Greens + veggies + other stuff = deliciousness
February 25, 2020 12:40 PM   Subscribe

I'm hungry for salad recipes that seem outrageously easy. I have fallen in love with this format, more than seeing actual recipes, as I know how to throw things together: Arugula + quinoa + chickpeas + cucumber & tomato + feta cheese + lemon juice/balsamic/olive oil/dijon mustard. ___ + ____ + ____ = your favorite salad recipe of this kind?
posted by tiny frying pan to Food & Drink (21 answers total) 99 users marked this as a favorite
Green or brown lentils + chopped marinated artichoke hearts + shredded carrot + feta + vinaigrette = delicious lentil salad. Keeps all week. Eat warm or cold.
posted by hydra77 at 12:50 PM on February 25, 2020 [4 favorites]

I'm a terrible, apathetic cook, but I do like this exact kind of meal creation. In the summer, I like creating my own take on a Salad Niçoise with some of the things I've had in restaurants that serve it: greens (butter and Bibb lettuces are nice), hard boiled egg (quartered), tuna, cold green beans or haricots vert, red onion, artichoke hearts, fingerling potatoes, and a vinaigrette. (Somehow, making dressings doesn't annoy me the way "real" cooking does.)

You might like capers. Instead of croutons, I like to tear bread and drop it in, and I have some odd choices, like Hawaiian bread or challah. (I love cucumbers but don't like them in this particular salad; I don't like tomatoes. YMMV.)

There are a LOT of difference takes on a Niçoise, and I bet if you Google just that, you'll find suggestions for a lot of variations that appeal to you.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 12:50 PM on February 25, 2020 [3 favorites]

Think of those things in your current format as categories, and as long as you tick off at least a few of them you'll have yourself a pretty good salad. I would divide the categories into what they are and what they do.

As far as what they are: greens, grains, legumes, other veg, cheese/meat/nuts/seeds.

As far as what they do: bulk, crunch, nutrition, sweet, salt, acid, fat.

The reason i love salads so much is because they are infinitely flexible depending on what you have on hand or what else is in your bowl - i have been making a version of this smitten kitchen salad and its amazing. (now that im re-reading it i realize it doesnt include the arugula i normall always add). I dont personally care for balsamic (or sweet things in general) but this recipe is great because it has the sweetness from the squash and creamy-fattiness from the tahini dressing.

this salad is amazingly popular every time i make it. ive swapped quince paste for guava paste and used all manners of almonds and a couple different cheeses and greens.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 1:16 PM on February 25, 2020 [2 favorites]

My stand-by version of this is corn (frozen is fine) + black beans (canned) + tomatoes + olive oil, lime, cumin dressing. Extra credit for any or all of the following additions: roasted sweet potatoes, chopped cilantro, avocado, finely diced fresh jalapeno, topped with shrimp! Or serve on top of chopped romaine to get your greens in.
posted by CiaoMela at 1:20 PM on February 25, 2020 [3 favorites]

Oh, I'm keeping track of these in my Notes app!

Brown rice, cabbage, tofu, shredded carrots, peanut sauce

Farro, roasted broccoli, chicken, red pepper, balsamic, olive oil

Chicken, spinach, strawberry, goat cheese, toast

Black bean, plantain, rice, crema, carrot, salsa

Chickpeas, curry, onion, carrot, cauliflower, yogurt
posted by purpleclover at 1:21 PM on February 25, 2020 [6 favorites]

We have one that we've been using for a while now that rules. It's:

Chopped greens + finely chopped cruciferous vegetable + one more veggie (shredded carrot, cucumbers, pickled beets, you name it) + something crunchy (apple, sunflower seeds, whatever) + diced avocado + nutritional yeast + hefty dash of Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar dressing.

Toss together for around 20-30 seconds until avocado and yeast and dressing have sort of melded in to this creamy, unctuous sauce that coats the veggies. It's great!
posted by saladin at 1:26 PM on February 25, 2020 [3 favorites]

I have been eating the same salad every day for years.

Quinoa base, spring mix or other greens, grated carrot and beet, sliced cucumbers, smoked tofu, sometimes avocado, a handful of hemp hearts or pumpkin seeds. Homemade or industrially produced tahini based dressing.
posted by unstrungharp at 1:37 PM on February 25, 2020 [2 favorites]

My youngest kid, when he was very young, would only eat certain greens and vegetables once cooked a little bit. To this day I make a "hot salad" that was a standard on his plate back then.

Chopped cabbage + sliced yellow summer squash and/or zucchini + onion + garlic + salt + pepper

Occasionally add: cubed firm tofu + sliced jalapeno

A little peanut oil to sautee, this kind of combination works great for making a big bulky batch using an entire head of cabbage and 4 squash.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 2:02 PM on February 25, 2020

Inspired by Aldi, I call it three can salad:

3 bean salad can (drain, liquid reserved)
Can corn (drain; liquid reserved)
Can garbanzo
Parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast, optional)
Black pepper (optional)
Mix all and add back about 1/3-1/2 the liquid to taste, serve over any lettuce for a surprisingly hearty meal.
posted by SaltySalticid at 2:04 PM on February 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

Any shredded veg combo is good with salt, oil, citrus, and cumin.

If it's grated carrot, lemon juice, cumin, and maybe add some parsley, then you've got a vaguely Moroccan salad.

If it's cabbage, lime juice and zest, and cumin seeds, ideally fried for half a minute in the oil along with some mustard seeds, then you've got a vaguely Indian salad.

Also good but not traditional anywhere I know of: grated broccoli stems, julienne peppers or cucumbers, shredded beets.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:10 PM on February 25, 2020 [2 favorites]

Quinoa + red pepper + red onion + mango + vinegar and olive oil + small amount of orange or strawberry or apricot jam

Israeli salad -- Cucumbers + tomato + bell pepper + olive oil + lemon juice + vinegar + dill
posted by Mchelly at 2:13 PM on February 25, 2020 [3 favorites]

Also good but not traditional anywhere I know of: grated broccoli stems

Trader joes sells them mixed with carrots as "broccoli slaw"
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 2:31 PM on February 25, 2020 [4 favorites]

Bag of coleslaw + peanut butter + tamari + garlic + ginger + vinegar (or lime juice) + sugar. Add cashews or peanuts and/or protein. Bonus: stir fry with noodles and a bit of bouillon and turn into a meal. Or serve cold as salad.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 2:36 PM on February 25, 2020 [2 favorites]

1. Beetroot + feta + walnuts + something green and crunchy.

2. Celery + apple + nuts and/or seeds + something creamy like greek yoghurt, ricotta, feta or cottage cheese
posted by lollusc at 4:09 PM on February 25, 2020 [3 favorites]

I love sliced cherry tomatoes + edamame + soy sauce + sesame oil + basil. I got that from Mark Bittman’s Minimalist recipes—he has tons of salads that are just basic flavor combinations!
posted by corey flood at 4:22 PM on February 25, 2020 [2 favorites]

Tomatoes + basil + red onions + basalmic vinegar + olive oil + salt
posted by Mchelly at 4:50 PM on February 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

Farmer's market spring lettuce + runny egg + homemade croutons + your fave dressing.
Spinach + shredded carrot + small balls of cream cheese rolled in chopped black walnuts + balsamic vinaigrette.
Spinach + chevre + dried cherries + toasted walnuts + vinaigrette.
Not a salad, but: Boil or steam some artichokes and make a bunch of dips for them: garlic butter, lemon basil aioli
posted by shadygrove at 6:06 PM on February 25, 2020 [2 favorites]

Roasted sweet potato + crumbled goat cheese + red onion + cucumber + greens (arugula preferred) is my absolute favourite salad! Also great with pumpkin seeds.
posted by one of these days at 8:11 AM on February 26, 2020

Oranges (peeled, segmented or just sliced), feta, mint, Kalamata olives, a bag of baby spinach, extra virgin olive oil.

Decent day old bread roughly diced or ripped into bite-sized chunks, ripe tomatoes roughly cut into eighths, a can of cannellini beans, drained, lots of flat leaf parsley, some basil, lots of oil, some garlic, more salt than you think you'll need, smooshed together so the tomato juice and garlic and oil gets into the bread.
posted by some little punk in a rocket at 3:08 PM on February 26, 2020

sweet potato + quinoa + black beans + kale. + anything with some strong spicy flavor. Always works!
posted by seemoorglass at 6:32 PM on February 26, 2020

A few more favorites of mine:

1) Arugula + Roasted Sweet Potato + Sunflower Seeds + Goat Cheese + Balsamic Vinaigrette

2) Romaine + Chopped Smoked Salmon* + Ground Black Pepper + Parmesan + Creamy Dressing (blue cheese, creamy caesar, etc.) Add Cucumbers or red bell peppers if you want.

3) Spinach + Chopped Hard Boiled Egg + Ginger/Miso dressing + Any other veg you want.

4) This one is odd, but good: Bowtie or Orichette + 10-oz Can Rotel + chopped fake Crabmeat + Creamy Caesar Dressing

*I use the harder, chunkier smoked salmon, like this, not the soft lox-like stuff.
posted by hydra77 at 11:41 AM on February 27, 2020

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