Chef Melissa Perello’s summery tomato salad features chrysanthemum greens. They can be found at Asian markets, but you can also substitute adult arugula. The beautiful yellow-tinted vinaigrette relies on fresh ginger, honey, and curry powder for a balanced but bright flavor.
A crusty, high-quality sourdough will stand up to the seeded salsa verde here and keep the bread from disintegrating. Chef Caroline Glover uses cucumbers from Row 7, a co-op of chefs and plant breeders; you can order the seeds at row7seeds.com. Persian cucumbers, which are more widely available, are a great substitute.
When the evening light lingers and begs me to dine al fresco, I want something light but satisfying. I want something bursting with summer produce. I want something cool and refreshing that I can enjoy with a crisp glass of wine. Yep, I want a salad. But not just any salad, and certainly not a lame salad—which, to me, is a crime during a season ripe with so many amazing possibilities.This is the salad I make on those rare and lovely unhurried nights. It features the alluring combination of juicy peaches and even juicier tomatoes that are lightly coated in just enough dressing to moisten—so that nothing overpowers the flavors of the fruit. Hunks of creamy burrata pair beautifully here, offering luxurious richness that, again, does not compete with the fruit.The fried farro sprinkle is perhaps the best part. The grains are fantastically crunchy, like tiny Corn Nuts, with an irresistible nutty-earthy flavor. They’re quick and easy to make—especially if you start with store-bought pre-cooked farro (which I typically buy from Target). These pre-cooked grains are dry to the touch, which means they’re safe and ready to plop into hot oil. If you were to cook your own farro, you’d need to air it out for a few hours to remove all surface moisture so that the hot oil won’t pop and bubble over. (Trust me; I know this from experience.)You’ll only use half of the fried grains for this salad, but it makes sense to go ahead and fry it all up while you’re at it so you’ll have leftover crunchies to play with. They hold beautifully in an airtight container at room temperature for a week or in the freezer for three to four months. Use them on any salad, over a creamy soup, on casseroles, on pasta tosses, over scrambled eggs, and even on an ice cream sundae—basically wherever you crave a little crunch.
One of Sarah Copeland's favorite ways to start the weekend is to visit her local farmers market; she changes up this easy riff on Niçoise salad based on her finds. Yellow wax beans make a beautiful addition when they’re in season, but haricots verts are the perfect stand-in.
Until recently, my father’s side of the family was never where I looked for culinary inspiration. Although he’s lived in New York City for most of his adult life and is now a good cook, my father comes from a multi-generational, predominantly Pennsylvania Dutch working-class family where food was for the most part functional.His mother, my Nana, was solely responsible for getting meals on the table for my father, his two sisters, and my Pop Pop, who worked in construction close to Allentown where they lived. Nana wasn’t known for being the best cook, but she did have a few solid tricks up her sleeve. I have memories of sitting in her kitchen while she made us buttered ham sandwiches with white American cheese served with beet-pickled eggs, which we thirstily washed down with cold A-Treat Birch Beer. On other visits it was sloppy joes on Martin’s potato rolls with sweet-and-sour pickles and potato chips. Her dinners for large family gatherings were straightforward: ham or roast beef, mashed potatoes with gravy, a plate of sliced tomatoes and cucumbers from my grandfather’s garden. But there was one recipe where she really shone: her salad of lettuces topped with a hot bacon dressing. It was requested for every gathering.My Aunt Kay tracked down my Nana’s handwritten recipe, and I’ve made it my own, incorporating jammy eggs into the salad, and adding some boiled potatoes so it can act as a more substantial meal. It’s a perfect late spring dinner. Serve it with some good cheese and crusty bread, and you really don’t need much else.Devoted to her faith, my Nana never imbibed, but if she did, I bet she’d have wanted something that was highly drinkable, uncomplicated and delicious, such as a vinho verde, which is bright and lively, and plays well with everyone, just like she did.
This quick salad is our new favorite way to eat broccoli—and it’s delicious hot or cold. Charring brings out depth, and the miso dressing is packed with flavor from rice vinegar, ginger, and garlic. Don’t be afraid to let the broccoli get a strong char on the grill—that’s what sets this salad apart from the pack and will keep your guests coming back for more.
Anchovies are arguably the best part of a Caesar salad. But since not everyone is a fan, we came up with the perfect substitution—canned smoked trout. Pleasantly salty and less fishy, it gives this make-ahead dressing tons of flavor. Splurge for good-quality sourdough from your local bakery for the croutons; it makes a big difference. Toss the salad together with the dressing just before serving to keep the lettuce nice and crunchy.
Some people think cilantro tastes like parsley dusted with Bar Keepers Friend; others love it so much they want to rub their snouts in it. I belong to the latter group. If a bunch of cilantro would hold up as a bouquet, I would have carried it at my wedding. I wish someone would market a cilantro tincture that I could dab behind my ears.I make this salad, which is about 75% cilantro, at the end of winter when I’m daydreaming of my summer herb garden, where I plant cilantro every spring—and every July, and again at the end of August. It grows quickly; I harvest it by the roots, and plant it again. Unlike other soft herbs like basil and tarragon that can withstand regular picking and keep on producing, cilantro is what we garden-nerds call a bolter. It speeds quickly to the harvest zone, pausing like a new teenage driver at a stop sign (the rolling stop) before rushing straight to seed. After the leaves begin to frill, the flavor is gone.So when I see cilantro sold with its roots still attached—and in the winter, this can only mean that I’m shopping my favorite Asian market in nearby Fargo, North Dakota—I snatch up a few bunches. Any place that sells root-bound cilantro understands that the pungent perfume concentrates in cilantro’s roots, runs like nectar up through the stems, and dissipates through the leaves. As if that’s not enough to earn my devotion, Asian markets also sell sushi rice and toban djan (Chinese chili bean paste), ingredients essential to making this powerhouse of a salad.Built on a lump of leftover rice, this dish comes together as quickly as a fire built in my wood stove. Chili paste for kindling, onions and peanuts stacked crosswise to burn, and tons of quick-fire cilantro on top. The lime juice is like lighter fluid here, setting the whole thing aflame—a false igniter that at the end of the winter I’m not averse to using.Feel free to throw something grilled on top of this cilantro bed and call it dinner, but truth be told, I prefer it the next day, cold from the fridge, eaten straight from its storage container.
Ten minutes of simple prep work and an hour of hands-off marinating time deliver this almost effortless slaw that scores big in the flavor department. Matchstick carrots make it ultra-easy; just dump, stir, and go. Seasoned with a simple mixture of lemon juice, mustard seeds, and salt, this slaw lends itself a variety of uses—try it on barbecue sandwiches, tacos, and turkey or chicken burgers—or serve it as a side dish at your next barbecue or potluck.
Follow these six simple steps for a perfectly dressed green salad.
Crispy, pimentón-dusted tortillas stand in for the flatbread traditionally found in the Lebanese bread salad fattoush. Make this recipe with easy homemade Tex-Mex Tortillas or use your favorite store-bought version.
A classic green salad—one featuring crisp lettuces and a few raw, seasonal vegetables, tossed with a barely-there vinaigrette—instantly elevates any meal. The trick to serving a properly dressed, but not wilting, salad is in the technique in which you build the salad, starting with the dressing, in a large wooden salad bowl. (We’re partial to this satiny black walnut one from Andrew Pearce, but any wooden bowl broad enough for you to toss and mix in without fly-aways will do.) Begin with the acids: For balance, use at least two vinegars or citrus juices. Then add a drizzle of honey or a pinch of sugar—the sweetness will help to balance the acids’ bite. Finally, rapidly incorporate the oil (for best flavor, use a mix, such as grapeseed plus a good olive oil or a nut oil, such as walnut) to form an emulsion. A properly emulsified vinaigrette will suspend the acid and seasonings in the oil, coating each leaf of lettuce without weighing it down. Toss just before serving, keeping the lettuces separate by crossing tongs in bowl over vegetables until ready to eat.
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.
Suzanne Goin, the chef at the famed Lucques in Los Angeles, marked 20 years of business in 2018 with a dinner that celebrated her now-classic blend of French cuisine and California produce. Goin refers to this salad as “The 4 Ps” and thinks of it as a persimmon salad with an arugula garnish, rather than the other way around.
With notes of strawberry and citrus, tart kiwi pairs well with creamy avocado and bitter endive in this savory fruit salad.
At Jardinière in San Francisco, chef-owner Traci Des Jardins is constantly looking for dishes with a balance of sweet, acid, and salt. This recipe hits all those notes for a crunchy, salty, sweet, bitter winter salad. A mix of young chicories, like endive, frisée, and radicchio, make for a blast of color welcome during colder months. If kumquats are unavailable, use paper-thin slices of unpeeled clementines.
Inspired by her mother’s (much richer) fried eggplant salad, Reem Kassis tops fried cauliflower with toasted nuts, pomegranate arils, and lemon-and-garlic-laced yogurt.
Try this tangy, sweet dressing laced with pomegranate molasses on any variety of seasonal greens and top with toasted nuts. This version is heavy on fresh herbs, making it the perfect bright side for a heavy holiday meal.
Instead of roasting brussels sprouts, toss them with arugula, parsley, and a light buttermilk dressing. If you’ve got a few extra minutes, quick-pickled shallots (see Notes) add color, texture, and tang.
These mini wedges are coated in a creamy, anchovy-packed dressing and dredged in crunchy panko, making them easy to eat with your hands. Alternatively, you can serve the dressing and breadcrumbs alongside the lettuce wedges, for easy dipping.
Whether you’re entertaining at home or looking for something fresh and colorful to get you through the work week, keeping a few, simple salads on rotation is a great way to make things easy on yourself this fall. Here are 13 of our favorite sweater-weather recipes, all simple enough to keep in your back pocket and break out at a moment’s notice.
In 2018, Food & Wine named this recipe one of our 40 best: Alice Waters used to say that she would rather make salads than almost anything else, which explains how she is responsible for one of the most iconic dishes of the decade, her baked goat cheese salad. In its essence, it’s a harmonious blend of lettuces combined with softly baked thyme-and-breadcrumb-coated goat cheese, served alongside crunchy garlic croutons. As with so much of Alice Waters’ seasonal, ingredient-driven cooking, this simple dish is all about the quality of the raw materials. Waters once said, “Only the best is good enough.” So use the very best you can find.
You may not have tried some of these simple, nutrient-rich options on on your greens (think pesto, and guac!).
Salad, we're sorry you've been so misunderstood. You're more than a side dish, you're more than an appetizer. You're more than a collection of greens, drenched in bottled dressing. We know you for the complex, sophisticated bowlful that you are: hearty yet refreshing, nutritious yet exciting. For the doubters and the haters out there, these salads have something to say, and we read them loud and clear.