When I say I work at Food52, 10/10 people ask me: “What’s your go-to meal?” But I don’t have a recipe I turn to time and time again. Instead, I find comfort in a whole category of dishes: salads.
No matter my mood or the state of my fridge, I can always find a way to make a salad. From refreshing, crunchy slaws to satisfying grain bowls with crispy roasted toppers, I experiment with textures and tastes. Sometimes, it’s a dish that involves ten different steps of toasting and boiling and grinding. On long, tiring days, though, I'm after speed and ease, and enlist the help of canned beans and a squeeze of lemon.
Sure, I don’t have an exact recipe I can mindlessly turn to, but that’s because salads are down for improv. To show just how versatile they can be, I’ve gathered nine I can throw together in 5, 15, or 30 minutes.
Not all salads need lettuce. This crunchy, creamy combo welcomes spring produce like fresh dill, scallions, and radish tops. To bulk it up to full-meal status, serve it over grains like farro, bulgur, or wheat berries.
This gem from EmilyC freshens up the flavors of an egg roll with shredded carrots and cabbage. (Don’t worry, she still keeps the crispy wrappers.) And if you'd rather not crisp up some bacon, edamame or tofu would be welcome additions.
A bright, strawberry-studded salad that converted a salad-hating(!) member of our staff. Yes, it's that good. I don't always have goat cheese, so I've substituted with parmesan, feta, or (gasp!) sometimes skipped the cheese altogether.
What's your best 5-minute salad? Share ideas and inspiration in the comments below!
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).