Spring Green Salad with Garlicky Honey Mustard Dressing

Spring Green Salad with Garlicky Honey Mustard Dressing

This is not your typical salad, guys. It’s a meal of a salad, and there is just so much going on! I may even go so far as to call it “Springtime on a Plate.” Or perhaps, “The Salad to End All Salads.” Or somethin’. I should stop here, I’m not even doing it justice. Aaaaaanyway, I’ll let you be the judge.

Spring Green Salad with Garlicky Honey Mustard Dressing

I love assembling salads like this one because, while it does take a bit of time to prep each element, it’s 100% hands down worth it with every single bite.

But it’s also E-A-S-Y. There is nothing scary in here. It’s all good and simple stuff.

The Ingredient Deets

You’ve got the tender charred roasted asparagus.. (simple)

The toasty meaty hazelnuts.. (easy)

The tangy pickled beets.. (super easy, especially if you’ve already got a jar of ’em!)

PLUS! the salty crunchy bites of fried capers.. (nothing to be scared of, they taste like salt!)

The fresh bright dill.. (it’s so much more than just a garnish, promise!)

Plenty of hearty bites of kale.. (easy peasy)

Everything ties together perfectly with my all-time // favorite // go-to // homemade Garlicky Honey Mustard Dressing.

Spring Green Salad with Garlicky Honey Mustard Dressing

Garlicky Honey Mustard Dressing

Friends, I really hope you enjoy making homemade dressings as much as I do, wherever home may be. I can’t remember the last time I bought a bottle of salad dressing. Those poor things would always get used once or twice, and since I never really fell in love with any of them, they’d just end up stashed away in the way WAY back of the fridge for weeks and months. Not cool, I know!

So, in an effort to not waste bottles of dressing (you’re welcome Earth Mother), and also frankly because I’m quite lazy, I started making my own. Because then I can make small amounts of dressing that actually get eaten up, and even better, I can use pantry staples to do so. Score!

Seriously though, this dressing. It’s goooooo000oood. Mhm, yup. Yes ma’am. Yes sir.

Spring Green Salad with Garlicky Honey Mustard Dressing

I make this dressing all the time. It’s the perfect bite of salty-spicy-tangy-sweet and goes especially well with hearty greens like kale or romaine. Heck, you could probably even use it for other things that are not salad. Like roasted potatoes. Or pasta. IDEAS!

More Cool Things About This Salad

  1. It keeps extremely well — although if you’re making it ahead of time, you’ll want to leave the fried capers and toasted hazelnuts out until you’re ready to serve.
  2. I like being resourceful in the kitchen, and that means using the fried-caper olive oil a second time to roast the asparagus. Because why the heck not? Extra flavor!
  3. So many things about this salad can be switched up based on what you have on hand. But I think the kale + the dressing + the hazelnuts really make it super special.

Spring Green Salad with Garlicky Honey Mustard Dressing

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Spring Green Salad with Garlicky Honey Mustard Dressing

A lively, bright and fresh springtime salad bursting with flavor and completely meal-worthy. Pair it with your favorite hearty bread and dig in!


    Garlicky Honey Mustard Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon (zest first and reserve)
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 shallot, peeled and minced
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 tbsp honey (start with 1 tbsp, add more to taste)
  • 2 tbsp capers (with brine)
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt & fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • Spring Green Salad:
  • 1 large bunch Tuscan kale, tough ribs removed
  • 1/4-1/2 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup pickled beets, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1/4 cup capers (additional), drained and dried
  • 1 small bunch asparagus, tough ends removed and cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped


  1. GARLICKY HONEY MUSTARD DRESSING: Place all ingredients in a blender or small food processor and blend until smooth. Season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste.
  2. KALE: Remove the leaves from the tough ribs. Chop leaves thinly, wash and dry. Toss with a tiny drizzle of Garlicky Honey Mustard Dressing and "massage" for a few minutes until the kale has reduced in size and becomes more tender and less bitter (you can do this with your hands or tongs). Set aside.
  3. FRIED CAPERS: Drain an extra tbsp of capers and make sure they're dry. heat 1 tbsp olive oil in small heavy pan over medium heat. Once hot, carefully add capers. Let them fry for 2-3 minutes, or until they get brown and crispy. Remove from oil and set aside on a paper towel to let drain. Reserve the olive oil.
  4. ASPARAGUS & HAZELNUTS: Preheat oven to 425. On a baking sheet, toss asparagus with reserved caper olive oil and season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper. If you're not frying the capers, you can use regular olive oil here. Cook in the oven until tender and charred (12-15 mins) tossing once halfway through. When asparagus is close to being cooked through, add the chopped hazelnuts to the baking sheet and toss everything together to combine. Roast until asparagus is cooked all the way through and the hazelnuts are lightly toasted.
  5. ASSEMBLE: Toss the dressed kale with fresh dill, roasted asparagus, toasted hazelnuts and pickled beets until well combined. Portion into bowls. Drizzle on more dressing, and top with fried capers, reserved lemon zest and fresh cracked black pepper.


For family-style plating as pictured: toss the dressed kale with fresh dill and arrange on a platter. Top with asparagus, hazelnuts and pickled beets. Drizzle more dressing over the whole platter and finish with fried capers, lemon zest and fresh cracked black pepper.


What does your “Salad To End All Salads” look like?

Spring Green Salad with Garlicky Honey Mustard Dressing