September 25, 2023   9:01pm

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[Photo by Francesco Tonelli for The New York Times]

The most useful cooking classes I ever attended was “How to Boil Water” (at the New School); the second was Salad-making, so I couldn’t resist these recipes from The New York Times (101 in total) that make absolutely delicious and unusual salads so very easy …

The New York Times’ “Minimalist” Mark Bittman teaches us how to to put a new spin on an old favorite — Salads.

We’re not talking how to chop the perfect tomato or how to make your own croutons. (Okay, there is something like that, but it’s chopping grilled cheese into cubes.) Bittman shows us that we can make salads in no time out of anything.  How about some grated carrots, blueberries and sunflower seeds or 100 other ideas?

Here are a few we enjoyed reading about, some we’ve tried, and almost all we’ll enjoy eating … Bon appetit!

  • Mix wedges of tomatoes and peaches, add slivers of red onion, a few red-pepper flakes and cilantro. Dress with olive oil and lime or lemon juice. Astonishing.
  • Grate carrots, toast some sunflower seeds, and toss with blueberries, olive oil, lemon juice and plenty of black pepper. Sweet, sour, crunchy, soft.
  • Dice cucumbers (if they’re fat and old, peel and seed them first) and toss with cubes of avocado, a little mirin (or honey, but then it’s not vegan), rice vinegar and soy sauce. (You could mix in a little lump crab meat, really not vegan, even rice, and call it a California roll salad.)
  • Mix cooked or canned chickpeas with toasted coconut, shredded carrots, chopped celery, curry powder, olive oil, lime juice and cilantro.
  • Halve avocados and scoop out some but not all of their flesh. Roughly chop and toss with black beans, queso fresco, cilantro, chopped tomatillos and lime juice. Serve in the meaty avocado shells.
  • Stir-fry small or chopped shrimp in olive or peanut oil with lots of ginger; while still warm, combine with tomato wedges, chopped romaine, cilantro, scallions and lots of lime juice. Good in pita.
  • Slice fresh figs” many, if you live where they grow” and top with crumbled bacon, balsamic vinegar (the best you have) and crumbled blue cheese.
  • Toss cooked quinoa with fresh sliced apricots, cherries, pecans, and enough lemon and black pepper to make the whole thing savory.

For the whole list of 101 salad recipes click here, and don’t forget to check out the video in the article which shows you how to make your own salad dressings.


The New York Times, “Recipes for 101 Simple Salads for the Season,” Mark Bittman, July 21, 2009

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