Fig and Speck Salad
Sweet, jammy figs just long for a salty, meaty partner like speck. Add the fresh kick of a few roughly torn basil leaves, a sprinkle of coarse, crackly, pyramidal Maldon salt, and a drizzle of the best extra virgin olive oil.
Chinese Chicken Salad
There is nothing remotely Chinese about the Chinese Chicken Salad. Originated sometime in the mid-1980s by Wolfgang Puck, it's California cuisine through and through. Chilled chicken is tossed with soy vinaigrette, sesame seeds, orange segments, and crisp fried wonton skins—with a handful of fresh vegetables to up the healthy factor. Creamy avocado and batons of asparagus are mixed in to make for a salad that is nothing if not satisfying (and timeless.)
Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Goat Cheese
This salad starts with fresh chèvre that's coated with panko and fried until crisp and oozing. Underneath you'll find baby spinach leaves, crunchy pine nuts, and sliced strawberries. Tossed with a strawberry vinaigrette that's thickened with fresh strawberries and honey, you have a salad that's sweet, tangy, and full of character.
The essential trick to making a good salad Niçoise is to cook then thoroughly chill the potatoes, eggs and green beans, then to dress all the elements of the salad separately. If all the elements are assembled, then the dressing simply poured over that salad loses a lot of what gives it the refined depth of a good salad Niçoise. A good loaf of crusty bread and a nice bottle of wine round out this meal perfectly.
Yam Neua (Grilled Beef Salad)
You'll find that the mix of extreme spice, acid, fat, and sour in Thai salads is completely addicting. Cucumbers, chilies, cilantro, and mint pair with the beef to make a clean, intense dish.
Warm Mushroom Salad with Hazelnuts and Pecorino
The shallots, mushrooms, and pecorino all add meaty undertones to this dish, though no meat is actually involved at all. But it's still filling, and a perfect main course salad. Oh, and those hazelnuts. They provide a pleasing crunch to each bite.
Lobster Corn and Tomato Salad
Lobster might seem like the ultimate indulgence but in the this salad a single lobster goes a long way. Once the lobster is cooled through it is broken down into bite-sized pieces, then mixed with raw corn kernels and juicy heirloom tomatoes in a lemony Champagne vinaigrette with the slightest touch of cayenne.
Spring Turnip Salad
This is a big chopped salad full of tasty bits on a bed of vinegar-wilted greens. Bitter turnip tops are mellowed out by white beans, eggs, bacon, and cornbread.
Spinach Salad with Blood Oranges and Pistachios
This salad features blood oranges, with their sweet-tart taste and pretty ruby hue. Using the citrus fruits two ways gives this salad extra zing: first the oranges are juiced for the blood orange-honey vinaigrette and second, the segments sit on a bed of spinach and pistachios.
Blue Ribbon Market Salad
While this salad is composed of more elements than you can count on two hands, each component is given the right treatment. Beets are roasted, asparagus stalks are blanched crisp-tender, eggs are hard-boiled, and each raw vegetable is cut into the shape that suits it best. It's the ideal mixture of raw, cooked, and preserved ingredients.