Green Salads

When was the last time you were excited by a green salad? If it’s been a while, check out our guide for tips on making salad interesting. We love to add fresh fruit, tangy cheese, roasted veggies and simple vinaigrettes to leafy greens for salads that pack a punch. This chopped salad is mixed with toasted walnuts, creamy avocado and crunchy apples, and served with blue cheese vinaigrette. It’s light enough to be a flavorful side dish, but you could add grilled chicken or hard-boiled eggs to round it out as a meal. Fresh herbs are another great way to add flavor—this mixed greens salad recipe uses parsley, mint, dill and chives, but you can use whatever herbs you’d like (we think basil would be especially delicious). Get these recipes and more from Food & Wine.

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Big Salad

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.

Oma’s Green Mountain Salad

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 

Bitter Greens Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

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 

Spinach-Sprout Salad with Coconut Ranch

Food & Wine’s Justin Chapple uses vegan coconut yogurt as the base for a terrific healthy version of ranch dressing. It’s wildly versatile but also especially tasty on this supercrunchy sprout-packed salad. Slideshow: More Spinach Recipes 

Romaine Salads

While crunchy romaine is best known for its role in Caesar salad, F&W has recipes for romaine salads beyond this creamy classic. Because romaine is so crisp and hardy, it stands up very well to heat—one of our favorite ways to mix up a simple salad is to throw romaine hearts on the grill. The lettuce picks up a smoky flavor and wilts just a little bit, making the perfect accompaniment for grilled swordfish or steak. Here, 7 of our favorite recipes.

More Green Salads

Chile-Kale Salad with Fennel

Rethink your classic kale salad with this Indian-inspired version from Graffiti Earth chef Jehangir Mehta. In place of croutons, Mehta uses store-bought crispy chickpeas for that perfect crunch. Slideshow: More Kale Salad Recipes 

Winter Greens Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

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If you’re looking for a simple but special salad that will hold up on the table beautifully during a long meal (no more wilted greens!), this fresh-herb-and-buttermilk-dressed salad from cookbook author Melissa Clark is perfect. Slideshow: More Salad Recipes 

6 Ways to Reinvent the Niçoise Salad

Provence’s famous salad Niçoise is traditionally made with boiled potatoes, crisp green beans, anchovies, black olives, hard-cooked eggs and really good canned or jarred tuna. But this classic summer salad is open to suggestions. Here, six ways to reinvent the fantastic French salad.