This is the perfect side salad for so many dishes! It is my go-to when I want simple and flavorful greens to serve with egg dishes, meats, soups, etc. I love making my own salad dressings because you know exactly what you’re eating, and it couldn’t be more simple. This salad is particularity great because everything is made in one bowl.

First you rub the bowl with a halved clove of garlic for a little, but not overwhelming, garlic flavor. Then you mix together balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt/pepper, and a tiny splash of soy sauce (the secret ingredient!). Then place your favorite salad greens on top of the dressing mixture and toss it all together right before eating.

When selecting balsamic vinegar, be sure to choose a high-quality kind with no added caramel color. I learned this the hard way a few years ago! I had used a new balsamic vinegar in some roasted brussel sprouts one night and a salad dressing the next day. By the end of the 2nd day I had the patches of itchy skin I get when I get “glutened”. I couldn’t figure out what I could have possibly eaten since I hadn’t eaten out recently! I finally discovered my balsamic vinegar had added caramel color which contained gluten. Luckily that was the last time I ever accidentally poisoned myself! Trader Joe’s sells a great balsamic vinegar that contains no additives. I also love switching this salad up with red wine vinegar!


One-Bowl Cafe Green Salad


Be sure to use a high-quality balsamic vinegar with no added caramel color. Sometimes caramel color contains gluten!


  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • small splash gluten-free soy sauce
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 cups salad greens


  1. Rub the inside of the serving bowl the the halved garlic clove.
  2. Whisk together the Dijon, balsamic, soy sauce, and salt/pepper. Pour in the olive oil while whisking.
  3. Place the salad greens on top, toss just before serving. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from