Simple Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

by zesty on November 20, 2008 · 19 comments

Can you believe it is Thursday already?  It’s the time of year where the weather is cooling off and winter is drawing near.  I thought I would make one more crack at the outdoor grill and whip up a simple salad packed with flavor.

Recently, I have been on a maple kick so I thought I would create a Maple Vinaigrette for this salad.  Salad dressings are so easy to make and have much better flavor than store bought dressing.  Give this one a try and tell me what you think.

Grilling vegetables is a great way to add a fresh flavor compared to the normal run of the mill boiled vegetables that we sometimes get trapped into.  What’s the proper way to grill vegetables?  First, make sure your grill is hot.  Then add oil to both the vegetables and the surface of the grill as you do not want them sticking.  Furthermore, stay close by as they will not take too long.

Maple Vinaigrette


  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic or sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns


  1. Combine mustard and basil in a small bowl.  With a whisk, add vinegar, maple syrup, lemon juice and garlic.
  2. Add olive oil and continue whisking until ingredients are mixed well.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Refrigerate, the dressing will keep for several weeks.



  • 8 Oz Sirloin (grilled to your liking)
  • 4 Cups Baby Spinach
  • 1 Grilled (sliced) Zucchini
  • 1 Tomato (sliced) Grilled
  • 1 Red Onion (sliced) Grilled
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Preheat grill (indoor or outdoor).
  2. Season and grill beef to your liking and set aside to rest.
  3. Chop all vegetables and place in a bowl.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  5. Mix and coat evenly.
  6. Place on the grill and cook until almost tender (you do not want them to soft).
  7. Prepare baby spinach (wash and dry).
  8. Using your final salad bowl, place some of the dressing in the bottom.
  9. Add spinach and vegetables on top and toss gently to coat.
  10. Add the Steak on top.
  11. Drizzle with remaining dressing and season with coarse salt (if you like) and pepper.
  12. ENJOY!

Zesty Tip: To avoid an uneven coating of dressing on the salad, try adding some dressing to the bottom of the bowl before adding the ingredients  – then gently tossing them and topping the dressing off with the remainder.

One note, as I was eating this salad, I realized that some toasted nuts would also be great on here so I went ahead and threw on some walnuts.  It added another dimension of flavor that I suggest everyone tries.  For all the vegetarians out there, by all means just remove the beef and add more of your favorite vegetables.  It is still delicious.

I hope everyone has a great Thursday!

Take Care


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