20110722-162600-salad-as-a-meal.jpgWhen I received a copy of Patricia Wells' Salad as a Meal back in the early (and still quite chilly) spring, I filed it away on my shelf.

You see, this is the perfect book for a week the heat wave decides to hit hard, when no one in their right mind wants to be anywhere near the kitchen. When the first triple-digit day of the season arrived last week, I felt confident that it was time for a week of cool, meal-worthy salads.

When temperatures soar, appetites tend to go one of two ways—dwindling to the point of nothingness or veering towards the imbalanced (ice cream and cold beer, what?). Yes, I subscribe to the latter category. This is where Patricia Wells comes in.

She's a journalist, food critic, cookbook author, and teacher who splits her time between Paris and the sunny south of France. The inspiration for her salad-themed book springs from her personal view that "a salad does not need to include lettuce or greens; it can simply be a light and refreshing salad-related entity."

This relaxed view on salad-making inspired Wells to create a book full of gorgeous salads that work not only as a prelude to a meal, but a meal in and of themselves. And this week we'll be sharing a selection of these summer meal perfect salads with you including a cool Crab Salad with Lime and Avocado, a tangy Thai Beef Salad, and Raoul's Shrimp Salad, a reworked shrimp cocktail dressed with tomato juice and Tabasco.

Win 'Salad as a Meal'

Thanks to the generous folks over at William Morrow, we are giving away five (5) copies of Salad as a Meal this week.

All you have to do is tell us about your favorite meal-worthy salad in the comments section below.

The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.

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