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Seven days, seven salads: These recipes will definitely win you friends

To fight the February blahs, The Globe is featuring a weeks' worth of a recipes for one of the most convenient, flavour-packed, endlessly delicious dishes ever. Here is the third instalment.

Share your own winning salad with us: Tweet or Instagram a picture with #friendswithsalad (don't forget to list ingredients!).

Tad Seaborn for The Globe and Mail

The Belle Jar

It’s the perfectly green (not to mention pretty) way to transport your lunch. Salads stored in mason jars can be made ahead of time and then grabbed on your way out the door and to work. Start with the dressing at the bottom and then pile in the ingredients, the tender bits go in last. One of my favourite combos is a crisp, bright Greek salad. What you’ll need: vinaigrette, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, thinly sliced red onion, roasted red peppers, kalamata olive, lettuce. (If you wish, add chicken or chick peas for protein.) – Sue Riedl
Tad Seaborn for The Globe and Mail

Bowled over

I love the texture of this salad: the chewiness of the rice and barley, freshness of the edamame and the soft, creamy melt of the roasted chestnuts. This works well on its on for a quick lunch but also can be made ahead as a pot-luck dish or to serve with roast chicken. Combine 3 cups cooked wild rice, 1 cup cooked barley and 1 1/2 cups cooked edamame beans. Add 5-6 roasted chestnuts (available shelled and roasted) and toss with a dressing made from 1/4 cup good olive oil (I like a nice grassy flavoured option), 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon liquid honey, 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar and 3/4 teaspoon salt (or adjust to taste). The dressing is meant to have a hint of sweetness and will not be terribly acidic, which gives a nice soft flavour to the dish. Salt is important so make sure you check your seasoning. Allow to sit overnight (if possible) to allow flavours to meld and adjust again before serving.– Sue Riedl
Tad Seaborn for The Globe and Mail

The Tower

We maybe wistful for flavourful tomatoes in the winter months but one can substitute with earthy, sweet roasted beets in this Caprese-style dish. You can slice the beets and stack them, alternating them with slices of fresh, milky buffalo mozzarella for a simple make-ahead appetizer or colourful winter salad. Alternate golden beets with the red if you can find both. To roast the beets preheat your oven to 425 F. Wrap the beets tightly (removing any leaves) in foil. One small beet per person is a safe bet, I wrap two in one foil bundle. Bake on a cookie sheet for 45 minutes to an hour or until a knife slides easily in and out of the beet. Allow to cool. Once cooled, the beets’ skin will easily scrape off with a spoon (I wear rubber gloves to avoid staining). Slice them before serving. Stack with the cheese and drizzle with good quality olive oil, balsamic, finishing with a little bit of fleur de sel. Serves 4. – Sue Riedl
Tad Seaborn for The Globe and Mail

Spuds Supreme

Most people have a favourite potato salad, a family recipe and here’s my mom’s. And yes, it’s the best. I recommend it with a crisp schnitzel just warm from the frying pan.

Serves 6

Night before: Peel and boil 5 medium potatoes and 3 large carrots, drain then cool in fridge. To assemble salad prepare 3 hard-boiled eggs. Cool and cube. Finely dice 1 small onion, one peeled small apple, the carrots and 3 pickles (Polski Ogorki are best). Set aside. Cube the potatoes – small — about 1 cm (don’t obsess). Toss potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt. Add other ingredients plus ¾ cup mayo, 2 teaspoons (ballpark) mustard, 2 teaspoons white vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix well to combine. Let sit overnight. Adjust seasoning adding more mustard, vinegar or salt as needed to balance the flavour. – Sue Riedl

Tad Seaborn for The Globe and Mail

The Quick Pickle

This may be the simplest salad I make, and thus the one I make most often. Because in a pinch, a cucumber is usually the vegetable I have lying around. It’s also the salad I loved as a kid — it’s fresh, crisp and tasty — the secret lies in the balance of the sweet and tang of the dressing, not in how long it takes to make.

Serves 4 as a side

Peel the cucumber and slice thinly (I also like it finely diced, but not if I’m in a rush!). Whisk together 2 tablespoons white vinegar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons sugar and 1 tbsp vegetable oil plus 1 tbsp cold water. Toss and serve. If feeling adventurous add a dollop of sour cream or mayo to the dressing. – Sue Riedl


Reader's Salad: @CMA_1116

"Arugula & Spinach w/olives, goat cheese, beets, cherry tomatoes & balsamic"

Reader's Salad: Louise Gleeson

"My almost #vegan lunch {I used a creamy lemon poppyseed dressing}: cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, cranberries, pumpkin seeds and roasted sweet potato chunks."
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