It's not easy being green. Literally. Yesterday, after another lack luster salad selection while out to lunch, I took to the airways and posted a note about my abhorrence of "mixed green salad." You know the one - a small plate full of simply dressed greens that look like the mixed salad bag from Trader Joe's. I hate those salads, truly. To me, they are the ultimate intimation of either a lazy chef or passionless chef. Am I being judgmental? Yes, of course, and listen….. I know that it is tough stuff to run a kitchen, work your rear off and not make a lot of money. But I also know (know!) it takes so little effort to make a nutritious, green salad that tastes great. Take, for instance, the Leafy Green salad at the Dahlia Lounge. For years, that salad has not changed and for good reason. Expect a generous pile of full-sized frilly greens served with a covering of grated parmesan and a thin crostini with goat cheese. There are herbs in there, but not enough to make it super herbaceous (like the memory-searing, ultimately perfect salad at Mary's Fish Camp in NYC) - just a subtle hint of the plants oil on your palate.
Thankfully, there are a few places around Seattle that offer amazing salads, according to the horde of people that posted on my Facebook account yesterday. Rather than letting the crowd-sourced info fall to the wayside, I decided to share it here. So in typical blog-y fashion, here is a round up of Seattle's Best Salads. I took the liberty to break them into sub-categories for ease, and because frankly, I don't consider a traditional Lyonnaise salad of lardon & eggs to be particularly "green" (i.e. predominantly vegetative & healthy). From the results, however, I'd been clearly (and happily!) overruled.
……….. SIGNATURE GREEN SALADS (expect to find these most any time you visit)
Leafy Greens from Dahlia Lounge
Salade Vert from Cafe Presse - a stack of butter lettuce with a mustard vinaigrette & sprinkling of hazelnuts
Jersey Salad at Delancey - two call outs for this one!
Lettuces Salad at The Whale Wins - three shout outs for this one!
Insalata Di Ciccoria from Spinasse - chicory, pear & more
Winter Chicory salad with citrus, sheep's feta and pistachios at Delancey
Raw Winter Greens salad from Golden Beetle (with a cumin vinaigrette that is so subtly brilliant)
Haricot verts, shaved asparagus, almond and Gribiche sauce, that was noted to be a "simple, rogue, delicious salad," from Marrow
Brussel Sprouts Salad with The Station Pizzeria - two shout outs for this one!
Kale & Roasted Cauliflower Salad at Grub
GREENS WITH A LITTLE OOMPH (i.e. Protein)
Salmon Nicoise at Nordstrom Café
Chicken Saigon Salad from Ba Bar
Corned Lamb salad at Revel
Duck Confit salad at Cafe Campagne
**Special thanks to all the reco's from (in order of salads listed above): Jenise Silva, Cara Ely, Lara Hamilton, Rachel Belle Krampfner, Tara Austen Weaver, Rachel Davies, Carilyn Platt, Caylee Betts, Henry Lo, Lorraine Goldberg & Regina De Wing (and apologies to anyone I left off, which happened if I could not find your salad online OR you didn't specify a salad - leave your note in the comments!)