Cool and creative salads will help you forget that steamy September sometimes feels like it’s still summertime in H-town
By Robin Barr Sussman
Sensational center-of-the-plate salads aren’t just for lunch — or diets. There’s a world of globally inspired bowls out there ready for your knife and fork. So toss around these new ideas for crisp and satisfying salads while you count down the days until the temperatures start to drop.
Bacon lovers will squeal with delight over the Cobb salads at this Brazilian meat palace. Bacon slices, bacon wrapped grilled chicken and grilled shrimp star as proteins. Toppings include avocado, cucumber and chunks of blue cheese. Say no to sad salads and yes to this star-studded ensalada.
5865 Westheimer, 713-244-9500, www.chamagaucha.com
The fancy seasonal lobster salad at this chic Chinese dim sum house is the answer to hot days and jaded palates. With sweet and tender lobster chunks, spring cress, macadamia nuts, lemongrass and ginger dressing, it’s almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
5045 Westheimer, 713-357-7588, www.yauatcha.com
Fun salads fill the roster at this cozy bungalow, including the seasonal Thai crispy rice salad with puffy rice, watermelon radishes, herbs and Thai shrimp. Vegans will be happy with Don’t Squash My Vibe, a bowl of mixed summer squash, squash pesto and herbed vinaigrette.
2048 Colquitt, 346-319-5919, www.nobieshtx.com
Fish fans should catch the Wicked Tuna Poke at the new outpost in the Post Oak Hotel compound. Generous amounts of spanking fresh ahi tuna share the bowl with beautifully presented avocado, thinly sliced cucumbers, spicy aioli and ponzu glaze.
1640 West Loop South, 713-840-7190, www.williegs.com
Calling all vegetarians! Dig into the Brussels Sprout Super salad, a meatless mountain of nutrition-packed ingredients: shaved almonds, golden raisins, dried cherries, low fat shredded Monterey Jack cheese and shaved Brussels sprouts, of course.
12525 Memorial, 713-467-3474; 5740 San Felipe, 832-538-1060; 23501 Cinco Ranch Boulevard (Katy), 281-394-7555; www.dishsociety.com
Pretty and thoughtfully composed salads like the marinated shrimp with lettuces, pickled herbs and shaved radish will keep you coming back to this Heights mainstay for your salad fix. Also try the delightful peach, burrata and speck salad with hazelnuts, jalapeño and Champagne vinaigrette.
250 West 19th, 713-864-2050, www.alicebluehouston.com
Grilled Steak And Tomato Salad With Balsamic Vinaigrette
Simple but hearty, this company worthy recipe was inspired by the seasonally rotating salad at Heights gem Revival Market (550 Heights Boulevard, 713-880-8463, revivalmarket.com). Quick tip: Grill an extra steak and some corn over the weekend and use them for leftovers in this mouthwatering salad.
1 pound slender green beans, trimmed
6 cups arugula
4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups fresh corn kernels, grilled or cooked
1 small purple onion, thinly sliced
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
3 8-ounce strip loin steaks
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
Cook green beans in boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about four minutes. Drain. Transfer to a bowl of ice water and cool. Drain.
Prepare grill on medium high heat to cook the steak. In a large bowl, combine green beans, arugula, tomatoes, corn kernels and onion. In a small bowl, whisk together a half cup of olive oil and vinegar.
Brush steaks with remaining olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Grill to desired doneness, about four minutes per side for medium-rare. Let the steaks rest briefly and then cut steaks crosswise into strips.
Toss salad with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide salad among six bowls. Top with steak strips and sprinkled cheese.
Yield: Six servings
New to the United States is Très Chic Rosé (2017 France), a pretty wine that goes with just about everything. The fresh, lively and dry Grenache blend displays notes of strawberry, watermelon, honeydew and pink rose. It has enough tannic grip, acidity and vibrant fruitiness for a seamless pairing with this bold steak salad. As a matter of fact, this terrific wine will marry well with any of the salads we’ve featured this month.
Buy it: Spec’s Wine, Spirits and Finer Foods, multiple locations, specsonline.com, about $16.