America's Favorite Salads

Holly CleggHolly CleggFor some people, salads are just go-to options at lunch or dinner when it's crunch time - quick, healthy options when nothing else comes to mind at the moment. For others, they're just speed bumps on the way to something greater - a perfect roast chicken, a juicy grilled steak, or a mouthwatering rack of ribs - palate-cleansers, appetizers, but nothing memorable. Just some greens with some kind of vinaigrette and maybe a few other vegetables thrown in for good measure.

Related: The Healthiest and Unhealthiest Salad Dressings

But salad can be so much more than just an afterthought. With a little love, you can make some truly exciting salads, and where better to start than with the culinary greats - iconic American salad recipes.

Caprese Salad Recipe

This classic Italian salad is a must-have when tomatoes are at their best. Just a touch of olive oil and balsamic vinegar along with sweet, peppery basil highlights their natural flavor. And make sure to use the best mozzarella you can find. With ripe, juicy tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil, this salad rocks!

INGREDIENTS

2 cups sliced tomatoes or Roma tomatoes 3 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil Salt and pepper, to taste 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

DIRECTIONS

In a shallow bowl or plate, layer or arrange the tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Coat with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately.

Recipe Details

Servings: 4
Cuisine: Italian
Special Designations: Vegetarian

Greek Salad

Sometimes, the classics are the best, and this simple salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, feta, and Kalamata olives is one of many traditional ways to start a delicious Greek meal.

Click here to see the Classic Greek Salad Recipe.

Niçoise Salad

Viviane Bauquet Farre, author of Food and Style, offers her refreshing take on classic Niçoise salad.

Click here to see the Niçoise Salad with Grilled Vegetables and Basil-Mustard Vinaigrette Recipe.

Waldorf Salad

Here is David Garcelon's updated, lightened take on the iconic salad from the place that started it all - Garcelon is the culinary director at the Waldorf Astoria New York.

Click here to see the Waldorf Salad Recipe.

Italian Salad

Sopressata, pepperoni, prosciutto, sharp provolone… wait is this a salad? Yes it is, an Italian deli classic. (There are a few leaves in there, too - some arugula, anyone?)

Click here to see the Insalata Italiana Recipe.

-Holly Clegg, The Daily Meal

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