Mixed Greens Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing

This salad is really pretty simple, some greens, some cheese and some homemade croutons. It’s the Warm Roasted Garlic Dressing that is so outstanding!

Mixed Greens Salad with Smoked Mozzarella and a Warm Roasted Garlic Dressing

Over the past several years I’ve slowly but surely segued away from anything close to a ‘standard’ salad. I can’t remember when I had one with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and onion. My personal trend toward different includes more fresh fruits and nuts in salads and there is pretty much one reason why. Tomatoes or lack thereof. Which is one reason I love this Mixed Greens Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing.

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There is a small window of opportunity in the summer when tomatoes are amazing and those grown outside that window, in hothouses, well they just don’t cut it if you ask me. So I give a lot of credit to my changing direction to the lack of good tomatoes. 

This Mixed Greens Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing was my first foray into an ingredient filled salad that has no tomatoes, no cucumbers and only strings of roasted red onion. I do believe I can say that this salad with it’s Warm Roasted Garlic Dressing is simply my favorite salad.

Mixed Greens Salad with Warm Roasted Garlic Dressing and Smoked Mozzarella

That being said, this Mixed Greens Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing is not one of those that you just throw together at the last minute either. Both roasted red onion strings and croutons are made for the salad and baked alongside a head of garlic to be used for the dressing. So, yes, it’s a bit more timely but the combination of ingredients is sublime.

While I could eat this by itself for a meal, it’s just perfect next to a steak and I think no other meal components are necessary. I would suggest you also do what I do and double the dressing…it’s so perfect that even on those nights when quick is all you have time for, the dressing alone is great on the old standard of simply lettuce, tomato, cucumber and onion!

With this weeks theme of Greens for #SensationalSides, I know you’ll find more than one reason to be motivated to make something new! Be sure to check out my friends offerings; with warm weather on the way, salad will be on the menu more often and I can’t wait to try these!

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Mixed Greens Salad with Warm Roasted Garlic Dressing Served with Croutons and Smoked Mozzarella

Mixed Greens Salad with Warm Roasted Garlic Dressing from @creativculinary

Mixed Greens Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing

The most fabulous combination of flavors, this mixed greens salad has smoked mozzarella, homemade croutons, and a warm roasted garlic dressing.
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Salads, Dressings, Marinades and Sauces
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 853 kcal


  • For the Vinaigrette:
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 4 tablespoons plus 3/4 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup finely chopped shallots
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

For the Salad:

  • 2 large red onions sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rings, separated
  • 2 tablespoons 1/4 stick butter
  • 6 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 cups 1/2-inch cubes day-old sourdough bread
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 8 cups packed mixed greens about 10 ounces - I used a combination of romaine and red leaf lettuces
  • 1 cup packed grated smoked mozzarella cheese about 4 ounces


  • To Make the Vinaigrette
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Place garlic in small baking dish.
  • Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil. Cover dish tightly with foil; bake until garlic is tender, about 50 minutes. Cool.
  • Squeeze roasted garlic from skins into medium bowl. Mash with fork.
  • Add 3/4 cup oil, shallots, 3 tablespoons vinegar, and thyme.
  • Whisk to blend well. Season with salt and pepper.
  • To Make the Onions
  • Oil large rimmed baking sheet.
  • Arrange onion rings on sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil; toss to coat.
  • Put in oven with garlic and roast until tender and brown, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
  • Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar; toss to coat.
  • To Make the Croutons
  • Melt butter in heavy medium ovenproof skillet over medium heat.
  • Add chopped garlic and sauté 30 seconds.
  • Add bread cubes and rosemary and toss to combine.
  • Transfer to oven and bake until croutons are golden and crisp, about 10 minutes.
  • To Assemble the salad
  • Transfer vinaigrette to medium saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until hot.
  • Place greens in large bowl. Add cheese and onions and toss to combine.
  • Pour hot dressing over salad and toss to combine.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Top with croutons and serve.


If you have problems locating smoked mozzarella...grate mozzarella and add drops to taste of Liquid Smoke.


Nutrition Facts
Mixed Greens Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing
Serving Size
1 grams
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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    1. They are good I won’t deny. Make a lot; it seems I kept testing a bit here and there before it was time to mix the salads. I mean like I tested a LOT!

  1. We keep looking for decent out-of-season tomatoes, but they’re really getting harder to find. Even the old reliable — grape or cherry tomatoes — no longer are good. In fact, they’re downright bad, at least the last 2 or 3 containers that we’ve tried. So they’re no longer on our shopping list, unless they’re in season. Anyway, this looks so nice! I love salad season. Thanks for this.

    1. I will occasionally find some cherry ones that are OK but I planted a couple of big pots of cherry tomatoes last year and was reminded of how amazing the ‘real’ ones are so none measure up well. You at least have a more conducive environment for them. Our cool nights NEVER see us get the tomatoes of my youth; big enough to fit on a slice of sandwich bread. Ah, I miss those.

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