Start with a Holiday Salad

Prep your palate for the main course with a fragrant and flavorful salad course loaded with seasonal fruits and vegetables.

  • Mesclun Greens with Dried Figs and Goat Cheese
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro

    Mesclun Greens with Dried Figs and Goat Cheese

    Plate a beautiful salad course of cheese-stuffed endive leaves, sliced Granny Smith apples, and mesclun greens, all dressed with a five-ingredient red wine-balsamic dressing. Sprinkle with dried cranberries for a pop of color and a hint of sweetness.
  • Pear Salad with Raspberry Cream

    Pear Salad with Raspberry Cream

    This five-star salad is the perfect accompaniment to any holiday entrée. Top a blend of Bibb and romaine lettuces with pear quarters, crumbled bacon, fresh raspberries, and a dressing made from sour cream, raspberry preserves, red wine vinegar, and Dijon mustard.
  • Butter Lettuce Salad with Parmesan Tuiles and Almonds
    Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Karen Shinto

    Butter Lettuce Salad with Parmesan Tuiles and Almonds

    Serve a simple salad with a creamy Parmesan dressing and dress it up with cheese tuiles, crisp cookie-like edible garnishes. Make the tuiles by melting little piles of Parmesan cheese in the oven for about five minutes. They make any dish look gourmet and take only minutes to prepare.
  • Autumn Salad
    Photo: James Carrier

    Autumn Salad

    Packed with the best flavors of autumn, this salad is sure to be a winner on your holiday buffet. Hazelnuts, tangerines, dates, and butter lettuce get a flavorful treatment from fruit juice, olive oil, and a little salt and pepper. It's a great way to add bright color to the table.
  • Belgian Endive Salad with Stilton and Apples
    Photo: James Carrier

    Belgian Endive Salad with Stilton and Apples

    Roast and chop the shallots for this salad up to one day ahead to save time, then mix with other bold ingredients including red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard to make a sassy vinaigrette. Serve with crumbled cheese, endive, and green apple slices.
  • Christmas Ribbon Salad

    Christmas Ribbon Salad

    If your day-of cooking schedule is packed, choose a make-ahead salad that works in the fridge while you go about your holiday preparations. This dish can be made in either a regular Bundt cake pan or a decorative mold. The eye-catching dual layers transform this salad from a simple side to an edible table centerpiece.
  • Harvest Salad with Cider Vinaigrette
    Photo: Ralph Anderson; Styling: Leslie Byars Simpson

    Harvest Salad with Cider Vinaigrette

    The night before your holiday meal, toss together this salad's fruity vinaigrette, made from red pears, apricots, figs, and raisins. Before sitting down to dinner, simply drizzle the dressing over fresh spinach and top with nuts and cheese for a quick and easy salad course.
  • Avocado-Citrus Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
    Photo: Fran Gealer

    Avocado-Citrus Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

    Serve delicate baby greens topped with grapefruit, navel oranges, and creamy avocados for a sweet and tart citrus salad. Chill the salad plates before plating the salad to keep the greens crisp after being tossed with the lemon and Champagne vinaigrette.
  • Belgian Endive and Apple Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
    Photo: Jan Smith

    Belgian Endive and Apple Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

    Prepare the individual components of this salad up to two days in advance so you have more time during the holiday to visit with friends or family. Reduce preparation time even more by using bagged Italian blend greens.
  • Watercress Endive Salad with Blood Oranges and Pomegranates
    Lisa Romerein; Valerie Aikman-Smith

    Watercress Endive Salad with Blood Oranges and Pomegranates

    Plate a delicate display of watercress, endive, and peeled and seeded blood oranges. Drizzle with a Champagne vinaigrette and top with pomegranate seeds and slivered almonds. It's sure to wow your dinner guests in both presentation and taste.
  • Warm Frisee Salad with Crispy Kosher Salami
    Oxmoor House

    Warm Frisee Salad With Crispy Kosher Salami

    Add a little meat to the salad course by serving pan-fried kosher beef salami over crisp greens. A warm mustard vinaigrette adds bold flavor to the fresh dish.
  • Ensalada de Noche Buena
    Douglas Merriam; Jan Gautro

    Ensalada de Noche Buena

    Spice up the holiday spread with a Tex-Mex-inspired salad featuring pomegranate seeds, pumpkinseed kernels, and fresh cilantro.
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