With the Arrival of the Hot Weather it’s Time to Break Out the Salads

There are many benefits to eating a salad a day. By incorporating salad into your meals, you can increase your health, lower your cholesterol, and get your daily serving of vegetables in one sitting.

Salad’s are full of nutrients and essential vitamins. When shopping for those leafy greens think bright and dark like kale and swiss chard, romaine and spinach rather than iceberg. Fiber, an important part of our diet, also known as roughage comes from leafy greens and fresh raw vegetables such as peas, beans, apples, blueberries and pears. Fiber helps to regulate the body and rid of general toxins and staves off hunger. Salads are super easy to make and a convenient way to give your body what it needs.

As evident from previous articles, Victoria’s Top Salad Rolls and Lettuce Be Friends of mine, I am drawn to anything remotely resembling a salad.

In the summer months, I go into a frenzy of salad eating, working my way through bowls of greens. With what the garden produces and the produce from our local markets it’s silly not to eat salad. It takes mere minutes to whip up a salad at home. Plus, you can pack them and take them on the go.

Ingredients can vary from raw vegetables to roasted (squash, potatoes) to pickled (beets, cabbage) to poached (pears, eggs, tuna). Add some extra crunch from raw nuts (almonds, cashews) and seeds (pumpkin, sunflower), or extra protein from garbanzo beans, black beans or edamame.

There are no fast and hard rules when it comes to salad making but a little creativity and colour goes a long way. Also, when you’re fairly practiced at making salads at home, restaurant salad’s can be a real disappointment. I’ve been to a few places (mostly in the U.S.) where after ordering the “house salad” I ended up with iceberg lettuce, a few tomato wedges and ranch dressing.

Fortunately, Victoria is a city that supports its local farmers and enjoys year round access to fresh, regional produce. Hence, ordering a salad at one of our many restaurants is typically a satisfying experience. Our chef’s know how to create big, bountiful salads with big flavour and the best ingredients.

The following restaurants made the cut on my list for taking salads to the next level in taste and convenience. From kale “caesar” salad to a classic tuna niçoise, you can bet your bottom dollar these five salad options are as lovely to look at as they are filling and flavourful to eat. The perfect Monday-Friday lunch!

Best Chicken Salad

Pagliaccis

The Marco Polo Grilled Half Chicken breast with romaine lettuce, artichokes, black olives, red onion, tomato, carrots, parmesan cheese with a pesto vinaigrette dressing. The original recipe brought back from 12th Century China, but fresher – Half $10.5 or Full $13.5

1011 Broad Street

(250) 386-1662

 

Best Spin on the classic Ceasar Salad

Rebar

Kale, Charred Onion and Slow Roast Tomato Salad with shaved asiago cheese, fried capers and fresh basil & oregano leaves dressed lightly with housemade caesar dressing (no egg, anchovy) – $13

50 Bastion Square

(250) 361-9223

 

Best Spinach Salad

Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub 

Goat Cheese & Beet: Loaded with fresh spinach (from Dragonfly Farms in the summer months), Saanich Organics roasted beets, Happy Valley goat cheese, spiced local hazelnuts, and craft brewed barley wine vinaigrette. Half $7.5 or Full $14.5

308 Catherine Street

(250) 386-2739

Toll Free: 1-877-838-2739

 

Best Tuna Salad 

Zambris

Insalada Nizzarda: a beautifully plated salad with smoked tuna, cannelloni beans, hard boiled egg, fresh greens, capers, anchovy and olives – $12

820 Yates Street

(250) 370-1171

 

Best Salad To-Go

Fairways Market (Quadra Street Village)

Feel like eating lunch outside, or back at the office? The salad bar at Fairways is impressive, always fresh and reasonably priced. Items include mixed greens, spinach, romaine, various cheeses (brie, aged cheddar, parmesan etc.), boiled eggs, cured meats, roast chicken, imitation crab, bean salad, pickled beets, shelled nuts, olives, pea sprouts, fresh raw vegetables, edamame and a wide selection of fresh fruit – $1.39 per 100 grams.

2635 Quadra Street

(250) 380-9773

Pictured at the top: Rebar’s Kale salad

Written By:

Holly Brooke is a true B.C. gal. Having lived on the west coast most of her life, except for several years in the Kootenay's where she canoed and fished and lived in a tipi, she's very much at home outdoors and in the kitchen. ...

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