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Apr 21, 2009 02:47 AM

Best Main Meal Salad

I'm having a girls' night on Thursday - and we've decided we want to make a dinner salad. Does anyone have any go-to recipes for a main meal salad?

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  1. I love this Seared Carpaccio of Beef with Roasted Baby Beets, Creamed Horseradish, Watercress and Parmesan from Jamie Oliver and have made it often, although it may be heartier than what you had in mind.

    1. Everybody loves crab louie. Shrimp stuffed avocado is another good one.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Sharuf

        1. Salad Nicoise. But not everyone always like the tuna or ahi tuna. But fairly easy.

        2. Asian chicken salad. Mixed greens, baked chicken, citrus vinaigrette, mandarin oranges, almonds, snap peppers.

        3. I also really love the spinach/mixed green salad with thin sliced chicken, goat cheese, candied walnuts (you can buy these or make them yourself), strawberries, red onions and red onion. I've done it without the red onion too! It goes well with a glass of red or white and ciabatta with herb butter.

      2. Love Cobb Salad. I make mine at home with grilled chicken breast (I think a classic cobb uses smoked turkey). Romaine, hard boiled egg, diced tomato, bacon crumbles, diced avocado, the aforementioned chicken, and crumbled blue cheese. Served with a red wine vinaigrette, or homemade blue (bleu?) cheese, this is a filling and hearty main dish salad not for the faint of heart.

        Another good simple main dish salad is curried turkey or chicken salad served on a lightly dressed bed of simple greens, tomatoes and cucumbers. Components of the turkey/chicken salad are: roasted chicken or turkey cut into one-inch chunks; toasted slided or slivered almonds, golden raisins, thinly sliced scallions, chopped celery, and chopped apple. Toss all together with curry mayonnaise made this way: heat a small skillet or saucepan over medium heat until hot and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and 2 tablespoons of good-quality fresh curry powder. Stir to form a paste, about 1 minute, until the mixture smokes a bit and becomes fragrant. Cool for five minutes, then mix with 2/3 cup mayonnaise.

        4 Replies
        1. re: janniecooks

          I cannot help but think of the "Trick or Treat" episode of Seinfeld every time I see Cobb salad on a menu (key part at 1:56):

          Here's a link to both the legend of the Cobb salad and the recipe:

          Have fun!

          1. re: janniecooks

            Janniecooks -

            I love cobb salads myself! There is a place in Minneapolis that has a too die for one! I love that it's not the greens on the bottom and everything on top.

            The restaurant brings it out in a pasta dish - a 3-4 oz portion of roasted organic chicken (pretty bare bones-I'm thinking salt and pepper and that is it)...SO tender it falls apart using a fork, next to it- a head of awesome butter bibb lettuce, next to that HUGE chunks of blue or gorgonzola (I'd use Shaft Blue, or D'Avergenue (sp) ), next to that chunks of lardon instead of the bacon for a saltier heartier texture, cherry tomatos next to that and diced avocado next to that. One hard boiled egg thin sliced over all ingredients. I like it because of presentation and the textures allow me to get a good bite in every forkful!

            1. re: snoboardbabe77

              I make my salad Nicoise with the ingredients separately presented on the plate, with thought given to the plating of each item and the resulting look of the whole.

              1. re: snoboardbabe77

                Oh my, that does sound good! But I must take exception to the use of butter lettuce--I think the mass and texture of the other ingredients really require a sturdy green like romaine. But otherwise, your description has me drooling and I'm thinking, maybe tonight it is time for another Cobb.

                When I make my own cobb salad, I sometimes compose the salad with each ingredient laid out in a eparate strip across the bed of greens, very lovely presentation, but most often for my DH and me I just build the salad with the greens on the bottom, then sprinkle on the greens each ingredient in this order: diced tomato, chopped egg, chopped bacon, diced avocado, warm diced chicken, and crumbled blue cheese.

            2. i love to grill some flank steak, cut thinly against the grain and serve on an arugula salad.

              3 Replies
              1. re: cassoulady

                Me too! Add to it some roasted potatoes, tomatoes, crumbled Stilton blue cheese and maybe even mix in some Romaine or bibb lettuce. A nice shallot/balsamic vinaigrette - mm, mm good. Kind of like the grown-up version of a Pittsburgh salad.

                1. re: cassoulady

                  yes with fresh pecorino and a really high quality balsamic. That is the perfect meal with crusty bread

                  1. re: Analisas mom

                    Agreed - I discovered a version by Rick Rodgers that I make all the time. Simple, healthy and tastes so good:


                2. Warm a marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, grated ginger, and chopped dill & spring onion. Add cooked prawns (defrosted frozen ones are fine - this is a party night not fine dining). Leave in the fridge for a few hours (overnight is fine).

                  Just before you're ready serve, drain the prawns (doesnt matter if there's still bits clinging). Add them to mayo into which you've mixed a little Tabasco (or whatever).

                  I always plate this up - shedded cos lettuce on the plate (or iceberg at a pinch). Top this with the prawn mix. Scatter over some chopped black olives, more spring onion and tomato (skinned and deseeded). You might want some crusty bread with it.