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A collection of 60 recipes for turning ordinary salads into one-dish worthy meals.
Does anybody need a recipe to make a salad? Of course not. But if you want your salad to hold strong in your lunch bag or carry the day as a one-bowl dinner, dressing on lettuce isn’t going to cut it.
Make way for Mighty Salads, in which the editors of Food52 present sixty salads hefty with vegetables, meats, grains, beans, fish, seafood, pasta, and bread. Think shrimp and radicchio tossed in a bacon vinaigrette, a make-ahead jumble of white beans with charred lemon and fennel, slow-roasted duck and apples scattered across spicy greens. It’s comforting food made captivating by simply charring one ingredient or marinating another—shaving some, or roasting a bunch.
But because we don’t always follow recipes, there are also loose formulas for confident off-roading, as well as back-pocket tips and genius tricks for improving any old salad. Because once you know how to fix too-salty dressing, wash greens once and for all, keep an avocado from browning, and even sprout your own grains, the humble salad starts looking a lot more interesting—and a whole lot more like dinner.
From the Publisher
Cobb Salad with Hard-Boiled Egg Dressing
Serves 4 | From Emily Connor
Like many things, cooking is more fun when you break the rules. This dish is our case in point: Why should you have to make Cobb salad the usual way? Why wouldn’t you add steamed beets or oily black olives? The same goes for the dressing. Why only top your Cobb with hard-boiled eggs when you can blend them into a dressing that’s creamy without any dairy (similar to a quick sauce gribiche)? It’s all a little rebellious, but still a Cobb, no doubt. Feel better now?
– In a large saucepan, bring 2 inches (5cm) of water, the vinegar, and several pinches of kosher salt to a boil over high heat. Put the beets in a steamer basket and set the basket over the boiling water. Cover the pan, turn the heat to medium, and steam until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes. Let cool, then peel and cut into bite-size pieces.
– To make the dressing, using a stand or immersion blender, blend all of the ingredients together until smooth and emulsified. Add salt and pepper flakes to taste.
– On a large platter or wide bowl, toss together the lettuce with half of the herbs. Add enough dressing to lightly coat the leaves, and toss again. Arrange the beets, eggs, avocado, olives, and cheese in rows on top. Scatter the remaining herbs. (You can also toss everything together.) Serve with the remaining dressing on the side.
Cobb Salad Ingredients
1⁄4 cup (60ml) white wine vinegar
4 large red beets, scrubbed well, trimmed, and halved
1 large head Bibb lettuce, torn into large pieces
1⁄3 cup (15g) loosely packed fresh tarragon, dill, or chives, coarsely chopped
4 hard-cooked eggs, quartered
1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
1⁄3 cup (45g) Niçoise olives, pitted
1⁄2 cup (70g) crumbled blue cheese
Hard-Boiled Egg Dressing Ingredients
– 6 tablespoons (90ml) extra-virgin olive oil.
– 1 hard-boiled egg plus 1 hard-boiled yolk.
– Grated zest of 1 lemon.
– 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice.
– 1 tablespoon capers.
– 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard.
– Kosher salt.
– Red pepper flakes.