Five Delicious Summer Salads

By: 
Leslie Kelly
Enjoying a made-to-order Caesar salad at SafeCo Field

Ah, don't you just love salad days?

It’s summer and we cannot get enough nicely dressed greens, pickled veggies and the unexpected appearance of wild cards like fruit, not to mention exceptional salads served in unexpected places. (Yes, maybe they should rename Safeco Field...of greens.) Here are five salads that get us hot:

1. If there’s a better $5 Caesar in the city than the beauty at the ballpark, lead us to it. The made-to-order Caesar at Modern Apizza stand in The ‘Pen hits the mark on many levels: chilled, fresh romaine, croutons that are crunchy yet not molar busting, a fantastic dressing and just the right amount of it, a shower of shaved parm and, hey, this salad is HUGE. Score!

2. The beet tartare at Steelhead Diner is a gorgeous nod to the classic raw beef dish. In its dazzling cylindrical presentation, this veggie tartare might even pass for its meaty cousin, but take one bite and there’s no mistaking those tender pink roots. Partnered with blue cheese crumbles and a tangle of frisee, this manages the salad trifecta: sweet, salty, tart.

3. Brave Horse Tavern is rightly famous for its pretzels and dyn-o-mite burger, but dig a little deeper on that casual menu and you’ll discover the Prosser Farms chop salad, starring tender greens grown on Tom Douglas and Jackie Cross’s spread in Eastern WA. Quinoa, chickpeas, carrots, green peas, tossed in an orange-cumin vinaigrette give those greens extra heft, but it's still light enough so there's room for that belt-busting banana split.

4. What sets the watermelon salad at the Chihuly Collections Café apart from others? The puckering pickled watermelon rind on top. Oh yeah. The ricotta salata and toasty pistachios tossed in the mix add up to a super satisfying starter.

5. Kale is red hot these days, most often sautéed into limp submission. In a salad form, the greenest of greens can be chew-chew-chewy. On The Fly, Chris Keff’s casual off-shoot of Flying Fish, manages to nail the perfect middle ground, where the kale salad has texture that’s both tender and toothsome, dressed in a spot-on vinaigrette. A side salad is just $3, the just-right size to enjoy alongside a terrific piece of cold fried chicken. In other words, the ideal summer lunch.

What's your fave seasonal salad?

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