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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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 coco

Great salad dressing! Thanks for sharing Zesty!
And that beef looks so juicy!!!


2 Cate

the maple vinaigrette sounds perfect…gorgeous pictures, too…but what else is new?


3 VeggieGirl

Such a colorful salad!!

Happy Thursday, Cory!!


4 TheHealthyHostess

The salad looks AMAZING! And I don’t even like red meat! I stole the recipe to make it for my husband! He will love it! :) Also, I am still figuring out what I want the blog to look like, the design, so I will be in contact with you! :)


5 RecipeGirl

omg this one looks great. My husband usually scoffs if I’m serving salad for dinner, but this one he might be satisfied with!


6 Megan

Another amazing recipe! I love anything maple!! Sorry, no red meat for me…I will take the vegetarian version!


7 ZestyCook

Thanks Coco and Cate

Happy Thursday to you VeggieGirl!

Thanks HealthyHostess – sounds great!

Try it our recipegirl :)

Thanks Megan – No meat no problem (works and tastes just as well)


8 Biz

Yum! Maybe that’s a salad my husband would even eat!

Thanks for the maple idea for the dressing, never would have thunk it.


9 ttfn300

Mmm, mmm, that dressing is having me drooling! time for lunch :-P


10 Gera

Hi Cory!

A very tasteful salad..I adore grilled veggies and beef certainly (for me both versions, vegetarians or not are ok!)
Mmmm the colors are wonderful too! Have you tried to add grilled pineapple? It gives a very interesting semi-sweet flavor :-)

Gera .:. sweetsfoods


11 Farina

This recipe is a keeper! Thanks Zesty.


12 Bob

Oooo, that looks gooood. Do you let your dressing sit for a while to let the flavors mingle or do you just go ahead and use it right away?


13 Laurie

Your salad is gorgeous and the dressing sounds awesome! I can’t wait to try it. We’ve been making our own dressings for the past couple of months, but none as exotic as this. Guess that’s why you’re Zesty.


14 dawn

I love maple in a vinigrette. Soooo flavorful. This looks insanely good!


15 Culinary Cory

The grilled steak looks amazing. Now I’m hungry for a steak sandwich with a great cream sauce.


16 Bren

the colors in this alone make me want to go shopping and buy all the ingredients. so nice to *meet* you! hope we’ll visit each others’ blog again! :)


17 Julia

Hi Zesty Cook – thanks so much for what you offer! I made the maple vinaigrette the other day and it came out rather oily and lacking flavor. It seemed like there was too much oil in the recipe. I kept adding more of the other ingredients and now it tastes great. Is there maybe a typo on the 1 cup olive oil? Anyway, I love it – thank you so much :)


18 ZestyCook

@Julia – Actually just went back to check my recipe and there is a typo. Should be 2/3 cup Olive oil. My mistake – will update the recipe now. Thanks so much for pointing that out.



19 Melissa

So flavorful! I added a few extra veggies that I had on hand. And the dressing is fabulous! I shared a link to your recipe on my cooking blog. Thanks for the deliciousness!


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