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June 10, 2022

French Bistro Salad

by Chelsea Hawkins, MPH, MCHES, RDN, LDN, CDCES

This is a classic salad found in bistros in France, known for its use of fresh herbs. Pair it with a soup or sandwich for a light lunch, or with a rich food, such as meat or stew as an evening meal. You can also add a lean animal or plant protein and make it a meal on its own. The mentioned pickled shallot recipe is versatile—toss them with other meals, such as shrimp or fish tacos, or a grain bowl!

Prep Time:

30 minutes for quick pickled shallots, 10 minutes for the salad


4 servings


2 shallots, finely sliced
2/3 cup red or white wine vinegar
4 tablespoons white sugar
½ cup walnuts (can use another nut if desired)
6-8 cups leafy greens of your preference—spring mix or butter bib lettuce work well
1 cup chopped herbs of your choice—tarragon, chives, dill and/or basil work well
¾ cup chopped parsley leaves
1.5 tablespoons lemon juice
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon each salt and pepper, or to taste


  1. Quick pickle the shallots: stir sugar into vinegar until dissolved. Stir in shallots and leave for 30 minutes until they become floppy and turn pink. Drain.
  2. Toast the walnuts: place in a dry skillet over medium heat and shake/stir for 2 minutes until they smell nutty. Remove immediately and cool until use.
  3. Make the dressing: add the lemon juice, olive oil and salt to a lidded jar and shake until combined.
  4. Assemble the salad: pile lettuce on a relatively flat platter. Drizzle about ½ of the dressing, then toss gently. Scatter the fresh herbs, pickled shallots, and toasted walnuts over the top of the salad. Drizzle lightly with more dressing and serve!

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size: 1/4 salad
Calories: 145, Fat: 10g, Protein: 4g, Carbohydrates: 11g, Fiber: 3g, Sodium: 367mg

Adapted from:

Learn about our Nutrition Services here.

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