Spring Green Salad with Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette

This spring green salad is fresh and delicious and a welcome sight when the spring vegetables come into season. The hazelnuts add a nice crunch, while the goat cheese adds a little unexpected creaminess.

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Ingredients for spring green salad on a wooden cutting board - orzo, peas, asparagus, green leaf lettuce, lemon, mint and dressing.


Salad servers living some spring green salad from an oval platter.

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How to Make a Vinaigrette

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Spring Green Salad with Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette

  • Prep Time: 15 m
  • Cook Time: 4 m
  • Total Time: 19 m
  • Servings:


  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 cup peas fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups green leaf lettuce coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup orzo, cooked
  • ¼ cup fresh mint chopped
  • ¼ cup hazelnuts chopped and toasted
  • 2 ounces goat cheese crumbled
Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • cup olive oil


  1. Bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil in medium saucepan. Cut the asparagus into 2-inch pieces. Blanch the asparagus in the water for 3 minutes. Add the peas to the saucepan and cook for 1 minute more. Immediately drain the vegetables and transfer them to an ice bath to stop the cooking process and set their bright green color. (this is called ‘shocking’)
  2. Make the lemon-shallot vinaigrette. Combing the vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, minced shallots, lemon juice and zest, thyme and black pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly. Whisk until the vinaigrette comes together and has thickened. Season to taste with salt.
  3. Place the salad greens in a large salad bowl and add the asparagus, peas, orzo and mint. Drizzle some of the vinaigrette over top and toss everything together. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add additional dressing, if desired. Top with the hazelnuts and the goat cheese. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
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Comments (12)Post a Reply

  1. 3 stars
    The 1/2 c. orzo in the recipe, is that the uncooked amount or cooked ? I cooked the 1/2 c. and it was sufficient for the recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    This salad is simply delicious. I made it tonight as a side dish with pasta; three of us polished off the whole thing, and my daughter took the rest of the salad dressing home. It’s a really healthy combination of vegetables, and the mint takes the flavor to a whole new level. I used a cup of cooked orzo, and agree that it was enough for the recipe, especially as a side. Thanks so much for posting this on Facebook – it’s going into permanent rotation.

  3. 5 stars
    This salad is a real winner. My family loves it and so do my guests. It is a wonderful idea for a summer dinner, but I just made it again in January and everyone was very happy. We gobbled it up in a meal and a half. And we had some leftover dressing so I can use it again tomorrow. Thank you so much Blue Jean Chef!

  4. Your recipe sounds delicious, my only modification is to use bulgur wheat instead of orzo pasta. Making tonight.

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