"Winemaker Tara Gomez belongs to the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. This salad of seasonal fruits, herbs, and flowers balanced with bold leafy greens and a simple, bright lemon dressing, from a feast at Camins 2 Dreams, the winery she runs with her wife Mireia Taribó, includes traditional Chumash ingredients. Both the dressing and the salad call for aromatic hummingbird sage. More fragrant and less bitter than other types of sage, hummingbird sage is native to the cool coastal parts of Santa Barbara County. Though not quite the same, common sage will work well. Elderberries, considered a medicinal plant, grow wild in the region. Used whole, they're lightly fragrant and offer a hint of sweetness.
My friend Justin Smillie is one of those larger-than-life New York City restaurant characters who accrues nicknames like a billionaire compounds interest. He’s a big guy with a big personality, a chef whose cooking yields layers of big flavors. So it makes sense that the new hit at his Miami outpost of Upland is a big salad: It’s large-format, composed of pristine ingredients stacked vertically along the interior curve of a giant wooden bowl, and served with a generous crystal carafe of buttermilk ranch dressing. It turns heads in the dining room.At home, the dish is dinner party gold: Assemble it ahead of time in the biggest, prettiest bowl you own, and pass it around the table with tongs, or serve it tableside with a butler’s flair. Balance is key—you want sweet, sour, and salty flavors; crunchy, soft, and chewy textures; and to arrange the ingredients at various heights—but customize it as you like.My version includes shrimp, crab legs, avocado, six-minute eggs, pickled carrots and red onions, and roasted sweet potatoes. But you could go Greek with a garlicky skordalia sauce with roasted potatoes and beets. Or think Spain (sliced skirt steak, romesco, grilled scallions, toast rubbed with tomato). Or Super Bowl (wings, blue cheese, celery, pickled carrot, iceberg wedges, garlic bread).There are but four rules: A big salad requires lettuces, a unifying dressing, a sense of humor, and please, no dipping. This is salad, not crudité. Chances are if you’re a Food & Wine reader, you’re already the best dinner party host (and guest) among your friends. A big salad is a reputation builder, one of dozens of recipes and ideas in this Home Issue that will help you entertain and outfit your kitchen in style. So go ahead, dog-ear these pages. Invite some friends over for Saturday night. Set the table. Go big.
In this seasonal salad, Chicago chef Sarah Grueneberg takes inspiration from the translation of her last name and the translation of her restaurant name (both mean “green mountain,” in German and Italian, respectively). She amps up a zesty buttermilk dressing with charred ramps (scallions would also be delicious) then drizzles the dressing over crisp Little Gem lettuce, celery, and baby turnips. Slideshow: More Salad Recipes
TV chef Andrew Zimmern was inspired to create this dish by the mention of a “spirited salad” in Fergus Henderson’s first book, Nose to Tail Eating. Here, Zimmern tosses peppery leaves with a mustard–cider vinegar dressing tamed with cream and hazelnut oil. Slideshow: More Salad Recipes