25/09/2021

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15-classic-salads-every-beginner-cook-should-know

15 classic salads every beginner cook should know

One of the hallmarks of a satisfying dinner is a wonderful salad. Whether served as the entrée or as a complement to something heavier, classic salads are typically quick to prepare and endlessly tweakable. The following recipes are ones we return to again and again, no matter the season. Once you master these, you can add your own variations (or proteins), and keep them in rotation forever.

Cucumber Salad

Classic salads
Image: Courtesy © Lucy Schaeffer

This is one of our most popular recipes of all time, and for good reason: it’s sweet, tangy, and delicious. The salad gets even better after a day in the fridge. Pair it with grilled meats, poached salmon, or anything.

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Classic Green Salad

Classic Green Salad
Image: Courtesy Victor Protasio

“A classic green salad — one featuring crisp lettuces and a few raw, seasonal vegetables, tossed with a barely-there vinaigrette — instantly elevates any meal,” writes Senior Food Editor Mary-Frances Heck. “The trick to serving a properly dressed, but not wilting, salad is in the technique in which you build the salad, starting with the dressing, in a large wooden salad bowl.”

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Big Italian Salad

Big Italian
Image: Courtesy © Quentin Bacon

If you’re looking for a salad that has the heft of an entrée, look no further. This antipasto-packed Italian salad hits all the right notes.

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Classic Potato Salad

Classic Potato
Image: Courtesy © Fredrika Stjärne

Don’t hold back with the scallions and parsley (or any herb!) while making this creamy, super-simple potato salad.

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Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad
Image: Courtesy Greg Dupree

This easy pasta salad comes together in just 15 minutes with help from the grocery store olive bar. Fresh oregano, cherry tomatoes, and feta cheese bring bright flavour to this easy summer salad, perfect for weeknight dinners, pool parties, and backyard barbecues. Customise this recipe with whatever captures your imagination at the store — casarecce pasta, stuffed olives, stemmed caperberries, pickled garlic — the possibilities are nearly endless.

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Caesar Salad

Caesar
Image: Courtesy © Marcus Nilsson

This classic Caesar salad is loaded with plenty of garlic, anchovies and Parmigiano cheese. It’s also fast and easy to make.

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Chilled Soba Salad

Image: Courtesy Emily Kordovich

“Using the ready-made jams and marmalades found in Asian supermarkets, we can build a huge variety of dressings for chilled noodles that pair excellently with a variety of vegetables creating a dish that is anything but the generic ‘Asian-style noodle salads’ we see across the US,” says chef Lucas Sin.

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Cobb Salad

Cobb Salad
Image: Courtesy © Con Poulos

The ultimate entrée salad, a Cobb can handle just about any topping you’re in the mood for.

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Greek Salad

Greek Salad
Image: Courtesy © John Kernick

Of his delicious and crowd-pleasing Greek salad, Athens, Georgia, chef Hugh Acheson says, “It feeds four people like champions, or six like semifinalists.”

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Green Goddess Salad

Green Goddess
Image: Courtesy © Petrina Tinslay

Green Goddess dressing — a mix of mayonnaise, sour cream, herbs, anchovies and lemon — was created at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in the 1920s, as a tribute to an actor starring in a play called The Green Goddess. The creamy dressing is typically tossed with a green salad, but it’s also wonderful in Melissa Rubel Jacobson’s chicken salad, made with a rotisserie bird.

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Farro Salad

Classic Salad
Image: Courtesy © John Kernick

Chef Marco Canora says you can swap in any starch — like bread or pasta—for the farro (a nutty Italian grain) in this recipe.

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Vietnamese Chicken and Cabbage Salad

Classic Salad
Image: Courtesy © Lucy Schaeffer

Chefs Eric and Sophie Banh like to poach the chicken for this brilliant dish, then toss the salad with homemade scallion oil. To save time, use store-bought rotisserie chicken and skip the scallion oil; the salad already gets plenty of flavour from the spicy, vinegary dressing and abundance of fresh herbs.

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Panzanella

Panzanella
Image: Courtesy Victor Protasio

This summer blockbuster panzanella from Samin Nosrat, author of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, pairs oven-roasted sourdough croutons with juicy ripe tomatoes, raw red onion, and crisp cucumbers. Grated tomato adds a gentle acidity and chunky texture to the vinaigrette, helping it cling to every bite. Staggering the addition of vinaigrette, vegetables, and croutons similarly protects their crunch, and also helps season the salad properly, allowing salt, acid, and oil to be added in stages, as needed.

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Wedge Salad

Wedge Salad
Image: Courtesy Greg DuPree

“Taking a cue from chef Nina Compton at Bywater American Bistro, we’re adding a Crystal hot sauce–spiked dressing to this mash-up of a wedge salad and a po’boy sandwich,” writes F&W Food Editor Kelsey Youngman. “Toasting the breadcrumbs in Old Bay–infused oil doubles down on the rich shrimp-boil flavor.”

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Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh
Image: Courtesy © John Kernick

This herb-heavy variation of the Middle Eastern classic swaps the usual ratio of bulgur to herbs, making it brighter, leafier and less grainy than the standard salad.

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This story first appeared on www.foodandwine.com

(Hero and featured image credit: Greg DuPree)

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