Like I said back in January, I like to experiment with healthy eating every once in a while. And when I do, I love to stumble upon a salad that makes me go mmmm. In honor of Salad Month (or is it BBQ Month?), here is a list of salads to try next time you get a hankerin' for health.
1. Lemley's Tomatoes salad at Boulevardier (above) This stunner combines Lemley's tomatoes, burrata, arugula, pistou, balsamic, olive oil, sel gris and grilled baguette. I think the magic is in the pistou, but I'll let you decide.
2. The Caesar at Parigi A classic gem-of-a-salad at a true Dallas gem-of-a-restaurant, this Caesar has won many a best Caesar salad competition. One bite and you'll taste why. It's simple yet perfect, and it will surely satisfy your Caesar craving.
3. Whiskey Cake's Chicken and Spinach Salad This salad hails from up north and features chicken, spinach, bourbon cranberries, raisins, dill havarti, pecans, apples, bacon and a citrus-yogurt vinaigrette. That's a lot of goodness in one salad.
4. The Ligurian Caesar at Oak This Caesar is different from others. The dressing isn't creamy, eggy or fishy. Its topping is made of a mint pesto that's a delicious and refreshing break from the ordinary. Plus the croutons are addictive gems of chewy goodness.
5. Ziziki's greek salad with basil vinaigrette So Ziziki's calls their vinaigrette "basil," but it's most certainly 75% mint. It's sweet, minty and would probably freshen your breath had you not just eaten it atop a plateful of delicious lamb or chicken loaded with garlic. Enjoy!
6. Rocky's Baby Kale Salad at Asador Kale is a healthy, vitamin-packed superfood that generally tastes exactly like a healthy vitamin-packed superfood. Not great. But Rocky's Baby Kale Salad with local jicama, golden beets, almonds and roasted poblano dressing might change your opinion on the stuff. It certainly changed mine. Rocky's baby leaves are positively sweet, and the dressing creamy with just a hint of heat.
7. The White Seaweed salad at Tei An Don't ask questions. Just grab some chopsticks and dig in to this incredible combination of white seaweed, carrots, cucumbers and a rice vinegar-based dressing that is probably made from Asian angel tears. Proclaim Teach as an Asian angel. Repeat.
8. The Egg salad at No. 1 Le Jus Okay so egg salad isn't exactly a salad but I never said there were rules to this salad game. I'm not generally a huge fan of the stuff, but this one made me stop and savor the delicious eggy flavor. Give it a try next time you feel like battling HP moms for a parking spot inside Highland Park Village.
9. The Grilled Chicken Salad at Hillstone This one's a true classic at a Dallas mainstay. Crunchy julienne carrots and greens topped with thinly sliced grilled chicken breast combine to make sweet, sweet music once you toss it all in the accompanying peanut sauce. My only issue is that Hillstone's salads don't come with sides, which means I have to order my favorite cole slaw separately. There are worse problems to have.
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10. The Galinha Assada a Brasileira at La Duni. This Brazilian-style chicken salad salad features pulled roasted chicken, vegetables, cilantro, a creamy lime dressing and crispy potato strings. Order this and convince yourself it's a lighter choice. (It's not.)
11. Marinated Baby Beets with Maytag Blue Cheese and Apples at Carbone's All of those things. They make for a salad as beautiful as it is delicious. Sweet apples and baby beets are tossed in a tart vinaigrette and cooled off by the smooth blue. A great reason not to skip the first course.
12. The Shaved Celery Root salad at Central 214 From celery root, fiji apples and pine nuts, somehow Chef Graham Dodds made a salad that's so simple yet you won't soon forget its sweetness and lightness. What's hard to swallow is that it's only available seasonally.
Aw man. I feel lighter already. So the next time you feel like salad, you've got a dozen more gems to check out. Happy Salad Month!