Tossed Salad With Homemade Croutons and Oil and Vinegar Dressing

Tossed salad with croutons
James Carrier/Getty Images
Ratings (4)
  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
236 Calories
19g Fat
16g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 236
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 275mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Protein 3g
Calcium 73mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This simple tossed salad is one that will go with just about any meal, any time of the year. And although basic, what makes it special is the addition of homemade crunchy croutons flavored with garlic and herb. Drizzled with an easy red wine vinegar dressing, this salad feels complete, but couldn't be easier to prepare.

The salad is also extremely versatile. It calls for romaine lettuce leaves, red leaf lettuce, and some radicchio or endive, but feel free to use your favorite greens. You can also make it heartier by adding chicken, hard-boiled eggs, or chickpeas. With the protein, it makes a great supper salad for a hot summer evening.

Ingredients

  • For the Croutons
  • 4 slices of bread
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon basil (or dill)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • For the Salad
  • 3 cups romaine lettuce leaves (torn)
  • 3 cups mixed greens (torn)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved or sliced, or 2 medium tomatoes, diced)
  • 4 to 6 radishes (sliced)
  • 1 medium red onion (quartered and thinly sliced)
  • 1 medium carrot (julienned or shredded)
  • Optional: 1/2 cucumber (thinly sliced)
  • Optional: 1 (4-ounce) can olives (sliced)
  • For the Dressing
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this salad dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and assembly.

Make the Croutons

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Heat the oven to 375F.

  3. You can either leave the crust on the bread or trim it off if you prefer. Cut the bread into 1/2-inch cubes and put in a bowl.

  4. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with the basil or dill; toss to coat. 

  5. Spread the bread cubes out on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with the garlic powder and some kosher salt.

  6. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes or just until browned.

Make the Salad

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the romaine lettuce, mixed greens, tomatoes, radishes, onion, and carrot. Toss well.

  3. Top with sliced cucumbers and olives, if using.

  4. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Make the Dressing

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a jar with a screw-on lid or another type of container with a lid, combine the extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, and sugar.

  3. Shake to blend. Taste and add salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed. Keep refrigerated until serving time.

For Serving

  1. To serve the salad, toss with dressing and top with croutons; or top individual servings with the croutons and pass the dressing at the table.

  2. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Variations

  • Of course, a salad is a perfect recipe to add your own personal touches to. Feel free to swap out any ingredients you don't care for and replace with your favorite vegetables.
  • You can also add crumbled bacon, grilled chicken strips, or diced cooked ham to the salad.
  • Cheese is always a welcome addition; toss in about 1/2 to 1 cup of shredded cheese to the salad, or sprinkle the salad with crumbled feta cheese.
  • Add 1/2 cup of toasted slivered or sliced almonds or pecan halves; the nuts contribute extra flavor and crunch.
  • If you prefer, you can replace this dressing with a homemade buttermilk dressing, a balsamic and mustard vinaigrette, or a purchased salad dressing.