow, wide, architectural - perfect for lettuce growing, right? Sprinkled the seeds (heirloom red lettuce!), watered, stood back and waited. Nothing really happened. Nothing really happened for weeks, and then months. It was a shallow pot of dirt for the duration of the summer. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, a week or so back, the pot sprang to life with stunning red lettuce. In my eyes, a small miracle.

Herb Salad Recipe

Although the lettuce seeds were (painfully) slow to sprout, it was a gateway crop of sorts. After I planted the lettuce I started collecting other edible plants. Why stop at lettuce? This was my year. I picked up a few edibles at Flora Grubb - one of the nice guys who works there set me up with an earful of advice and some organic fertilizer. I have a pot for thyme, a pot for snap peas, one for pineapple sage, curry, chives, red heritage raspberries, currants, basil and red-stemmed peppermint. The dill plant I bought at the Marin market back in April never made it into a pot, but it is still alive. I harvested three currants last week. Still no drip line.

Herb Salad Recipe

I love my little garden, even though I'm still trying to understand it. Lots of the plants are flowering, I suspect they wouldn't be flowering if they weren't happy - or at least that's what I tell myself. I made this herb salad using some of them of what I picked out on my patio, supplemented with ingredients from the market. I can't quite bring myself to pick the red lettuce yet.

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Herb Salad Recipe

Buy your corn in husk, the best tasting corn I get is from the farmers market - stay clear of the husked, shrink wrapped stuff. If you like a little spicy kick add some chopped serrano chile to the avocado dressing. You can easily make this vegan by leaving out the yogurt in the dressing - I might thin it a bit with water or a splash of olive oil.

2 ears sweet corn, husked
1 big handful lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
3 big handfuls green beans or haricots vert, blanched for 20 seconds in boiling salted water, cooled completely under cold water

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch of chives, finely chopped
1 handful cilantro, loosely chopped
1 small handful of small/medium basil leaves
1 handful of pepitas, toasted

fine-grain sea salt
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 medium avocado

Cut each ear of corn in half and carefully cut kernels from cobs. Combine the raw corn, lettuce, green beans, red onion, herbs, and pepitas in a large bowl.

Now make the avocado dressing by sprinkling a big pinch of salt on the garlic clove. Chop and crush it into a paste. Place the garlic in a medium bowl along with the yogurt, lemon juice, and avocado. Puree with a hand blender. Taste, add salt one pinch at a time until properly seasoned. If you aren't dressing the salad immediately, cover with plastic, pressing into the top of the dressing to prevent browning.

Gently toss the ingredients with a couple big dollops of the avocado dressing. Taste, add a bit of salt and/or more dressing if needed.

Serves about 6-8.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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This salad looks really yummy, Thanks for sharing this with us.

ms recipe

Herbs will stop growing if you let the flowers bloom. The reason is being they are an annual plant their one mission in life is to produce a seed. Since the seed develops from the flower,they must be plucked out! Sorry! Once they seed their mission is accomplished and they won't put any more energy into growth (read- producing your fine herbs !) GLAD you are keeping on trying! Les


hi--why bother puting someone down for exercising a reasonable choice? perhaps some of us would rather not support small-business crushing entities like wal-mart, or at least buy their cheap plastic imports. troll elsewhere if you can't exercise respect in this forum, which usually attracts high-minded readers.


Heidi - It's so wonderful that you are gardening! Watching your own plants grow is quite a miraculous event. I love to garden and I believe that everyone can and should do whatever they can to grow their own food - even if it just means keeping some potted herbs on the window sill. You can't get much more local food than that. It's such a great feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction watching the plants turn into your dinner. Keep up the good work!


We have our first garden this year. I think it's my first since I was a girl planting sunflowers with my grandpa. We have chard up the wazoo and I think the zucchinis might overtake our house while we go on vacation. So exciting. Good luck with the lettuce. I'm sure you'll make the right choice.

RookieMom Heather

I agree, Barbara. We all have our pleasures in life! It's what makes us special and different. I bet that's a beautiful pot, Heidi! Congrats on a great garden this year!

Jen O

The best part of America is the right to do what you want, if it is legal, and not damaging other people. So, HS, enjoy your $100 pot and go into Walmart only if YOU want to. My husband spends $100+ on cigarettes (with medical diagnosis of PAD); maybe not wise, but it is still his choice. Enjoy your pot, even if you give it away tomorrow. I love your website. Keep up the good work, lovely recipes, and wonderful pictures.


Who the hell in their right mind pays $100-$200 for a pot to grow 99 cent lettuce in? Buy a pot at Walmart for $5.00 its the jumbo sized one. HS: Not really sure how to respond to this one - I liked the way this pot looked. :/ It was unique and well made. I suspect I'll have it for a long time.


There is nothing as satisfying as getting your dinner from the back yard.


You may want to pre-sprout your seeds - wrap them in a wet paper towel and leave in a ziploc in the window for a few days. Container growing is a wee bit more difficult than ground growing - pots dry out muy rapido!


Looks very fresh and healthy. I am always looking for no-cook recipes that won't heat up my house. Can't wait to try it. The other night I made the edamame soup and the sunkissed buttermilk cake. Both turned out great. Thank you for sharing!


Heidi~ What are the flowers in the picture after the red lettuce??? They are so beautiful, as is your dish. I will definitely make this when the weather warms up again (though I have to admit, I am enjoying this break from the heat we're having in the bay area). Thanks for the lovely pictures and the never-ending inspiration! :-)


I know exactly how you feel :-) In early March someone gave me a yellow pepper plant, and I planted it, and watered it, and watched it closely as it grew and grew and grew...although no peppers. Just recently though (a whopping 4 months after I originally got the plant), a little pepper started growing on it--a miracle! I love watching it grow every day. I am no farmer--this is ONE pepper, but I have been daydreaming of how I'll eat it when it turns yellow :-)


Your photography, as always, is as enticing and immaculate as your recipes... What ARE those lovely little flowers?


My son is an organic farmer and I can't grow a house plant. But, this year I planted lettuce, basil, chives and parsley in pots and they did great. Especially the basil. I have made lots of pesto and frozen it. The lettuce did great for a while. I used most of it but then it got to hot for it to thrive. Of course, every week I get organic produce from my wonderful son & daughter-in-law. I have purchased your wonderful cookbook for my daughter-in-laws birthday this month.

Pauline Cambridge

Wow! The colors just punched me in the eye (to borrow a phrase that was used on my photos). The vibrant green and the delicate, creamy pastels are just gorgeous. I have my own gardening woes -- mainly, over ambition. Things are growing extremely well this year -- problem is I can't find the tomatoes and beans and peppers because all the greenery has just exploded. I had the best intentions of keeping a Martha Stewart-ish garden but now for all the neighbors know I could be hiding contraband in all that greenery! Ah well, we do what we can. Thank goodness for farmer's markets!

Becky And The Beanstock

This looks delicious, and I happen to have chives and cilantro growing in pots in my kitchen! I'm excited to try this!


You should look into Earthboxes for gardening. (Check out earthbox.com). I have gardened for many years, but am recently having the best success with these planter boxes on my patio.


You should look into Earthboxes for gardening. (Check out earthbox.com). I have gardened for many years, but am recently having the best success with these planter boxes on my patio.


what a beautiful, delicate salad! i'm terrible with gardening... i have a few pots of herbs on my balcony, and i always manage to kill them... although when i try to make them come back to life with water and attention, they usually pull through! my chives burst into flower though last month, and they were just so gorgeous! your red lettuces look beautiful, i would be reluctant to pick them too...

charlotte s

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