Hearty and satisfying main-course salads, from Caesar salad with crispy tofu croutons to a warm bacon-and-egg salad.
Butter Bean, Tuna and Celery Salad
Big, creamy butter beans give a tuna and celery salad terrific heartiness. The salad would also be delicious spooned over slices of warm grilled country bread.
Warm Bacon-and-Egg Salad
"I like a fried egg," says April Bloomfield about the topping on her arugula salad. "Especially when it's fried in bacon fat." She likes to use rich duck eggs when she has them.
Roasted Squash and Mixed Sprouts Bowl
This outstanding, good-for-you vegetarian salad from L.A.'s Sqirl features an array of textures and flavors, from tender roasted squash to crunchy sprouts and creamy lebneh (Lebanese strained yogurt).
Juicy Steak-and-Tomato Salad
This summery salad from Food & Wine’s Justin Chapple is quick and easy to pull together, and a total crowd-pleaser. It’s ideal served with his Grilled and Chilled Beef, but any leftover steak will be delicious here.
Xie Xie's Tofu Salad with Pickled Vegetables
Tangy pickled cabbage and spicy carrot kimchi are the key to Angelo Sosa's tofu-topped green salad at New York City's Xie Xie (shay-shay; "thank you" in Mandarin). They are supereasy to make, but for a great shortcut, use store-bought kimchi (a chile-flecked Korean pickle that's often made with cabbage) in place of both.
Bow-Tie Salad with Fennel, Prosciutto, and Parmesan
A tangy lemon dressing makes this main-course salad especially refreshing, and the only thing you have to cook is the pasta. If you find a fennel bulb with the dark-green feathery tops still on, chop some of them and toss into the pasta.
Niçoise Salad with Baby Artichokes
Thinly shaved local baby artichokes add refreshing crunch to the classic niçoise salad at La Bastide de Gordes in Provence, France.
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.
Smoked Fish Salad with Pickled Beans and Eggs
Pickles add a tangy crunch to salads, and the brine is delicious in vinaigrettes. Chef Spike Gjerde pickles his own beans at his Baltimore restaurants, but using store-bought versions in this mid-Atlantic take on a Niçoise salad works well, too.
Black-Eyed Pea and Watercress Salad with Corn Bread Croutons
Chef Sean Brock seasons his black-eyed peas with hot sauce, lemon juice and vinaigrette before tossing them with crackling corn bread and peppery watercress for a Southern main-course salad.
Warm Escarole Salad with Snow Peas and Sausage
This savory main-course salad is as satisfying as it is restorative. "According to Thai belief, both peas and pea shoots are revitalizing, as well as good for digestion," Su-Mei Yu says. "And escarole strengthens muscles and bones."
Jerry Traunfeld uses French-style lentils grown in eastern Washington and Idaho. Sometimes he likes to use Moroccan mint, which is like spearmint but a little bit more spicy and savory. Home cooks can use any good French green lentils and regular mint for this hearty main-course salad.
Poached Shrimp, Melon and Frisée Salad
To make the dressing for this pretty salad, Daniel Humm takes the zesty poaching liquid for shrimp—flavored with coriander seeds, garlic, peppercorns and orange zest—and reduces it. The salad is wonderful as both a first course or a light main course.
Fried Chicken Liver, Bacon and Tomato Salad with Ranch Dressing
This carnivore's salad is filled with bold ingredients like bacon and pickled onion, but the star ingredient is chicken livers. Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo soak the livers in buttermilk and coat them in flour, then repeat the process for extra-crispy results. "I'm into livers of all kinds now," says Dotolo, "especially duck and lamb."
Grilled Chinese Chicken Salad
King Crab Salad with Grapefruit and Avocado
This lovely seafood salad was an improvisation. "I made it with what I had in the house," Piero Incisa della Rocchetta recalls. "Scarcity breeds creativity." He uses grapefruit juice both to glaze the crab and to make the sweet-tangy salad dressing.
Chicken Salad with Zucchini, Lemon and Pine Nuts
Armand Arnal uses ingredients from his restaurant's enormous organic garden to create seasonal Provençal dishes like this salad of chicken tossed with pine nuts and lemon-marinated zucchini.
Winter Chicken Salad with Citrus and Celery
Mindy Fox's riff on Chinese chicken salad calls for blood orange in place of mandarin orange.
Caesar Salad with Meatballs
A whole new spectrum of flavor is added by swapping croutons for meatballs.
Asian Shrimp and Cabbage Salad
An appealing combination of shrimp, carrots, cucumbers, peanuts and cilantro in a spicy Asian dressing makes this salad fresh-tasting and even slightly addictive.
Grilled Squid Salad with Celery Leaf Pesto
Melissa Kelly's inspiration for this salad is a dish she ate in Santa Margherita, on the Ligurian Coast of Italy. It includes butter beans; they're a terrific source of potassium, iron, copper and manganese and rich in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol.
Lemony Bulgur Salad with Shrimp and Spinach
Bulgur (a quick-cooking form of whole wheat) is usually boiled before it's eaten, but for this terrific main-course salad, Melissa Rubel Jacobson simply softens it in warm tap water before tossing it with baby spinach and precooked shrimp.
Lamb Salad with Arugula and Raspberry Vinaigrette
As cooked lamb cools, the flavor mellows, becoming sweeter and less gamey. Tim Love combines chilled slices of lamb with greens, then adds a dressing made with both raspberry vinegar and preserves.
Parmesan-Polenta-Coated Chicken Livers with Lentil Salad
Lovers of chicken livers will find this dish a treat, and we think even those who are skeptical will fall for these morsels with their crisp coating and subtle cheese flavor.
Caesar Salad with Crispy Tofu Croutons
In this creative remix of a classic Caesar, Melissa Rubel Jacobson pan-fries tofu cubes until they become crisp and crouton-like. Plus, she blends soft tofu with olive oil, lemon juice and an anchovy to make a terrific Caesar-style dressing without the standard raw egg yolks.
Spicy Lobster-Noodle Salad
This cellophane-noodle salad, with creamy avocados, crunchy peanuts and a chile-honey dressing, is an excellent showcase for Caribbean spiny lobsters. Also known as rock lobsters, they are sweet but can be slightly dense. This recipe uses Maine lobsters; they're more tender than spiny lobsters—and just as delicious.
Grilled Skirt Steak with Fregola-Orange Salad
"I love thinking of alternatives to classic steak and potatoes," says Michael Schwartz. His Mediterranean-inspired skirt-steak salad is a wonderful mix of just-seared slices of beef, cool and crisp fennel, chewy fregola (the Sardinian dot-shaped pasta) and juicy oranges, finished with a drizzle of briny black olive tapenade.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin Salad
Michael Psilakis describes this delicious dish as "like pork souvlaki tossed with a salad."
Chile-Lime Crab Salad with Tomato and Avocado
The mix of fresh crab, avocado and juicy heirloom tomatoes here is a classic combination. But Sue Zemanick makes it seem new by tossing the salad with a vibrant, spicy dressing spiked with jalapeño.
Spring Vegetable and Sunflower Panzanella
For this delicious springtime version of panzanella, chef Jeremy Fox tosses sunflower bread with asparagus, peas, cucumbers and sunflower sprouts.