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DigitalBlue's avatar

Don't you just love salad?

Asked by DigitalBlue (7102points) August 30th, 2012

Salad seems to be one of those foods that has a big reputation. You ordered a salad? You must be on a diet. I’ve heard so many people say that they don’t want to diet, or change their diets, because they don’t want to get stuck eating “nothing but salads.”

Salad happens to be my favorite food by a landslide, and I’m not on a diet. I recently heard about a restaurant in NYC that only sells salads, and I’ve been jealous of New Yorkers ever since. Not because I’m a health nut (not that there is anything wrong with being health conscious, my love for veggies is just not that noble.)

I can’t be alone in this, so would you please share with me some of your favorite salad “recipes?”

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43 Answers

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I’m with ya Salad Sister. When living alone, I rarely make salads because the vegetables don’t last long enough to get through them all in time.

When I’m with the SO, we go salad crazy. He’s British, and their salads there are bland. Since he loves vegetables, we just throw a bit of everything into it. He has also discovered the love of olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. Any ingredients left over go into a salad sandwich he takes to work the next day.

He’s a meat lover as well, so I’ve made taco salads, grilled chicken salads, and even made a buffalo chicken salad once which was delicious.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Oh god, now I’m drooling over a really good salad. Caesar maybe.

creative1's avatar

Oh yea I love a good salad… Its not just whats it in, its also the dressing you put on it. I don’t think of salad as diet food since some salads have just as many calories as a full meal because that is what it is.

anatidaephobiac's avatar

chick peas, pasta, avocado, pesto, and just about anything that you’re willing to try with it – extra garlic even, grilled chicken or bacon maybe

And yup, most British or Irish salads are bland, there’s an attitude here that salad is just lettuce – and that is probably limited to iceberg or butterhead in many minds.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Yum! A Caesar salad with anchovies…
@creative1 I completely agree about the dressing. Even salsa on a taco salad gives it that final touch. It is a complete meal in a simple bowl. All of those tasty ingredients in one forkful.
@anatidaephobiac What do you do with the pesto? I love it and just never thought about using it in a salad. As for the British salads, I just don’t get it. There are all of those wonderful fresh vegetables and cheeses right in the shops. It’s the first time I ever had peppery Rocket lettuce, which is now a staple in our salads.

Coloma's avatar

I love adding chick peas and sunflower seeds to my salads and also could live on a quickie mix of cucumbers, halved cherry tomatoes, avocados and a few black olives tossed in.
I also make a killer cashew cole slaw, it is to die for!

anatidaephobiac's avatar

grilled pine nuts instead of sunflower seeds. :)

A big fight about caesar salads could start here, as far as i’m concerned, a caesar salad is not a caesar salad with anchovies, but caesar dressing is not caesar dressing without anchovies liquidised into it.

For the pesto in a pasta salad, use the minimum amount of oil and use a mix of blended and chopped basil (add in afterwards) so it’s good and heavy. Only use fusilli and just pour it over and stir until theres enough bits of the pesto sticking to the pasta in the grooves, so it’s like a tossed salad with pesto stirred in.
All i’ll say about salads in general on these isles is that i am truely, deeply, ashamed.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I enjoy some salads but a salad would rarely be my first choice of meal. We used to have a salad bar at work which had loads of different ingredients and I enjoyed that quite a bit as I could choose what went into it. Of course it depends what your idea of salad is. If we are just talking about a bunch of leaves, some cucumber and some dressing then I am not interested. If we can throw in some beetroot, coleslaw, potatos etc then I could be interested!

cookieman's avatar

Aside from a good Caesar, my other favorite is a baby spinach salad with goat cheese, dried cranberries, pecans, and a maple-balsamic vinegarette.

anatidaephobiac's avatar

That is my parents idea of a salad (potato salad, beetroot, coleslaw, lettuce with mayonaisse, some baked ham, and some cheese, served as a platter) regretably that and only that is their idea of a salad.

I was amazed to walk into some eat all you want style buffet in Vegas once and see everyone digging into large plates of gruel posing as meat, only to find an amazing table for salads left untouched by their grubby hands. The plates we put up could easily go an a la carte menu and pass the critics. Possibly the best meal i had in Vegas and we only went in for a laugh!

LuckyGuy's avatar

I started sprinkling a little Zatarains Creole Seasoning on my salads – on top of crumbly blue cheese. It’s delicious! But I am so ashamed.

zenvelo's avatar

@DigitalBlue I need to know where that salad place is in NY. I was in New York at the beginning of August on a hot and humid evening, and all this California boy wanted was a cool crisp organic green salad, but alas, I couldn’t find a place.

There is a place near work that will make their own design salads, or you can order a “design your own”. My favorite is tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper, avocado, and bacon, all on a bed of mixed greens with a lot toss of balsamic vinaigrette. mmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!

gailcalled's avatar

I have trouble with the raw egg yolk, chopped anchovies and fried white bread in the Caesar salad, plus the Johnny-one-note of only Romaine lettuce.

I live on the stuff; I have just discovered that if you julienne beets, you can eat them raw.

There is jicima, Jerusalum artichokes, kolrabi, and water chestnuts for crunch.

“Black and White Bean Salad (Yield: 8–10 servings) This is a magic dish, can be doubled, trebled, shrunk and fiddled with.

2 cans drained black beans (you can be pure and start with dried beans)
2 cans drained small white beans ( ditto)
1 can drained corn (or cook fresh corn and scrape, scrape, scrape)
1 C chopped red onion
1 C chopped red pepper
¼ C chopped fresh cilantro

2 C. Cumin Vinaigrette (I use 1½) Use whisk for all mixing. Add EVOO last.

¼ C cider vinegar and ¼ C fresh lime juice
1 T dijon mustard
1 t freshly minced garic
1½ C EVOO, cumin and curry to taste
Salt and pepper to taste. (Kosher and ground).”

DigitalBlue's avatar

@zenvelo it’s called Just Salad.
When I found it I actually spent a good 15 minutes making up imaginary salads that I plan to order if/when I visit NYC or if they open one up near me.

Shippy's avatar

Yes! I do, with nuts and dried onions and rocket yum! so many salads are just a pile of leaves that is just not on for me.

anatidaephobiac's avatar

Thanks @DigitalBlue . I’ll have a few days free in NY sometime next month, and will be staying between a couple of the listed locations. Time for me to start thinking up some imaginary salads of my own.

zenvelo's avatar

Thank You @DigitalBlue , I am in Manhattan for a few days in a couple weeks. I’ll check it out!

Strauss's avatar

I just came in from my garden, where I harvested three kinds of lettuce (Romaine, iceburg and red leaf), lemon cucumbers, spinach, tomatoes, bell peppers and celery tops (the stalks are still a little small to harvest completely). I will boil some eggs, cut up some ham slices, make some croutons from what’s left of last weeks home-baked bread. Oh look! The chives are in bloom! Those blossoms will make a delicious garnish!

Sunny2's avatar

I like, not love salads and it depends on what is in the salad. Lettuce. tomatoes, cheese of some kind, ditto nuts, fruit in season, maybe some kind of meat or fish, croutons and vinaigrette dressing. Salads are great for using up leftovers. And leftover salad can be put in homemade soup. No waste.

nikipedia's avatar

I love salad!!! I have even converted my meat-loving, fast-food eating partner. When I ask what he wants for dinner, he says it doesn’t matter, as long as we can have an awesome salad with it!!!

DominicX's avatar


I’m willing to admit that I don’t really like salad. I eat them sometimes because they’re “healthy”, but I’d pretty much rather be eating something else. Fruit salad on the other hand, I love…

I’m reminded of that famous Simpsons sequence when Lisa becomes a vegetarian:

mangeons's avatar

I wouldn’t say that it’s my favorite food, but I do love salad! It’s one of those awesome foods that give you a lot of options, taste great, and are healthy! People call me crazy because I eat it without dressing, but I like it best that way! Plus, it’s healthier.

augustlan's avatar

I love salad! My salads are not at all healthy, though. I throw everything in there, including cheese, hard boiled egg, raisins and sunflower seeds, pour on a ton of ranch dressing, and top with a crap load of croutons. Yum.

Brian1946's avatar

I love salad and it’s my favorite food during hot weather.

One of my favorite salads is the Italian one served at Follow Your Heart cafe.

It consists of marinated artichoke hearts, garbanzo beans, red onions, black olives, tomatoes, Mozzarella soy cheese, pepperoncinis, and Romaine lettuce. :-)

I made a meal of a large one last night.

mangeons's avatar

@augustlan Are you sure it’s not too salady for you? There’s so much roughage involved!

Berserker's avatar

Love it? What am I, some kind of caterpillar? XD

I like salad just fine, but really I only eat it if I can have some kick ass dressing with it. But I love condiments a lot. I wouldn’t even eat hot dogs or hamburgers if Ketchup didn’t exist. Lol. But yeah, salad is cool. I especially love seafood salads. Those rock all kindsa asses!

Pandora's avatar

My husband makes the best Tabouli salad ever. I found this tabouli recipe on line and I think it is pretty accurate. It is so extremely refreshing to eat at an outdoors on a hot day. Just keep it chilled minutes before serving. They have it pictured in a bowl. My husbands family serves it with lettuce leaves on the side and you fill the leaves and eat it like a roll. Every time we took it somewhere the bowl always came back empty. Even people who don’t like salads will love this refreshing combo. Extremely low calorie. (Warning, the next day you will be refreshed another way and feel pounds lighter if you eat a lot of it. LOL)

Only138's avatar

I LOVE salad!!!...Although I’m not strictly a salad guy (gotta have my meat!), but I enjoy a salad as well as the other. I like more than one kind of dressing at the same time. Bleu cheese with French on top. Gots to be smothered in raw mushrooms too….and cheese!

DigitalBlue's avatar

@mangeons I don’t think it’s crazy, I can and do just eat lettuce. People think I’m weird because a wedge of iceberg lettuce is appetizing to me, I love to just bite into it and eat it like an apple. It’s good, though!

abundantlife's avatar

I only love carrots in the salad.

mangeons's avatar

@DigitalBlue I’m the exact same! I almost always use spinach in my salads now because it’s packed with nutrients, but whenever we have tacos for dinner at home I eat all the leftover lettuce by itself. And sometimes I can just eat one of those bags of salad (you know, the ones with just iceberg, carrot slivers, and red cabbage) right out of the bag by itself! It’s delicious.

Kardamom's avatar

Haven’t read anyone else’s responses yet, will do so after I post. I saw this Q and said, Wow!

I love salads of all types and sizes. When I go to a nice sit-down restaurant, I feel gypped if a house salad is not part of the deal. If you order and entree, it should come with a salad, you shouldn’t have to pay extra. A good clean, green salad with chopped romaine lettuce, red ripe tomatoes (not those nasty pink mealy ones that you get at the grocery store) and a few cruncy croutons with housemade ranch, bleu cheese or vinaigrette is one of the most wonderful things on earth.

There is a place by my house that has the most luscious buttermilk ranch dressing I’ve ever tasted. It’s a southern-style restaurant and they also serve that ranch dressing with their hush puppies. It’s ranch dressing Nirvana!

Even though the salad with beets, goat cheese and candied walnuts and dried cranberries is now considered fairly passé, I still love it! That kind of salad was considered to be oh-so-chic back in the early 90’s. Now almost every restaurant has a version of it, which is fine in my book. It’s often one of the only vegetarian items on the menu at certain places.

Whenever my family has a potluck, I almost always make one or two salads. I love it all: coleslaw, potato salad, macaroni salad, pasta salad, grain-based salads, egg-salad, Asian noodle salads, vegetable salads, bean salads and even Salad on Pizza

Last month my cousin made this Cilantro Lime Quinoa Salad It is now, officially, my favorite grain based salad. The theme of our potluck was Mexican, so this went really well with the enchiladas and carnitas.

It’s been so hot around here lately, that I’ve been making lots of cooling salads. Last week I made this Hawaiian Coleslaw It was so good! I had it as a side dish to a fully-loaded veggie burger (Lightlife Backyard Grillin’ Burger is my new favorite kind) with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion and smoked cheddar cheese. It would be equally tasty with Barbecued Chicken or Thai-style Shrimp Skewers

I have 2 go-to salads that I share with everybody (some of you have seen these multiple times, so forgive me if you have) They are Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Veggies and Peanut Butter Dressing (I usually sub broccoli for the asparagus and use Trader Joe’s Organic Baked Teryiaki Tofu) and Raw Kale Salad with Root Vegetables (to make it quick and easy, I just use Trader Joe’s spicy pecans).

Here’s a few salads that I have in my Favorites Folder that I’ve been meaning to try. The first one is Asian Carrot Salad and this other one Broccoli Salad with Creamy Feta Dressing this new take on tater salad called Sweet Potato and Red Potato Salad

And here’s one of my favorites that I made up myself. It’s Pesto Tortellini Salad:

16 ozs 2 Packages Refrigerated Cheese Tortellini
1 pt Basket Grape Tomatoes (halved)
1 cup Broccolli Florets (cut into small pieces)
16 ozs Mozzarella Cheese (cut into 1 inch cubes)
1 and ½ cup Prepared Pesto Sauce
Fresh Basil Leaves


Cook the tortellini according to the package directions in a large pot (I used rainbow cheese tortellini from Sam’s Club, I think Costco has something similar.) Make sure your pot is big enough to allow the pasta to move around freely. If the pasta are stuck together in the package, it’s best to separate them before putting them into the cooking water. About 30 seconds before your pasta is done, throw in the broccoli florets to blanch. Immediately drain the pasta (into another large catch bowl if you’re saving the water to recyle for your plants) and pour very cold water over it to stop the cooking. Note: It’s a good idea to have a large pan or pitcher of very cold water ready to go. Remove any ice from the water before your pour it over the pasta. The pasta can be damaged if you have to fish out any pieces of ice. After the pasta and broccoli are thoroughly drained, gently pour the mixture into your serving or storage bowl (don’t put it back into the hot cooking pan.) Gently mix 1 Tablespoon of olive oil into the mix to keep the pasta from sticking together, especially if you are not going to add the pesto immediately. Add one cup of halved grape tomatoes and 2 cups of cubed mozarella cheese. Pour 1½ cups of pesto over the mixture (I used Sam’s Club Member’s Mark jarred pesto. It comes in a 22 oz. jar.) Toss gently until well coated. Chill for at least 2 hours. Can be made the day before your event. Garnish with fresh basil leaves just before serving. This is enough for a crowd, so you might want to halve the ingredients : )

augustlan's avatar

When I met up with some jellies last year, we went to this fantastic little restaurant in West Virginia, and they had fresh avocado dressing. Best. Thing. Ever. I’m still craving it!

Kardamom's avatar

^^ Yum, that sounds fantastic. Any idea what else they might have put in it? I’m thinking maybe lemon juice and/or cilantro or maybe green onion.

augustlan's avatar

@Kardamom I truly have no idea. It was just the freshest, creamiest dressing I’ve ever had. Wonder if they’d part with the recipe…

rojo's avatar

No, not particularly. I would rather have a pizza.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Yes, I love salad that someone else has washed, torn and tossed with fabulous goodies.

Jeruba's avatar

I sure do. There’s no lunch or dinner menu that can’t be enhanced by the addition of a nice salad.

My tossed-salad standard is a minimum of eight ingredients, including at least three kinds of greens. I don’t always achieve that, but when I don’t, I think the salad is lacking something.

However, I make an exception for special-focus salads such as shrimp Caesar (4 ingredients plus dressing) and roast beet salad with goat cheese (4 ingredients plus dressing).

My rule about salads and dieting is that no matter what you have, if you have a salad with it, it’s a diet meal.

gailcalled's avatar

MY latest go-to salad.

Make a pot of quinoa and store in fridge.

Plate the quinoa, some dried cranberries, chopped walnuts and any interesting greens on hand, such as watercress, arugula, spinach, curly lettuce, cob lettuce.

Drizzle on mustard vinaigrette.

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