We have a new salad obsession - the Julienne Salad - you know, that kind of salad where everything is sliced into perfect, thin strips? It’s not just about the looks; this technique ensures every mouthful is a complete blend of delicious flavors and textures.
We’ve found that this salad is a fantastic way to bring a splash of color and a burst of diverse flavors to our table.
We believe the beauty of a Julienne Salad lies in its versatility, so we’re excited to share with you our favorite veggies for this dish and why they’re just perfect for it:
- Carrots: They add a sweet, earthy flavor and a vibrant orange color, and their firm texture holds up well when julienned.
- Cucumbers: Offer a fresh, crisp taste. Cucumbers bring a cool and hydrating element to the salad, and they are usually peeled and seeded before being sliced.
- Bell peppers: Julienne bell peppers, in a variety of colors like red, yellow, and green, add sweetness and a slight crunch, along with a burst of color.
- Celery: Known for its crisp texture and slightly bitter, peppery flavor, celery adds a refreshing crunch to the salad.
- Zucchini: While not as common, zucchini can be a great addition, providing a slightly sweet, mild flavor and a tender, crisp texture.
- Red or white onions: They bring a sharp, slightly sweet flavor that adds depth to the salad. They are often used sparingly due to their intense flavor.
These veggies in the salad are bursting with fresh flavors and hold up their crispness beautifully when cut thinly.
When adding meats to our Julienne Salad, we pick them with care as the goal is to complement those crisp, fresh veggie flavors. So, here’s a rundown of our top protein picks:
- Chicken: Grilled or roasted chicken breast, sliced thinly, is a popular choice for its lean protein and mild flavor that pairs well with various dressings and vegetables.
- Ham: Julienne strips of ham or cubed ham adds a savory, slightly sweet flavor. It’s often used for its contrast with the crispness of the vegetables.
- Turkey: Like chicken, turkey breast offers a lean protein option with a subtle flavor that doesn’t overpower the other ingredients.
- Roast Beef: Thinly sliced roast beef can bring a rich, savory depth to the salad.
Need vegetarian options?
For a vegetarian-friendly Julienne Salad, you can include various protein-rich options that complement the veggies beautifully. Here are some great choices:
- Tofu: Firm or extra-firm tofu, cut into thin strips and perhaps lightly pan-fried or marinated, adds a great texture and is excellent at absorbing the flavors of the dressing.
- Chickpeas: A great source of protein and fiber, Either roasted for a crunchy texture or used straight from the can for a softer bite.
- Edamame: These young soybeans are tender and have a mild, sweet flavor, adding color and protein to the salad.
- Quinoa: Cooked quinoa can be sprinkled over the salad for a protein boost. Its tiny, fluffy grains also add a pleasant texture contrast.
- Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds can be sprinkled over the salad for added protein, healthy fats, and a crunchy texture.
- Egg: Hard-boiled eggs, sliced or chopped, provide a soft, creamy texture and a gentle, rich taste, making them a fantastic addition for an extra layer of flavor and protein.
Adding cheeses to the salad isn’t just about the burst of flavors and textures; it also transforms the salad into a more filling and satisfying meal. Here are some of our favorites;
- Cheddar: Sharp cheddar cheese, julienned, shredded, or cubed, adds a bold, tangy flavor that pairs well with both vegetables and meats.
- Swiss Cheese: Known for its mild, nutty flavor, Swiss cheese is a common addition that complements the other ingredients without dominating the taste.
- Mozzarella: For a lighter, more delicate cheese flavor, mozzarella can be a great choice, and it’s perfect in summer salads.
- Parmesan: Shavings or finely grated Parmesan can be sprinkled over the salad for a salty, nutty flavor.
The choice of dressing for a Julienne Salad is a game-changer. While we love light, zesty vinaigrettes and a simple mix of olive oil and lemon juice, we don’t shy away from more substantial options like creamy ranch or rich Caesar dressing. These fuller dressings add a decadent twist, perfectly pairing with crisp veggies, heartier meats, and cheeses.
The trick is to pick a dressing that enhances the crisp, fresh taste of those julienned veggies, meats, and cheeses without drowning them out. Let’s explore some dressing ideas that strike that balance;
- Vinaigrette: A classic choice, vinaigrettes are light and can range from simple (oil and vinegar) to more complex (adding mustard, herbs, or garlic); they add a tangy, bright flavor that enhances the freshness of the salad.
- Bacon aioli: This rich, smoky dressing is a delightful twist for those who love a bit of indulgence in their salad. The bacon aioli adds a depth of flavor that pairs wonderfully with the meats and brings a new dimension to the crisp veggies.
- Ranch dressing: Creamy and herbaceous ranch dressing is a favorite for those who prefer a more decadent dressing. Its creaminess pairs well with the crisp vegetables and the richer meats and cheeses.
- Italian dressing: This zesty, herb-infused dressing is tangy and slightly sweet, making it a versatile choice that complements a wide range of ingredients.
- Lemon juice and olive oil: A simple drizzle of lemon juice and olive oil can brighten up the salad without masking any flavors for a very light and refreshing dressing.
- Balsamic glaze or reduction: A balsamic reduction offers a balance of sweet and tart flavors, adding a gourmet touch to the salad.
- Pesto aioli: Pesto aioli is an excellent choice for a burst of herby goodness. Its fresh basil and pine nut flavors blend perfectly with the other ingredients, adding a Mediterranean flair to the salad.
- Caesar dressing: If the salad includes chicken and parmesan, a Caesar dressing can be a fitting choice, adding a creamy, savory depth.
Choosing the right fruits for a Julienne Salad can really elevate the dish, so let’s dive into some fruit options that pair perfectly:
- Apples: Crisp and slightly tart, apples add a refreshing crunch and a touch of sweetness.
- Pears: Juicy and sweet, pears offer a softer texture that complements the crisp vegetables.
- Melon: Honeydew or cantaloupe melon can be thinly sliced for a sweet, hydrating addition.
And, of course, the finishing touch: a sprinkle of chopped herbs, nuts, or seeds, adding both flavor and a satisfying crunch to the salad - yum!
How do I julienne food?
To make the julienne technique a little bit easier, trim the edges of the food, like a carrot, to form a rectangular shape. Cut along the length of the rectangle into ⅛ inch slices. Cut along the slices again so that you’re left with match-stick slices. This technique might take a little bit of practice, but we certainly think it's worth it for the results of a beautifully julienned salad.
You can also use a mandoline, a utensil used for slicing, for a quicker way to julienne food.
How should I store julienne salad?
It's best to store the dressing separately and toss it with the salad just before serving to keep the vegetables crisp; the vegetables can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days in an airtight container.
Can I add fruits to a Julienne Salad?
Yes, fruits like apples, pears, or melon can bring a sweet and tangy flavor to the salad, creating contrast with the savory ingredients.
How can I make a vegetarian or vegan Julienne Salad?
For a vegetarian version, omit the meat and add more variety of vegetables or plant-based proteins like tofu. For a vegan salad, also ensure that the dressing and cheeses (if used) are plant-based.
Is Julienne Salad healthy?
Yes, it's generally healthy, especially if loaded with a variety of vegetables, however, the nutritional content will vary based on the ingredients and dressing used.
This salad is colorful, healthy, fresh and it’s also packed with protein - a perfect lunch with variety and nutrition. “Julienne” refers to the French way of slicing vegetables and meats resulting in a visually beautiful salad.
1 julienne carrot
2 julienne celery sticks
1 julienne bell pepper
1 hard boiled egg
½ julienne cucumber
5-10 cherry tomatoes
4 oz. sliced mature cheddar
1 grilled sliced chicken breast
1½ oz. mixed green sald
3½ oz. fried cubed pancetta
2 green onions
4 oz. of your favorite salad dressing
Place the mixed green salad on a plate, then add the julienne vegetables, cheese and chicken on top of the green salad. Assemble the vegetables, cheese and chicken around the plate.
Add the slices of eggs to the middle of the plate.
Sprinkle the sliced cherry tomatoes, cubed pancetta and sliced green onions on top of the salad. Serve the salad with your favorite salad dressing.
This salad can be served as 2 portions for main meals or as 4 portions for side salads.
You can also use a mandoline, a utensil used for slicing, to julienne the vegetables for this salad.
- Calories 546 kcal |
- Carbohydrate Content 21.8 g |
- Cholesterol Content 181 mg |
- Fat Content 29.4 g |
- Fiber Content 6.5 g |
- Protein Content 51.8 g |
- Serving Size 1 portion |
- Sodium Content 1887 mg |
- Sugar Content 12.7 g |
About the author
Emma Donin is the culinary maestro behind this blog that serves as a melting pot of global cuisines and gastronomic adventures. Her culinary journey began in her grandmother's kitchen, where she learned the fundamentals of cooking and the importance of using fresh, quality ingredients.