Since when did “salad” come to mean lettuce with dressing and a few shreds of cheese? According to the Oxford American Dictionary, “salad” is a “cold dish of various mixtures or raw or cooked vegetables, usually seasoned with oil, vinegar or other dressing and sometimes accompanied by meat, fish or other ingredients.”
We agree. Some of the most satisfying salads haven’t a shred of lettuce anywhere. Once you let go of the idea that all salads have to start with a head of lettuce, there is no end to the possibilities. We turned a Middle Eastern tabbouleh made with bulgur into a main dish with chicken and corn. We added fresh green beans and tomatoes to a two-bean salad and put two of our favorites, deviled eggs and russet potato salad, together to make one delicious potato salad. These are great for toting to a picnic or for a dinner on the deck.
—By Jean Kressy, a food writer in Ashburnham, Mass.