May is National Salad Month, not to mention damage control month following a winter of heavy eating and drinking. Chefs are creating unique salads with the season’s best ingredients paired with a few surprises. Check out these restaurants for new spring salads and eat guilt-free.
Kyma, Atlanta Georgia
Beat the heat with executive chef Pano Karatossos’ beet salad, a blend of baby candy beets, striped beets, and yellow and red beets — all are roasted, quartered, and splashed with aged red wine vinegar and a Manouri dressing and adorned with toasted walnuts. The crown: a beet sorbet made from roasted beet puree and simple syrup. Make a reservation at Kyma.
Siena Tavern, Chicago, Illinois
Watermelon and warm weather are a fun-lovin’ pair. Chef Fabio Viviani created his watermelon salad to be “a juxtaposition of a sweet and savory combination” that stars watermelon (of course), spiced yogurt, shaved radish, Nordic creamy feta, honeycomb, and a pistachio and mint vinaigrette. Make a reservation at Siena Tavern.
Bella Gioia, Brooklyn, New York
A citrusy city salad, the fennel and orange salad on chef Nico Daniele’s Park Slope neighborhood menu is a fruity and nutty mix of blood oranges, green apples, pecans, and a citrus vinaigrette drizzle. Make a reservation at Bella Gioia.
Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen, Austin, Texas
The no-veto-vote” menu at this Chicago-based brand (named after founder Craig Bernstein’s late father, Doctor B.) has a section devoted to “craveable salads.” Elect the California salad and you’ll get a mingle of kale, avocado, cranberries, wasabi peas, and sweet potato dressed with a roasted garlic dressing. Available at all locations. Make a reservation at Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen.
LH Rooftop, Chicago, Illinois
Executive chef Jacob Verstegen’s heirloom cucumber salad puts this refreshing fruit center plate. The dainty salad is comprised of balled, shaved, and sliced cucumbers as well as pickles, and it is complemented with a green garlic custard, popped rice, and spring herbs. Make a reservation at LH Rooftop.
Josephine, Nashville, Tennessee
Come for brunch and start your midday meal with executive chef Andy Little’s duck confit salad that’s created with a delicate toss of duck confit, frisée lettuce, and shaved apple, and it’s jazzed up with a creamy mustard dressing. Make a reservation at Josephine.
Freds at Barneys Downtown, New York, New York
City meets sea in the Montauk deconstructed fish taco salad. Featured are chopped Gotham greens, pickled red cabbage, corn, black beans, avocado, homemade corn chips, cilantro lime dressing, and a splash of spiced local white fish and cream. Make a reservation at Freds at Barneys Downtown.
Prime & Provisions, Chicago, Illinois
Power to the purple. A popular-selling dish at this steakhouse is the pickled purple cauliflower salad — it’s got purple-hued cauliflower, carrots, shaved fennel, and arugula, and it is studded with local feta and candied pecans. Make a reservation at Prime & Provisions.
Circa 81 Tapas & Cocktaileria, Morehead City, North Carolina
Order the arugula summer salad and you’ll get an arugula-based salad with compressed apple (apple slices tossed with tarragon white balsamic vinegar and honey and compressed), Garrotxa cheese, grilled corn (brushed with Baklouti green chili olive oil), Benton’s bacon, preserved egg, and a Champagne vinaigrette splash. Make a reservation at Circa 81 Tapas & Cocktaileria.
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Laurie Bain Wilson is a Boston-based journalist, author, and essayist who writes often about travel, food, and baseball. Find her on Twitter @laurieheather.
Photo credits: Ben Hider (Bella Gioia).