Bird’s Nest Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Bird’s Nest Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Spring salads make me sing!

Bird’s Nest Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

My grandfather owned a produce business, supplying L.A. businesses for years.  I was raised by a mom who knew what to do with anything fresh.  I grew up loving fruits and veggies.  I gravitate to salads made with fresh herbs, artichoke hearts, fresh berries, bright red tomatoes and tasty cheeses.

Mom had a huge salad bowl that was always brimming full and she knew how to whip up a fresh and tasty vinaigrette.  I would say her favorite vinegar was red wine.  Although sweet and syrupy, I love balsamic, it’s just not so tart.  Dressing is essential to most salads.  Everyone needs a light, basic and easy to make homemade salad dressing.  Here are the  ingredients:
  1. The ratio is one part vinegar (or other acid) to three parts oil. That is very convenient because it breaks down to one teaspoon to one tablespoon.
  2.  The acid can be any vinegar (rice, balsamic, wine vinegar, lemon juice, etc.). The oil is most often a good extra virgin olive oil, but it might be grapeseed or canola (if I want to minimize it’s flavor) or sesame, walnut or mayonnaise.
  3. Add mustard (Dijon, yellow or any flavor) for pungency and to stabilize the mixture.
  4. Usually I mix it in the bowl before adding salad ingredients. 
Also, some fun and easy tips to change a basic vinaigrette recipe up a bit:
  • Use stevia, (I prefer liquid stevia in dressings) sugar or pure maple syrup instead of honey
  • Use a flavored vinegar; tarragon, raspberry or red wine, champagne, rice wine or white wine vinegar instead of balsamic
  • Use a spicy or whole grain mustard instead of Dijon.
  • Garlic or not, it’s your choice.
  • Add some fresh chopped green onion, dried onion or some Italian seasoning or any other herbs you like.
  • If you choose to use a juice, always use fresh; lemon, lime, or orange juice. 
So like me are you amazed that this is the last day of Spring?  We have been working in our yard, raking, planting fruit and shade trees and hanging feeders to bring in the birds.  One of my favorite things about our house is a small pond that is behind us and the birds and ducks like to congregate there, but I miss seeing them close-up.  So in their honor, and the fact that it took removing 3 nests from our front porch, (birdie behavior modification), “hey flying friends, we’d like you to move to the backyard, please.”  Finally they complied and we are now observing new baby birds!

Here’s an easy composed salad, my ode to Spring….Bird’s Nest Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette.

I found this little julienne tool and pulled it down the sides of yellow and green zucchini
creating yellow and green julienne shreds that I laid over top a romaine and spinach bed.  
We grilled up some chicken breast, let it rest for 5-10 minutes and slice it on the diagonal.
Garnish nests with any of your favorite veggies; cucumbers, grape tomatoes, and marinated artichokes, quartered.  Finish with quartered hard boiled eggs, lightly roasted asparagus spears and feta cheese and add my favorite go-to dressing, I whip up in my food processor.
Bird's Nest Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Best Balsamic Vinaigrette is the perfect go to dressing.
Recipe type: Dressing
Cuisine: French
Serves: 1 cup
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  1. Mix well with a whisk or food processor.
Try red wine vinegar instead of balsamic vinegar for another classic variation.
Good-bye spring, hello summer!

About The Author


Renée is passionate about making and sharing ALL things delicious! Her happy place really is her kitchen where she loves whipping up memories with her family and friends. Raised in sunny Southern California she's spent her adulthood in Idaho, both sides of her great state. She's married to an amazing man, and together they have 5 children, who gave them five more, and now they have 28 grandchildren. So there’s always a reason to cook and celebrate around their place!


  1. Brandi

    Love all the colors in this salad, perfect for summer!

  2. LDH

    This salad is perfect! Fresh, colorful and brimming with flavor. Hearty with the egg and chicken too 🙂

  3. Kelsie From Our Country Home

    You have my mouth watering here…I love big bowls of salad filled with fun and unexpected inexpedience (hubby not so much on the unexpected).
    I think I am going to try your easy to make vinaigrette too

  4. Pam

    YUM! 🙂

  5. Debbie

    Yay! The salad lady is back! I am in the mood for some new salad ideas since that’s the main thing I like to eat in the summer. I am so definitely shredding some squash on my next masterpiece. I love that.

  6. Julie

    What a beautiful salad! It looks like a piece of artwork! Hope you guys are doing well. Sending hugs from soggy Nebraska!

  7. Pondside

    It all sounds so good! I love that little rake, and what it does to the zucchini – so pretty.

  8. Red Couch Recipes

    Yum, yum yum — I can’t believe how fast the summer has gone! Better take some time to smell the roses. While visiting your site, I just said yes to my son making a fire in the fire pit — it’s a bit late, but I guess that is taking time to smell the roses. I hope your husband is doing well. I want one of those cool vegetable tools. Joni

  9. Carol at Serendipity

    That is my kind of salad. I love a chicken breast in a salad. I need to go to the market.

  10. Cathy

    Wow, I would say that is just about a perfect meal! I love a good salad with homemade vinaigrette. Thanks for the recipe and excellent tips.

  11. Garden of Egan

    That looks so delicious!
    I had no idea why the dressing needed to be parts and such.
    Thanks for the great lesson.

    The veggies are so pretty and inviting.
    I was feeling all gourmetish cuz I cut up a fresh pineapple and used a huckleberry vinegarette (not homemade….don’t judge)
    You inspire me!

  12. Lisa

    I’ve never seen such a pretty salad! This looks so fresh & yummy!

  13. bj

    This sounds wonderful….and looks even better. Beautiful..

  14. Jacqueline

    Come make those salads for me! That is soooo mouthwatering! I am craving a salad in this heat today. I knew we would soon be complaining about the heat – 96 today – and now the snow melt should become a real problem!!!

    That little rake is so great. I love how tiny it shredded the veggies. Isn’t TJ Maxx a treasure hunt? Love it.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

Welcome to CK!

We're Alison and Renée, and we're so glad you've joined us! Our kitchens are our happy place, where we're whipping up memories. Get comfy and check things out. We hope you find inspiring dishes and ways to better your life. Feeling optimistic, trying new things and sharing with those we love brings joy in all we do. It's time to cook, create and celebrate. CHEERS! Read More…


Sign-up Now - Don't Miss the Fun! Subscribe

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest and greatest from Cheery Kitchen. 

Thank you! You're all set.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This