Break Out Of Your Salad Rut With These Creative Recipes

Photo: Courtesy of James Ransom/Food52.
If soup is the food mascot of winter, then surely salad must its spring counterpart. They're fresh, healthy, and have major potential to be endlessly customizable. But more often then not, they seem to fall flat as a standalone meal. And if we're going to munch on a salad for lunch or dinner, it's going to have to be strong. Maybe even mighty?
Cue Food52's newest cookbook Mighty Salads to swoop in and rescue us from all of our unfulfilling salad woes. Ahead we're featuring three recipes that you can (and should) whip up this week. Let your salads live mealtime to the fullest with the right topping ratios and a lot of dressing pizzaz!
Advertisement
1 of 5
Photo: Courtesy of James Ransom/Food52.
Charred Broccoli & Lentil Salad
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 cups green lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 yellow onion, peeled and halved
2 bay leaves
2 heads broccoli
Kosher salt
Olive oil, for coating
1 cup grated carrots (from 2 or 3 carrots)
1 large handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves and stems coarsely chopped
2 oz feta, cut into small cubes
1/3 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped

Smoky Tahini Dressing Ingredients
1 jarred or freshly roasted piquillo or red bell pepper, seeded
1 garlic clove
3 tbsp tahini, stirred in the jar
3 tbsp water, plus more as needed
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp sherry vinegar, plus more as needed
1 tsp honey
1 tsp Spanish smoked paprika
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, plus more as needed
1/4 tsp kosher salt, plus more as needed

Instructions
1. Place lentils, onion, and bay leaves in a saucepan and cover by at least 1 in of water. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Keep a watchful eye, adding additional water if needed. Drain well in a colander, discarding the onion and bay leaves.

2. Remove the leaves from the broccoli and cut any discolored areas off the stems. Cut the heads lengthwise into quarters. Using a mandoline, the slicing blade of a food processor, or a sharp knife, cut the broccoli stems and florets into 1 ⁄4 in slices.

3. Heat the broiler with an oven rack 4 to 5 in from the flame. Place the broccoli (including the little florets that break off while slicing) on a baking sheet, season with salt, and evenly coat with olive oil. Spread in a single layer, leaving plenty of room in between the slices (you may need 2 sheets). Broil the broccoli until tender and charred, 3 to 5 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice.

4. To make the dressing, blend all of the ingredients until smooth. Add more water to thin the dressing if needed. Taste and adjust the seasoning. (The dressing will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)

5. In a large bowl, evenly coat the lentils and carrots with the tahini dressing, a little at a time. Add more vinegar, red pepper flakes, and salt to taste. Fold in the broccoli, followed by the parsley and feta. Fold in the pistachios just before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. (The salad will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days; it’s good right from the fridge.)

Reprinted with permission from Food52 Mighty Salads: 60 New Ways to Turn Salad Into Dinner by the Editors of Food52, copyright © 2017. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
2 of 5
Photo: Courtesy of James Ransom/Food52.
Shrimp Ceviche With Caramelized Tangerine Vinaigrette
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed, or scallops or a firm white fish
1 jalapeño or Fresno chile, or to taste
2 Persian cucumbers
4 satsuma tangerines or 1 large sumo tangerine
1⁄2 cup firmly packed dill leaves
1 large ripe avocado
Kosher salt

Caramelized Tangerine Vinaigrette Ingredients
4 satsuma tangerines or 1 large sumo tangerine
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp sherry vinegar, plus more as needed
Kosher salt

Instructions
1. Bring 4 qts of generously salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add the shrimp and cook until opaque, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp with a slotted spoon to an ice bath.

2. To make the vinaigrette, zest the tangerine and then cut in half crosswise. Place the zest and sugar in separate small bowls. In a nonstick sauté pan, lightly coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil over medium-high heat. Dip the cut side of each tangerine half in the sugar to lightly and thoroughly coat. When the pan is hot, press the sugared tangerine halves onto the pan and let bubble and sizzle until lightly caramelized, 2 to 3 minutes. Check them often to avoid blackening. Transfer to a plate.

3. Once the tangerine halves are cool enough to handle, squeeze their juice (should be about 1⁄4 cup) over the zest. Whisk in the sherry vinegar and 1⁄4 cup olive oil and season with salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and vinegar.

4. Drain the shrimp and transfer to a shallow glass or ceramic dish. Add all but 2 tbsp of the vinaigrette to the shrimp and toss to evenly coat; cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, thinly slice the chile into rings, cut the cucumbers on the diagonal into 1⁄4 in slices, peel and cut the tangerine into supremes or thin slices, coarsely chop the dill, and thinly slice the avocado.

6. Just before serving, transfer the shrimp with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl or platter. Stir in the chile and cucumbers, then gently fold in the tangerine, dill, and avocado with the remaining vinaigrette. Season with salt. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Reprinted with permission from Food52 Mighty Salads: 60 New Ways to Turn Salad Into Dinner by the Editors of Food52, copyright © 2017. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
3 of 5
Photo: Courtesy of James Ransom/Food52.
Thai Pork Salad With Crisped Rice
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3⁄4 cup crisped rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 tbsp fish sauce, or to taste
Large pinch of sugar
1 lb ground pork
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 fresh red Thai chiles (or to taste), minced, or a pinch of red pepper flakes
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more as needed
4 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
1 large head Bibb lettuce, or 2 to 3 heads Little Gem lettuce, leaves separated
2 Persian cucumbers or 1 ⁄2 English cucumber, thinly sliced

Instructions
1. In a large nonstick skillet or a wok, heat 1 tbsp of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the crisped rice cereal and cayenne and stir until browned just slightly, about 2 minutes, turning down the heat if necessary to prevent burning. Transfer to a bowl and wipe out the pan.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the fish sauce and sugar.

3. In the same skillet, heat the remaining tbsp of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook, stirring frequently to break the meat into small pieces, until it is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chiles, and shallot, stirring to evenly distribute them with the pork, and continue to cook, pressing down firmly to help the pork brown and stirring just once or twice, until the pork is golden and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and discard any excess oil. Stir in the fish sauce–sugar mixture and cook a few seconds longer to warm through. Off the heat, add 2 tbsp of the lime juice. Taste and adjust the heat, acidity, and sweetness if needed. Let cool for about a minute, then toss in the scallions, cilantro, and mint.

4. On a large serving platter or plates, arrange a layer of lettuce leaves, then top with some of the pork mixture and cucumbers. Continue layering in the same way until you’ve used all of your ingredients. Scatter the crisped rice over the top. Serve immediately.

Reprinted with permission from Food52 Mighty Salads: 60 New Ways to Turn Salad Into Dinner by the Editors of Food52, copyright © 2017. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
4 of 5
Photo: Courtesy of James Ransom/Food52.
Food52 Mighty Salads, $14.84, available at Amazon.

Reprinted with permission from Food52 Mighty Salads: 60 New Ways to Turn Salad Into Dinner by the Editors of Food52, copyright © 2017. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
5 of 5
Advertisement