Offering more than 100 inspired recipes, recipe developer and food stylist Jess Damuck shares her passion for making truly delicious salads.
Salad Freak encourages readers to discover and embrace their own salad obsessions. With the right recipes, you will want to eat salad for every meal and never get bored. By playfully combining colour, texture, shape, and, of course, flavour, Damuck demonstrates how a little extra effort in the kitchen can be meditative, delicious, and fun.
The recipes—such as her Citrus Breakfast Salad; Tea-Smoked Chicken and Bitter Greens Salad; Caesar Salad Pizza Salad; and Roasted Grapes, Ricotta, Croutons, and Endive Salad—are meant to be hearty enough for a meal all year round but versatile enough to be incorporated into a larger menu.
For Damuck, the perfect salad balances each bite, with something tart enough to twinge your cheeks, something sweet to balance out the bitter, and something with a little salty crunch to finish.
Salad Freak is not just about eating to feel good; it’s about confidently combining flavours to create fresh, bright, and satisfying meals that you will want to make again and again.
Serves 2 to 4 as a meal
I really believe that sometimes it’s best not to mess too much with a classic, especially one like a Niçoise salad. But a few handfuls of herbs at the end really gives this salad so much more flavour and freshness.
½ pound (225 g) green beans, preferably haricots verts
½ small shallot
1 pint (280 g) cherry tomatoes
1 head Little Gem lettuce
½ pound (225 g) baby potatoes
Fresh basil, parsley, and dill, for serving
2 large eggs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
¼ cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup (155 g) olives, preferably Niçoise, or a mix
½ cup (70 g) caperberries
1 (6.7-ounce/190 g) jar pole-caught tuna packed in oil, drained
PREP: Snip the tops from ½ pound (225 g) green beans. Finely chop ½ shallot. Cut 1 pint (280 g) cherry tomatoes in half. Separate the leaves of 1 head lettuce and tear into bite-size pieces; wash and spin dry.
COOK: Prepare an ice bath. Put ½ pound (225 g) baby potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water by about 2 inches (5 cm). Bring to a boil and boil for about 12 minutes, until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a knife. Scoop the potatoes out with a spider and set aside to cool. Add a good amount of salt to the water and bring to a boil again. Add the green beans and cook until bright green and crisp tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer with the spider or tongs to the ice bath. Add 2 eggs to the water and cook for 10 minutes, then place in the ice bath to cool. Transfer the green beans to a paper towel to dry. Peel the eggs and cut into quarters and set aside for the moment.
MAKE THE CLASSIC SHERRY VINAIGRETTE: Put the shallot in a small bowl. Whisk in
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, 1 tablespoon mustard, and the juice of ½ lemon. While whisking, drizzle in ¼ cup (60 ml) oil. Whisk until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
ASSEMBLE AND SERVE: Begin by putting the lettuce leaves in a large bowl, drizzling in a bit of the dressing, seasoning with salt and pepper, tossing, and arranging on a serving platter. Continue to dress each element of the salad one at a time: potatoes, beans, tomatoes, 1 cup (155 g) olives, ½ cup (70 g) caperberries, and the tuna. Take care to do so lightly—the salad shouldn’t be drenched in vinaigrette. As you dress each element, arrange it in a cluster on top of the lettuce. The eggs can be arranged in various places on the platter, snuggled into the other vegetables. Scatter basil, parsley, and dill all over and then serve with the remaining ½ lemon cut into wedges.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Abrams Books.