A simple, but delicious salad with romaine lettuce, crumbled feta cheese and toasted almonds, all tossed in an easy sweet and sour vinaigrette.
Today I wanted to share this simple salad, that is a copycat of a salad a local restaurant features. While it doesn’t have a lot of ingredients, it is surprisingly satisfying!
I think what makes this salad special is the lovely combination of flavours – from the crisp greens, to the toasted almonds, then the salty feta and all tossed in a simple sweet/sour/garlic vinaigrette. I love this simple salad and hope you will, as well!
Here are the simple ingredients you will need …
- Romaine Lettuce – go for the large, loose, dark green and leafy romaine lettuce, vs. the lighter coloured, packaged romaine.
- Feta Cheese
- Sliced Almonds
For the vinaigrette, you will need …
- Rice Vinegar – seasoned is specified, but unseasoned will work. See the Tip below to substitute unseasoned rice vinegar.
- Brown Sugar
- Fresh Garlic
- Oil – canola is what I use, but you can use any neutral-tasting oil you like.
- You’ll want your fresh garlic to be very finely minced, so use the fine side of your box grater or a whatever tool you night use to zest a lemon (stick-type microplane grater/zester).
- Speaking of the garlic, you can play around with the amount of garlic you add, to your taste.
- You probably don’t need to salt the salad at all, as the feta is salty and there is some salt in the vinaigrette.
- While the vinaigrette quantities are specific, you can consider the amount of lettuce, feta and almonds you use in your salad quite flexible. It’s just a matter of taste, so feel free to adjust.
- I love the simplicity of this salad, but if you are looking to add a bit more to the plate, I love to throw some pea sprouts into the mix, if I have them on hand. I also think a bit of red onion would be a great addition.
Be prepared to enjoy this salad anytime, but toasting extra almonds and making a double-batch of the vinaigrette. Refrigerate the nuts and vinaigrette, then you are ready to simply toss and enjoy anytime!
How to Toast Sliced Almonds
- In the oven: Scatter evenly on a baking sheet and toast in a 350F oven for 3-4 minutes, stirring a couple of times, until lightly golden.
- In a skillet: Heat a dry, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the almonds and cook, stirring, until lightly golden. Remove almonds from baking sheet so they don’t continue to cook on the hot baking sheet.
- In the microwave: Scatter almonds in an even, single layer on a microwave-safe plate. Cook in 30 minute increments, stirring well after each 30 seconds, until the almonds start to colour. Careful! Plate may be hot, so use an oven mitt. Remove almonds from plate when they reach the desired colour, so they don’t continue to brown on the hot plate.
Get the Recipe: Simple Feta and Toasted Almond Salad
- 1/4 cup canola oil, or sunflower, vegetable oil, or other neutral-tasting oil
- 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar, or seasoned and reduce the brown sugar by half
- 4 tsp brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp fresh garlic, finely grated, loosely packed
For the salad:
- 3 - 4 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1/3 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup Sliced almonds, toasted *see Notes below for how to toast almonds
- Salt and Freshly ground pepper
- Toast the almonds: Toast the almonds until lightly golden, in either the oven, on the stove-top in a skillet or in the microwave. *See Notes below for how-to toast almonds.
- Mix the vinaigrette: Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a small jar (or bowl). Shake or whisk well to combine. Set aside.
- Prepare the salad: In a large bowl, add the some chopped romaine lettuce. Sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese and the toasted almonds. Toss quickly to combine. Drizzle with enough of the vinaigrette to moisten to desired level. Toss to combine. Season with some freshly ground pepper, to serve, if desired.
In the oven: Scatter evenly on a baking sheet and toast in a 350F oven for 3-4 minutes, stirring a couple of times, until lightly golden. In a skillet: Heat a dry, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the almonds and cook, stirring, until lightly golden. Remove almonds from baking sheet so they don't continue to cook on the hot baking sheet. In the microwave: Scatter almonds in an even, single layer on a microwave-safe plate. Cook in 30 minute increments, stirring well after each 30 seconds, until the almonds start to colour. Careful! Plate may be hot, so use an oven mitt. Remove almonds from plate when they reach the desired colour, so they don't continue to brown on the hot plate.
More simple salad recipes you might like …
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!
Just wanted to say once again what an excellent recipe this is – it has become a go-to salad for me. In regular rotation at my house.
So glad to hear, Carolyn :) It’s in regular rotation here, too. So simple, but always hits the spot for me, too!
Made this for supper tonight – it is very very good. With the garlic and cheese it’s a nice substitute/change from Caesar salad.
So glad you enjoyed it and yes, it definitely has shades of Caesar salad, for sure. Thanks :)
What a delightful combination for a salad.
This one breaks from the norm for me.
So glad you enjoyed it, Dalila! Thanks so much :)
This is definitely my kind of salad as I always have feta on hand to top my greens! The vinaigrette sounds like the perfect pairing too. Perfect side salad Jennifer!
Thanks Leanne and yes, it’s perfect next to anything off the grill, I’ve found :)
Feta is so good, especially on salads! This looks like a delicious one, Jennifer! We’ve been eating so many salads lately and this one needs to happen soon :)
I’m always looking for new salad ideas Jennifer and I love this one! Love the combination of ingredients. On my list!
Thanks Mary Ann :)
Amazing looking salad! I love the combo of flavors you have going on :)
Thanks so much, Sarah :)
I have a (weird?) love affair with feta and always have some in my refrigerator! Needless to say, this salad is calling my name! I’m always on the hunt for new salads to add to the rotation, and I absolutely can’t wait to try this one!!
Thanks Cheyanne and I do, too! I’m never without it in my fridge :)
I love the simplicity of this recipe and the vinaigrette sounds fantastic. Can’t wait to try this salad. It’s what I’ve been craving. Pinned!
Thanks Tricia :)
I am beyond intrigued by the flavor medley here! Even though I consider myself a huge feta fan I have never before combined them with the deliciousness of toasted almond slivers. Great idea. Looking forward to enjoying this beautiful salad.
Thanks Milena and yes, it’s a bit of an unusual combination, but it works wonderfully together :)