Three Springy Lettuce-Free Salads

If the recent romaine scare in Ohio, Michigan and New York has you craving, even temporarily, salads of a different sort, consider these simple, lettuce-free salad combos:

Asparagus couscous salad: Snap the ends from thick asparagus and discard. Drizzle spears with olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay on a preheated grill, perpendicular to the grates, and cook until just tender and charred in spots, turning two or three times with tongs. Remove from grill, cut in 2-inch lengths, and toss with cooked, fluffy couscous and lemon zest. Serve with extra lemon wedges for squeezing and olive oil for drizzling.

Sesame spring pea salad: Trim several handfuls of fresh snap peas and blanch for a quick minute in a pot of boiling, salted water. Shock in an ice bath; drain and pat dry. Drizzle with sesame oil and sprinkle generously with toasted sesame seeds.

New potato caper salad: Place new potatoes a pot of cold, salted water to cover and set over high heat. Boil until fork-tender; drain. Slice and dress with a mustardy French vinaigrette (Dijon, olive oil, champagne vinegar, salt and pepper) and toss with a big mess of briny capers.

Serve these salads on a buffet line or as part of a vegetarian lunch or dinner. Of course, you can also pair them with grilled meats, roasted chicken, or seafood skewers. Either way, think outside the lettuce leaf, and don’t hesitate to get creative.



Cheryl Sternman Rule is a widely-published food writer and the voice behind the blog 5 Second Rule.






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