Ode to Salads: Because Some of the Greatest Stories DO Start with a Salad
It's the opening act to the show: the salad. But with signs running rampant that claim "no great story started with someone eating a salad," these colorfully fresh dishes have lost a lot of love. I'm here to fight back. I'm a staunch believer in the idea that every meal tells a story—and when that meal starts with a salad...well, that'll show a thing or two to your little bar sign.
Salads might in fact be the most versatile and openly interpreted dish out there. Think about it. You can tack the word onto the end of about anything and you've got a newly reconstructed masterpiece on your hands: caprese salad, chicken salad, caesar salad, broccoli salad, fruit salad, seafood salad, jello salad...the list goes on and on.
Taking so many different forms, salads are the perfect start to a narrowly-focused meal. Like any good chameleon, they blend beautifully into distinctive flavor palettes without loss of integrity. I couldn't imagine an Israeli-inspired feast without tabbouleh salad, nor a Greek meal without its eponymous leafy complement. Doesn't a bite of caprese salad effortlessly give way to chicken cacciatore? Or warm potato salad to a German bratwurst?
Not to mention that the leafy greens that often go into salads are So. Good. For. You. The nutritious benefits of kale, spinach, Swiss chard, and the like are almost unbelievable—hence the widespread epithet: Superfood.
So my advice as you sit down to plan your wedding menu? Don’t skip the salad. Get creative, tap into seasonal flavors, and think about how this dish could serve as the perfect “once upon a time” prologue to your epicurean fairytale.
Here are some of my favorite options to add a little vibrancy and freshness to your wedding menu:
- Kale Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing
- Turkey Hash Salad
- Pear, Arugula, and Goat Cheese Salad
- Rice Salad with Thai Coconut Lime Dressing
- Sautéed Mediterranean Lentil Salad
- Winter Citrus Salad with Honey Dressing
- Fig, Prosciutto, and Arugula Salad
- Winter Millet Salad
- Summer Greek Quinoa Salad
- Southwestern Chopped Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Cheddar Bacon Wedge Salad
- Grilled Peach, Blueberry, and Goat Cheese Salad
- Insalata Caprese
- Kale, Apple, and Walnut Tabbouleh
The bottom line? Salads deserve way more love than they’re getting. With the help of your local caterer, you can settle on your favorite leafy dish and use it as the start to an incredible story: the first of many meals shared by you and your new spouse. According to that logic, only the greatest of stories begin with two people eating a salad.