This Julienne Salad is bursting with vibrant colors and flavors. It features delicately arranged vegetables, cheeses, and hard-boiled eggs, sprinkled with crunchy seeds and chewy dried fruits, and dressed with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.
A meal for when you want a little taste of everything, make this dish to have yourself or share with others. I would serve this over a long brunch when you want to spend time catching up and slowly grazing on your favorite tastes.
This julienne salad has bright, fresh, and sharp flavors from the sharp cheddar cheeses, citrusy clementine wedges, and tart-dried cranberries. Served for one, this dish is a meal on its own, one that you might only serve with a slice of bread or a few crackers.
If you plan to share this dish, maybe serve it alongside little tea sandwiches filled with egg and cress, smoked salmon, or cucumber and cream cheese.
While simple to make, this salad feels fancy, so I think it goes best with a bubbly drink that feels a little special, like a glass of sparkling water or a mimosa.
When you’re julienning the vegetables and cheese, don’t worry about perfection. Think about creating match sticks from your ingredients. Even if every slice isn’t perfect, you will still create a visually impressive effect when you arrange the ingredients on the plate.
When you make the hard-boiled eggs, I find it easiest to peel them if I immediately put the eggs in an ice bath after they have cooked and then remove their shells while they are just slightly warm.
What You Need to Make a Julienne Salad
This recipe has a lot of ingredients: eggs, avocado, red pepper, orange pepper, cucumber, carrot, radishes, clementines, parsley, sharp yellow cheddar cheese, sharp white cheddar cheese, grape tomatoes, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey mustard, sea salt, and ground pepper. This is a very adaptable salad, so substitute ingredients that fit your mood, tastes, and dietary needs.
- Large eggs
- Red bell pepper
- Orange bell pepper
- Sharp yellow cheddar cheese
- Sharp white cheddar cheese
- Grape tomatoes
- Dried cranberries
- Pumpkin seeds
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Honey mustard
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
What makes a julienne salad a julienne salad is the preparation of the vegetables and cheeses using a julienne cut. A julienne cut is a French technique that involves creating thin, even strips from your ingredients.
While this technique can be intimidating, there are several ways to achieve a similar cut using a knife and cutting board. In addition to these kitchen tools, you will also need a vegetable peeler, a bowl, and whisk, or a mason jar to make the dressing, and a saucepan and a slotted spoon to make your hard-boiled eggs.
How To Make a Julienne Salad
Make the hard-boiled eggs: Fill a small saucepan with water. The water should be deep enough to fully submerge your eggs in the water when you add them. Bring the water to a boil.
Then, slowly lower your eggs into the water. You can use a slotted spoon to lower your eggs into the water if you are worried about breaking them or burning yourself.
Reduce the heat to a low boil and cook uncovered for 12 minutes. Remove them from the water and place them in an ice bath to halt the cooking. After 4-5 minutes, when the eggs feel just slightly warm, peel them, and slice them in half.
Julienne the vegetables and cheese: Prepare your ingredients while the eggs are cooking.
Start with the carrot. Peel the carrot with the peeler. Cut the carrot into pieces 2-3 inches long. Then, cut each section of the carrot in half longways, creating a flat base. With the carrot resting on this flat base, cut the carrot into thin strips, around ⅛ -¼ inch in thickness.
Depending on the thickness of your carrot, you will probably need to slice each strip again. Turn each new strip of carrot on its side and slice it lengthwise, around ⅛-¼ of an inch in thickness. This should create match sticks out of the carrot.
Repeat this process with the peppers, cucumber, and cheese. Set them aside.
Prepare the other ingredients: Slice the grape tomatoes in half. Slice the radishes into thin rounds of around ⅛ inch thickness. Slice half of an avocado into strips.
Wash and dry a few sprigs of parsley. Peel and separate the wedges of a clementine. Set these aside until you are ready to assemble the salad.
Make the dressing: Place the mustard, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar in a bowl with a pinch of salt. Whisk the ingredients until they are smooth and well incorporated.
If using a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid, place the ingredients inside and shake vigorously until the ingredients are smooth and well incorporated.
Assemble the salad: Start in the center of the plate. Add a few sprigs of parsley and one hard-boiled egg. Then, moving around the outside of the plate, as though you were adding the lines of a clock, add small clusters of your ingredients.
Try to alternate colors so that you don’t put two ingredients of the same color next to each other. Add ingredients until you’ve added stacks all around your plate.
Sprinkle on dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds before adding the dressing. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.
What substitutions do you recommend?
If you make substitutions, think about flavors and textures that complement the other ingredients in your dish. Feta cheese is easy to cut into long strips and is one of my favorite things to have with cranberries and clementines.
You might prefer a different flavor like Swiss cheese, or even meat like ham or turkey. Other substitutions that would be delicious are toasted walnuts for pumpkin seeds, dried cherries for the dried cranberries, and beets for the radishes.
Can I make this in advance?
You can make everything in this dish up to several days in advance and assemble it when you are ready to serve it. You will likely need to whisk your dressing again to reincorporate the ingredients.
I don’t like balsamic vinegar. Can I use something else?
Of course! I encourage you to try making your own dressing—the freshness is unbeatable and it is really simple. But you don’t have to use balsamic vinegar for this recipe. Because of the fruits and underlying sweetness in the ingredients in this dish, I like the flavor of balsamic vinegar here.
Keep that in mind when you consider using a different acid. Infused vinegar, like ones flavored with pomegranate, apricot, or citrus would be delicious. You can also simply use lemon juice or orange juice. Just make sure you taste the dressing to make sure you’ve balanced the oil and acid to something you like.
What can I do with extra dressing?
Because this dressing doesn’t have fresh ingredients, it can stay in the fridge for several weeks. You can use this on other salads or marinate vegetables and meats before roasting or grilling them.
- 2 large eggs
- 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese (yellow)
- 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese (white)
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- 1 large carrot
- ⅓-½ orange bell pepper
- ⅓-½ red bell pepper
- 4-5 sprigs of parsley
- 1 medium cucumber
- 4-6 radishes
- 8-10 grape tomatoes
- ½ one large avocado
- 1 clementine
- 3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 ½ tablespoon honey mustard
- Sea salt (to taste)
- Ground pepper (to taste)
- Bring a small saucepan filled with water to a boil.
- Gently place 2 large eggs into the boiling water, reduce the heat to a low boil, and cook uncovered for 12 minutes.
- Remove the eggs from the water and place them in an ice bath.
- When the eggs feel just slightly warm, after 4-5 minutes, peel them and slice them in half.
- Peel one cucumber and one carrot.
- Cut into thin, julienne strips: 1 cucumber, 1 carrot, 4 oz. sharp yellow cheddar cheese, 4 oz. sharp white cheddar cheese, ⅓-½ a red bell pepper, and ⅓-1⁄2 an orange bell pepper
- Slice 4-6 radishes into rounds.
- Slice 8-10 grape tomatoes in half.
- Peel and section 1 clementine.
- Wash and dry 4-5 sprigs of parsley.
- Place 1 ½ tablespoon of mustard, ¾ cup of olive oil, ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Or if using a mason jar, shake vigorously until the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Assemble the ingredients on a plate, adding clusters of ingredients around the plate in a circular, starburst, or clock-shaped pattern.
- Garnish with a sprinkle of 2 tablespoons of dried cranberries and 1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds
- Dress with the balsamic vinaigrette.
Here are a few other recipes you might enjoy!
- Santa Fe Salad
- Vegan Croissant Sandwich
- Avocado Toast with Honey
- Mexican Breakfast Hash
- Carrot Waffles
Arielle is a food and drink photographer based in Washington, D.C. She was previously a social science researcher before she fell in love with photography.