Summer is a time to lighten up our meals, trading in hearty meat-heavy casseroles for salads. Greens have a reputation for being rather basic and boring, but there's spots around the globe making healthy salads pretty exciting!
Heirloom Tomato Salad
The heirloom tomato salad at Purlieu in Charleston has four varieties of heirloom tomatoes -- golden, purple Cherokee, green zebra and red rounds - mixed with a quenelle of housemade ricotta whipped with creme fraiche, but also a chunk of honeycomb that lends just the perfect amount of sweetness to the acid in the vincotto vinegar. "This is the perfect way to showcase these gorgeous heirloom tomatoes. We are so lucky to have access to the amazing local produce here in Charleston, and we really strive to elevate the natural flavors in the tomatoes," said chef John Zucker.
Chilled Raw Pad Thai Salad
This dish at Farm & Craft in Scottsdale, Arizona is inspired by the popular Thai dish, and this chilled salad entrée is built with spiralized zucchini and carrots, tossed in a mouthwatering house made chili almond dressing, then piled high with bean sprouts, shredded brussels sprouts, raw almonds and a tamarind honey drizzle. Top with tofu, chicken, steak or salmon for extra protein if you please.
Beets + Beets + Beets
At Bambara in Salt Lake City, this is a salad ideal for a true lover of beets. “Most beet salads are fairly straightforward, so I chose to include toppings that present a variety of whimsical flavors to help emphasize the beets’ versatile nature. Pistachio dust was chosen as it magnifies the earth tone of the beets while pickled red onions helps cut through the richness found in the goat cheese. Adding cress to the salad provides a spiciness to the sweetness of the beets. The farro is also earthy, rich and adds substance like a starch would to an entrée, while the citrus dressing ties it all together. It’s all about finding those flavor profiles that are unique on their own, yet come together to enhance your salad,” says Nathan Powers, executive chef at Bambara. This lunch salad features farro, watercress, endive, citrus laced rice Vinegar, pistachio dust, pickled onions, and crumbled goat cheese.