'Salad as a Meal' on Serious Eats
Creamy salads like chicken and tuna are pretty common summer lunchtime fare, but there's something about crab salad that feels like a special occasion. A little pricier than chicken and the chicken of the sea, crab is sweetly delicate, the sort of nuanced flavor that begs not to be overpowered.
I've got to hand it to Wells—her Thai Beef Salad beats the pants off of any Thai takeout version I've encountered. With a base of juicy rare roast beef slices marinated in a lime-fish sauce dressing, the salad is composed of thinly sliced cucumbers and red onion, chiles, and sweet cherry tomatoes tossed in that same fantastic dressing. On top of the veggies go a shower of bright herbs—cilantro, mint, basil, and kaffir lime leaves if you can find them—as well as a handful of salty roasted peanuts. Crunchy, salty, sour, sweet, spicy, and remarkably fresh, this salad can be made with chicken, shrimp, or even thinly sliced tofu.
This Asparagus, Peas, Beans, and Fennel Salad is a lovely and simple take on Patricia Wells's salad savvy. Each vegetable component of the recipe is blanched for optimal flavor and greenness, and assembled right before serving with her genius Lemon-Chive Dressing. The dressing is a creamy, bright mix of lemon juice and zest, snipped chives, and heavy cream shaken together to make for a rich, tangy sauce than can work equally well as a dip, spread, or salad dressing.
Too-hot-to-cook season has an unfortunate tendency to coincide with "what am I going to do with all of this zucchini? season." Instead of overheating your kitchen by baking loaves upon loaves of zucchini bread, we have a cool and elegant solution courtesy of Salad as a Meal by Patricia Wells that's topped with slices of avocado, a shower of pistachios, thyme, and fleur de sel.
When 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. It's time for a week of cool, meal-worthy salads. Enter to win a copy of the book here!