This year marks the 20th anniversary of National Salad Month in the USA. Warm weather is here (and has been for a while thanks to the weirdly warm winter and early spring), so the time is right to enjoy a crisp, cool salad.
It’s hard to beat a salad for versatility. Salads can be an appetizer warm-up to the meal or served as the main event. It can be brimming with healthy veggies or sweetened up with fresh fruit.
You can choose from so many different varieties of lettuce. You can always go with iceberg, but in terms of taste and nutritional value, it’s not your best choice. Romaine and spinach pack much more flavor and are light years ahead on the healthfulness scale, as are other more exotic choices such as arugula, mesclun, Boston and mâche.
Fresh, red-ripe tomatoes are probably one of the most popular of all salad ingredients, right up there with leaf lettuce, adding a big burst of flavor and color.
It’s easy to make a delicious, healthy meal by topping crisp salad greens with protein. Ham, roasted chicken, eggs, shrimp or crabmeat make wonderful salad partners. Or you can create a Tex-Mex style taco salad with ground beef, cheeses, peppers and salsa. (Hey, Cinco de Mayo happens this month, too, if we’re not mistaken.)
You’ll find an incredible array of tasty salad dressings in every supermarket today, but it can be fun (and fairly easy) to whip up your own dressing, too, using ingredients you probably already have on hand.
As you might expect, we have lots of sensational salad recipes here on The Food Channel, and, in honor of National Salad Month 2012, we present some of our favorites.
- Learn how to make a fresh Caprese Salad from a Master Chef.
- How about a Mango Curry Chicken Salad? The Food Channel’s Cathy Nehmer shows how we do it.
- You’ll love this Classic California Cobb Salad.
- This Sicilian Pasta Salad is one of our all-time favorites.
- This flavorful Florida Fresh Tomato Salad recipe features field greens with a citrus vinaigrette. It came to us from the Florida Department of Agriculture.
- Our 7-Layer Salad with Thousand Island Dressing is a show-stopper, especially when served in a glass bowl.
Want more ideas? Just enter “salad” in our “What Are You Craving?” search box.