Beyond Kale: The Five Salads You Need to Eat Right Now

Photos by Jane Bruce

While we ran a guide to Brooklyn’s best fried foods earlier in the summer, we also acknowledge that, unlike us, not everyone has given up on themselves entirely, their bodies ravaged by seven-some odd years of professional eating and 11 more of marriage. That’s why we thought we’d do due diligence by rounding up some of the borough’s tastiest salads as well, from The Finch’s tumble of burrata, chocolate peppermint, and tiny wild strawberries, to the deep-fried taco bowl at El Cortez. Because you didn’t actually think we’d endorse rabbit food, did you?

 

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MP Taverna’s Cypriot Salad: This hearty salad follows the tenets of the much ballyhooed Mediterranean diet to the letter, delivering plenty of non-meat protein with a base of cracked bulgur wheat, bulked out with crunchy veggies like peppers, onions, cucumber, and cilantro, naturally sweetened with fiber-rich dates and antioxidant-packed pomegranates, and finished with a dose of good fat, by way of smoked almonds and pistachios.
470 Driggs Avenue, Williamsburg

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El Cortez’ Taco Salad: Granted, El Cortez’ sour cream-dressed, oil-dunked tortilla bowl challenges the very concept of salad as health food, but there must be some nutritional merit inherent in wads of shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and rings of canned black olives, right?
17 Ingraham Street, Bushwick

faro

Faro’s Fire Roasted Beets: Lettuce doesn’t generally bring a whole lot to the party in terms of flavor or nutritional value (although, in the case of El Cortez’ taco salad, it does, it totally does), which is why we tend to prefer salads that bypass waterlogged iceberg or lackluster romaine completely. And Faro allows fat, tender-fleshed quarters of fire-kissed beets to take center stage in their, let’s just say veggie mélange, which is anchored to the plate with swaths of whipped chèvre, daubed with nubby pistachio pesto, and made even more substantial with a few golden-yolked canoes of soft boiled egg.
436 Jefferson Street, Bushwick

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Hill Country Chicken’s Country Cobb: The BK location of Hill Country Chicken has finally added grilled items to their menu, meaning your jury duty lunch break doesn’t have to be a deep-fried diet disaster. Granted, it still totally can be, if you order your lettuce topped with buttermilk brined bird instead, but you definitely won’t need the extra fat when it comes to the towering Country Cobb, which features bacon, blue cheese, egg, tomatoes and pickled beets in an avocado dressing, presented on a mixed bed of romaine and kale.
345 Adams Street, Downtown Brooklyn

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The Finch’s Tristar Strawberries: The Finch offers a reasonably inspired take on the kale salad (it’s not a caesar, for one), tossed with smoked ricotta, balsamic and pistachio butter. But if you’re willing to expand your definition of salad to “a usually incongruous mixture” (via Merriam-Webster), you’ll find that most of the items at the Clinton Hill eatery fabulously fit the bill. There’s a plate of thumbnail-sized Tristar strawberries, for instance, which lap up the escaped rivulets of cream from an accompanying bulb of burrata; pork belly crowning a Caprese of sorts, made from tomato, basil and lime; and a bundle of prized peekytoe crab, paired with snow peas, pencil leeks, and coins of shaved turnip.
212 Greene Avenue, Clinton Hill

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