HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Non lettuce salad ideas?

For our family hannukah party next week, I have to bring the dinner salad. My father can't eat romaine or other dark leafy veggies (like spinach) and I hate making salads with iceburg.

My mom is making brisket (natch), can anyone recommend a salad that isn't lettuce based that would go nicely with brisket and latkes? I was thinking of doing a cucumber salad but mom wasn't thrilled with that idea. I don't really want to do any bean or corn or other starchy veggie salads as those tend to be heavy.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Get yoouself a mandoline from your local high end kitchen shop and do a shaved veg salad; fennel, carrot, celery. Or if that sounds to dangerous there's always roasted beet salad; lime, red onion, pomegranate.

    1. hearts of palm, brightened with julienne strips of red bell pepper (blanched) or pimento, a light dusting of parsley. simple oil and vinegar or lemon juice dressing.
      Set on microgreens or lettuce, which he can leave on his plate untouched.

      Wasn't there a trendy resurrection of iceberg wedges with fabulous bleu cheese dressing only a few years ago? That was once a steakhouse staple in America. Depending on your in-laws' ages, they might adore it. Is that Kosher?

      1. If you have the Dec. edition of Saveur there is a celery salad. Very simple and very delicious. I was amazed by it when I made it. It is also very refreshing.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Candy

          Candy, can you elaborate on this celery salad?

        2. What about a white bean salad. Since you may not have time, buy organic (unseasoned) cannelini beans, rinse them and cook with mirepoix to add flavor. get some black olives, some fennel, red onion or shallot. slice all thinly except the olives, and toss with a red wine vinegrette. you can macerate the shallots to soften their texture and flavor. add some curly or pepper cress at the end. delicious and filling salad.

          1. This salad was inspired by one I saw in a cooking mag in Nov.... forget which one, I changed it a bit:

            thinly sliced fennel
            thinly sliced red onion
            orange wedges
            fresh mint
            tossed with a light vinegrette of rice vinegar and almond oil and sprinkled with sea salt

            Good Luck,

            1 Reply
            1. re: PamelaD

              I made something just like that the other night, only I used a balsamic dressing. I've also done it with a light orange juice/olive oil/wine vinegar blend. Fennel, orange and red onion are terrific for lightening up a heavy entree.

            2. Here's a recent thread that has some ideas as well:


              1. Chopped apples with good balsamic vinegar, mixed to taste with brown sugar and black pepper is very tasty.

                1. How about a broccoli salad? I like to add carrots, celery and green onions. You could also add nuts or sunflower seeds. Then make a creamy dressing and it's ready to go.

                  1. Tomato, chopped/sliced red onion, cucumber, chick peas, and sprinkled oregano, topped with a mixture of non-filtered extra virgin olive oil and ten year old basalmic and a smidgeon of garlic powder, and two tins of Comur Portuguese smoked trout in olive oil.

                    1. I think any kind of sweet cabbage coleslaw would work well here.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: frenetica

                        Or a red cabbage salad.
                        I thinly slice the cabbage, removing all the tough white parts. place in colandar, salt and let drain for about 20-30 minutes, then rinse. add neutral oil, lots of lemon, salt and pepper to taste, and refrigerate for another half hour. It's simple and colorful.

                        1. re: oranj

                          My wife made somthing similar to this a few weeks ago and served it with a greek flavored crock potted beef dish. Went perfectly together. I think it had both red and white cabbage.

                      2. This is rather light as starch salads go.

                        Bismotti & wild rice salad (cold) infused with:
                        diced purple onion
                        diced mushrooms
                        corn kernels
                        sliced roasted red pepper
                        diced granny smith apples
                        toasted cashews
                        peeled and finely chopped ginger
                        lemon/olive oil dressing

                        1. A few hours ago I watched Michael Chiarello make what looked like a fabulous alternative salad on his tv show:
                          Roast Squash Panzarella with brussel sprouts and red onion/sherry/olive oil vinegar dressing


                          1. http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...
                            I make this recipe a lot in the summer when I have lots of zucchini in the garden, but it is good in the winter with store bought zucchini as well. Very light,refreshing and easy, and I think would be a nice addition to your menu. I know it doesn't sound exciting, but whenever I serve it people really enjoy it!

                            1. Two of my favorite salads are of the non-lettuce variety. For the first one, I chunk up some tomatoes, very thinly slice onion, preferably red onion, chop a handful of parsley, crumble up blue cheese, and mix it all with evoo and balsamic and a sprinkle of pepper. The second one is a carrot salad, made with grated carrots, finely chopped onion and celery, apples, raisins, then mixed with some mayo and a drop of lemon juice.

                              1. Muhlyssa, your dad must be taking blood thinners too! I just went through it tonight with my family. I use butter lettuce which should be okay and then I chopped avocado, bell peppers, cucumber and radishes which were added invidually by my very choosy family members so that they would eat the salad! OY!
                                I think a cabbage slaw or a salad with fruit could be appealing too.

                                1. Thanks to all for their suggestions. I'm leaning towards a greek salad. Cuc, tomatoes, green onion, feta. I've seen a lot of different recipes around and they are all suggesting a different type of vinegar: white, red or balasmic. Which do you think would be better?

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Muhlyssa

                                    If you want an authentic tasting Greek salad, I'd go with olive oil & red wine vinegar, or olive oil & lemon juice. I'd also add some oregano. I think balsamic would be too sweet.