Bigger Bits | Food | Series | What I'm Eating

three salad ideas for your next dinner party

I’m a celebrator of beauty and connection through food and celebration. Gathering those I love, and even strangers that I’ll come to love, around a table is so crucial to who I am.

Hosting is often so intimidating for people- and I love creating ways to lessen that intimidation. Sometimes, simplicity with food wins. Gathering, eating, and celebrating don’t need to be complicated. Sometimes we get lost in the chaos of presentation and perfection, forgetting what truly matters when bringing people together.

Don’t shy away from the most complicated and extravagant of affairs of course, but remember the magic in simplicity. And when it comes to food, magic for me means sharing deliciousness together.

Serving massive salads family-style is something I love doing, because salads can be turned into anything your palate is craving, anything your imagination can dream up. Don’t get caught up in thinking salad is expected or plain- see it as a way to give some of the usual comfort in an exciting new way.

Today I’m sharing 3 different salad recipes of mine for you to serve up at your next dinner party. Add things, omit things, serve them how’d you like! And remember that the simple, when done with intention and love, can be oh so uniting.

Oh- and these are big salads! So they can feed up to 10!

Avocado, Corn, Tomato, and Arugula Salad with Avocado Cilantro Vinaigrette

12 cups arugula
1 red onion, sliced
3 (1 for the dressing) avocados
2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
3 husks of raw corn, with kernels cut off the cob
1 large handful of cilantro
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
2 garlic cloves

For your salad: In a large serving bowl, arrange your salad ingredients (arugula, red onion, 2 avocados, cherry tomatoes, corn). I like to start with about half of all the ingredients and mix them together with all the arugula, then use the remaining half to style the top of the salad! Arrange a couple avocado halves on the top for a pretty green touch.

For your dressing: In a blender, combine your one remaining avocado, olive oil, cilantro, vinegar, salt and garlic. Blend until smooth!

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Kale, Cranberry, and Macadamia Nut Salad with Honey Vinaigrette

12 cups kale, washed and chopped
1/2 a purple cabbage, sliced
1 cup macadamia nuts
1 1/2 cups cranberries
1 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil + 1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon salt

For your salad: In a large serving bowl, arrange your kale, purple cabbage, cranberries, macadamia nuts, and cheese. Massage the kale and other ingredients with 1 tablespoon olive oil and mix well.

For your dressing: In a separate container- shake your oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, and salt until they’re well combined. Dress your salad before serving. This salad is great if it sits for a while- so it’s a good one to make ahead!

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The Ultimate Produce Salad

This is one of my favorite salads- because it’s just a smorgasbord of good things. I shop my local farmers market, pick out a bunch of veggies in season, then pile them onto a platter and top with my favorite avocado vinaigrette. Sometimes, I don’t even chop the lettuce, I just pile it on!

6-8 cups of fresh greens (I used butter lettuce)
6-8 different veggies! (for this one, I used zucchini, mini heirloom tomatoes, red onion, avocado, and even some edible flowers!)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
Juice of two limes
2 garlic cloves
1 avocado
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar

For your salad: On a large serving platter, lay your lettuce of choice, then arrange all your fresh veggies on top. Before serving, drizzle liberally with your dressing!

For your dressing: Combine your oil, salt, lime juice, garlic, avocado, and vinegar in a blender until well combined.

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