Salad Recipes

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Broccoli Rabe and Avocado Salad with Lemon Dressing and Herby Molten Eggs

Hard- or soft-cooked eggs are one of the first things many people learn to cook, yet there’s much discrepancy surrounding this fundamental technique. Some insist that starting the eggs in cold water, slowly bringing the water to a boil, and keeping them at a boil until they reach the desired doneness is the best way, while others proclaim that after the boil is reached the pan should be pulled from the flame to allow the eggs to gently cook in the residual heat. In my book, Eggs on Top, I researched the best way to cook eggs in their shells, and I’m confident you’ll find this technique your new go-to for tender whites and vibrant golden, lusciously thickened yolks that slowly flow—a texture I refer to as “molten.” The secret is to not actually boil eggs at all, rather cook them at a bare simmer to keep the whites soft and tender and the shells from cracking against each other. The cooking method I preach is to sink the raw eggs into already-simmering water for five minutes. This initial shock of heat helps make it easy to peel the eggs after cooking. (Sometimes the shells are so loose they practically fall off in my hand!) For easier peeling, it’s commonly recommended that we use eggs that are a bit older for in-shell cookery, but doesn’t that defeat the point of buying farm-fresh eggs? Luckily with this method, even the freshest of fresh eggs peels with ease. For this to be effective, be sure to start with room-temperature eggs rather than ones that are just out of the refrigerator. If you’re in a hurry to bring cold eggs to room temperature, do as I do and temper them in a bowl of warm tap water first to prevent the shells from cracking from the big temperature swing. I like to roll those perfect soft-cooked eggs in minced parsley, lending flavor and a stunning presentation to this spring salad with roasted broccoli rabe and creamy avocado dressing. Spring is the season when warm and cold ingredients ought to mingle on one plate, and this salad brings all that to life. To serve, keep the soft-cooked eggs and the roasted rabe on the warm side, rather than cold, and compose the salad on plates with a bit of artistic flare. Then I would tell you to pour a glass of Chablis and enjoy this spring situation for lunch or dinner, whatever suits your fancy.
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Charred Avocado Salad with Cilantro Mayo

This smoky salad from chefs Christopher Kostow and David Guilloty at The Charter Oak in St. Helena is pure California magic. Searing the firm-ripe avocado transforms into a creamy treat with a hint of char.
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Farro Salad with Radishes, Snap Peas, Olives, and Pecorino

Farro has a sweet, earthy flavor and delightful chewy texture; it adds a wonderful hardiness to the fresh, crunchy vegetables and salty olives and cheese in this salad. If Meyer lemons aren’t available in your area, use regular fresh lemon juice and increase the honey to balance the dressing.
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Little Gem Salad with Toasted Spice Vinaigrette

Toasting whole spices deepens and opens up their flavors, perfuming and flavoring this dressing. Use leftover dressing as a marinade for chicken or fish.
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This Salad Is Midway Between a Po' Boy and Wedge Salad

Shrimp, a hot sauce dressing, and Old bay breadcrumbs make for a salad that's got the po'boy flavor in a different format.
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Restoration Salad with Farro, Orange, and Blue Cheese

After all of the hearty, rich food of winter, I will find myself craving a meal on the other end of the spectrum—something light, fresh, and healthy, with a restorative effect. But it still has to be hefty and substantial enough to work for cold-weather cravings. Because no matter how good it might be in warmer weather, a leafy lettuce bowl just won’t do for a meal. Enter the whole-grain salad. Whole-grain farro gives this seasonal salad a whole lot of satisfying substance. I specify whole-grain farro here because I want to point out the difference between it and pearled farro. The latter might be quicker-cooking, but because it’s pearled, it’s not a whole grain (the bran has been removed). It’s still a tasty and convenient ingredient; it’s not a bad guy! But for more nutrition benefits and better texture, I always opt for the whole-grain option, which is much harder to overcook to that sad blow-out mushiness that you might have unfortunately experienced before. In addition to the grains, shaved brussels sprouts, pungent blue cheese, and toasted walnuts also give the salad heartiness. But I wanted some light and refreshing notes, too, and those came in the form of juicy orange sections, orange juice–plumped golden raisins, and a white balsamic dressing that has a little bit of sweetness. In each bite, you get a little nuttiness, a lot of chewiness, some juicy bits, a pleasant amount of bitterness, and some creamy richness. (As you can see, there’s a lot to hold your interest!) This salad works well if you’re into meal prep because the elements won’t wilt or go mushy on you, even after a few days. With one exception: the walnuts. I like to store them separately so they’ll retain as much crunch as possible. But you can go ahead and pack everything up at the beginning of the week for take-to-work lunches you’ll actually look forward to eating. I could have easily called this dish Slow-Down Salad, too. The textures of the farro and the shaved raw brussels sprouts force me to chew and chew and chew—to decelerate my eating and enjoy every bite with more intention and appreciation. And that’s definitely a big part of its restorative effect as well.
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More Salads

Roasted Squash Salad with Sumac and Italian Dressing

Petals of red onion, nutty acorn squash, and pickled peperoncini tossed in a creamy Italian dressing make a hearty but not heavy side. Inspired by chef Scott Tacinelli’s crispy sweet potatoes at Don Angie in New York, we’re adding sumac to the dressing, giving it an herbal, lemony kick.
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Torn Escarole Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Lightly spicy croutons tossed in chile-sesame oil before toasting,smoky bacon, and crumbled blue cheese add rich, savory dimension to this quick, dinner-worthy salad. A dollop of apple butter adds a natural sweetness to the dressing, but honey can be used in its place.