BLT Bread Salad
To make this Italian-style salad, Joy Manning tosses cubes of bread with just a little B (bacon) and lots of healthy L (soft butter lettuce) and T (small yellow and red tomatoes). Instead of mayonnaise, she blends the basil-inflected dressing with protein-rich soft tofu.
Green Goddess Chicken Salad
Green Goddess dressing, a mix of mayonnaise, sour cream, herbs, anchovies and lemon, was created at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in the 1920s, as a tribute to an actor starring in a play called The Green Goddess. The creamy dressing is typically tossed with a green salad, but it's also addictive in Melissa Rubel Jacobson's chicken salad, made with a rotisserie bird.
Tangy Roasted Chicken Thighs with Artichoke Panzanella
Panzanella, the Italian salad, is typically made with tomatoes, onions and chunks of bread. In her smart version, Koren Grieveson combines grilled bread and sweet broiled tomatoes with marinated baby artichokes before dressing the warm salad with a lemony vinaigrette. It's fabulous served alongside crisp chicken.
Bread Salad with Tomatoes and Olives
Salvatore Denaro makes a panzanella that's quite different from the typical summer bread salad served at other trattorias in Umbria. His zesty version includes southern Italian green olives, dried oregano and whole-grain barley rolls from Puglia called friselle. Any good, grainy, country-style loaf works nicely in this recipe; just make sure it's pane raffermo, what the Italians call bread that is "firmed up" and quite stale.
Pan-Roasted Salmon-and-Bread Salad
This is a terrific all-in-one meal and an inventive use for salmon: Grace Parisi nestles the fillets in crunchy hunks of ciabatta bread tossed with tomatoes, capers and superthin slices of lemon, then bakes the dish until the salmon is just cooked.
Garden Vegetable Panzanella
This rustic salad is used to rescue stale bread. Very fresh tomatoes, cucumber and bell pepper are the heroes here.
Ham and Cheese on Rye Bread Salad
In this fun take on the sandwich classic, Grace Parisi creates a delectable ham salad mixed with crunchy rye bread croutons and bits of Gruyère cheese, tossed in a mustardy dressing with celery and chives. She sometimes likes to wrap the bread salad in Bibb lettuce leaves for an inside-out sandwich.
Grilled Broccoli and Bread Salad with Pickled Shallots
"Grilling over an open flame is my favorite way of cooking," says Charlie Parker. "It gives food so much flavor without the need for butter." Here, he serves lightly charred broccoli and ciabatta cubes in a twist on an Italian bread-and-tomato salad.