HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Mother's Day Salad Ideas

I'm doing early dinner for mom and wanted to start with a salad that really kicks, something she can really sink her teeth into. In my family a salad wasn't a salad unless it had fruit and nuts in it. Examples include, but are not limited to raisins in vinaigrette and walnuts or slivered apples and almonds.

So I'm wondering if there's a salad that you remember that was truly memorable that you would recommend.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Last weekend I had a grilled Romaine, Caesar wedge salad with grilled cherry tomatoes and applewood smoked bacon, OUT OF THIS WORLD!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sean

      ohmuhgawd i don't eat meat and i would have tried this, nice work Sean.

    2. My step daughter did a fantastic grilled veg salad for Easter the was phenominal, I have since made it a couple times (although it doesn't have fruits or nuts, I don't see why not they can't be added) - the dressing is to die for:

      I did mushroooms, yellow squash, zucchini, italian peppers, red onions.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lexpatti

        I do love a grilled veggie salad and this one sounds great. So many herbs in the vinaigrette that it has to be tasty! I think I'll try this one out with some portobello mushrooms in the mix.

        The recipe says to whisk in the oil. Have you tried it in a blender?

      2. I made this over the weekend and it was really good! My husband asked that I make it again during the week when we have some friends over...
        The grilled ceasar wedge salad also sounds good!

        1. i'm a big fan of spinach and strawberry salad with poppy seed dressing! Let me know if you'd like the recipe (it's homemade dressing) and i'll dig it out. :)

          2 Replies
          1. re: lollya

            lollya is that your cat eating the salad?

            1. re: coliwoggle

              yes! it's that good!
              heh. it's usually all mixed up for pretty pres, but not that day...

          2. I'll second the grilled Romaine idea, but to that greenry add Florida Salad ingredients: radishes or daikon dice; jicama dice, mandarin orange wedges, cherry/grape tomatoes, diced fennel, Pecans or Walnuts. Serve with a fresh citrus viniagrette.

            1. One of my favorite salads is a layered one--bottom greens w/ an orange viniagrette, layer of either papaya or mandarin oranges (something orange for the color), layer of avocados w/ same dressing and then a layer of crab w/ the same dressing. It's so pretty and delicious. We do it in a round using a small can, both ends off and then carefully remove.

              1. I get this fabulous salad from the little cafe near where I work: mixed greens, dried cranberries, toasted almonds, red onions and goat cheese with a raspberry balsamic vinaigrette.

                5 Replies
                1. re: diablo

                  love it. raspberry balsamic just sounds fantastic together. Don't know about the dried cranberries though...are they good really?

                  1. re: coliwoggle

                    Dried cranberries are one of my new salad staples, especially in a salad like that. They are just sweet enough.

                    1. re: stephiehun

                      the orange ones are awesome, and bing cherries (TJ's) are amazing...oh and if you do hit TJ's their herb goat cheese is yummy too.

                  2. re: diablo

                    that's been my standard salad for years!! except i use gorgonzola instead of goat cheese.

                    my go-to-salad is an herbed greens mix, roasted asparagus, peppadew chevre, halved grape tomatoes, red onion, toasted almond slivers, english cucumbers, and a balsamic vinaigrette. just so delicious. Dried cranberries would be a delicious addition though

                    1. re: kubasd

                      second the peppadew cherve...yum!

                  3. Our family's favorite summer salad is mixed greens, sliced nectarines and grilled chicken with a light raspberry vinaigrette. Yum.

                    1. Two salads I serve together on a platter of assorted greens (especially great with bitter greens):

                      Mango, cucumber and gingered noodles - cellophane noodles cooked and well dried, thinly sliced english cucumber, scallions thinly sliced, mango thinly sliced, carrots finely jullienned, lots of cilantro leaves.

                      Papaya and avacado - cube papaya, cube avacado, thinly sliced scallions, celery small dice

                      Dressing for both salads - 6T rice wine vinegar, 1 1/2t olive oil, 1 1/2t fresh ginger, 1+t minced jalapeno or serrano, 1 clove garlic, lemon juice, zest (limes can be substituted as can red pepper flakes. Blend until smooth and let rest a bit. Dress the noodles separately and layer on top of the greens, then add the salad and drizzle dressing over both salads. Top with pepito seeds.

                      Another favorite standard salad: pears, blue cheese, walnuts, celery dressed with fage yogurt (and a touch of mayo) over greens.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: alwayscooking

                        The first salad must look wonderful with all those colours. And crunchy too. But what are pepito seeds and where do you get them?

                        pears....blue cheese...walnuts....well I just gotta try that!

                        1. re: coliwoggle

                          Pepitos are roasted, hulled pumpkin seeds found in latino markets and aisles.

                      2. Once had a salad with watermelon and mint, and maybe arugula? Don't remember what else was in it but it was amazing.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ddelicious

                          That sounds wonderful! I will have to try that.

                          One of my favorites is one I duplicated from a local salad/sandwich place. It's so easy: lettuce or spinach of your choice, chopped turkey, candied pecans, strawberries, mandarin oranges, and a sweet dressing of some kind like honey-lime, honey mustard, citrus herb, or poppy seed. The restaurant one comes with gorgonzola cheese too, but it's not my favorite so I leave it off and sometimes put cheddar cheese instead.

                          1. re: ddelicious

                            yes, yeah and yup. I've heard of people grinding a little fresh black pepper on their watermelon so why not peppery arugula?

                          2. I really like shaved fennel with oranges and olives - blood oranges if you can get them are beautiful. Dress with a citrus vinegarette

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Bigley9

                              Alas the blood orange season has passed me by. We get them in late winter.

                              1. re: Bigley9

                                I love a shaved fennel salad with oranges, kalamata olives, over baby greens with a orange juice and (very very very good) olive oil dressing, with just a bit of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. I'm actually growing fennel in my garden for this very reason....

                              2. This is an absolutely delicious salad. I eat it for breakfast when the dressing is around, it's so good.

                                Festive Tossed Salad

                                1/2 cup sugar (I typically use agave syrup instead)
                                1/3 cup cider vinegar  
                                2 tablespoons lemon juice
                                2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
                                1/2 teaspoon salt
                                2/3 cup vegetable oil
                                2-3 teaspoons poppy seed

                                In a blender of food processor, combine the sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, onion and salt. Cover and process until blended.  With blender running, gradually add oil.  Add poppy seeds and blend.

                                10 cups torn romaine
                                1  cup shredded Swiss cheese
                                1-2 medium apples, cored and cubed
                                1-2 medium pears, cored and cubed (optional)
                                1/4 cup dried cranberries
                                1/2-1 cup chopped cashews
                                In a salad bowl, combine the romaine, Swiss cheese, apple, pear and cranberries.  Drizzle with desired amount of dressing.  Add cashews, toss to coat.  Serve immediately.

                                1 Reply
                                1. Strawberry chicken salad

                                  chopped romaine heart(s)
                                  cooked chicken strips (I poach thighs)
                                  quartered strawberries
                                  Trader Joe's Asian Ginger Dressing

                                  Toss romaine with dressing to taste.
                                  Top with chicken and strawberries.
                                  Top all with honey roasted peanuts.


                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: laliz

                                    Cooking Light has a delicious field salad with grapes and feta cheese. Pecans would be an easy addition. Give it a shot - I bet Mom would approve.