These vibrant, bright salads work for Thanksgiving and beyond

Grapefruit-Herb Salad With Coconut and Crispy Shallots

This vibrant salad, based on yum som-o, a pomelo salad from Thailand, puts citrus front and center. Grapefruit is used here, but if you happen on pomelos, grab a few: They’re much easier to peel and loosen from their piths. Fragrant toasted coconut, salty peanuts and crunchy shallots create layers of texture, while dried shrimp adds a saltiness that greets your tongue in little bursts.

Total time: 30 minutes

Services: 4

  • ½ cup large unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola
  • ½ cup raw, skin-on whole peanuts
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 to 2 bird’s-eye chilies, minced, or 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 red grapefruit
  • ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • ¼ cup Thai or sweet basil leaves, torn
  • 2 tablespoons tiny dried shrimp (optional)
  • ¼ cup store-bought crispy shallots
  1. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, toast the coconut flakes, stirring constantly, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add the oil to the pan and heat over medium. Add the peanuts and toast, stirring constantly until fragrant and golden brown, 5 minutes. Season lightly with salt and transfer to the bowl with the coconut.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and 2 tablespoons water. Whisk together to dissolve the sugar. Add the lime juice to the bowl. Add the fish sauce, chilli and garlic. Stir to combine.
  3. Cut off the tops and bottoms of the grapefruits with a sharp knife so each fruit sits flat on your work surface. Slice off the rest of the peels in strips, cutting down the length of the fruit and carefully removing the white pith as you go. Over a large bowl, use your fingers to pull the citrus flesh off the membrane in large pieces. You can also use your knife to slice the flesh off the membrane. Discard the membrane and transfer the flesh to a large bowl. You should have about 5 cups fruit flesh with some juice in the bowl.
  4. To the bowl of citrus, add half of the cilantro, all the basil leaves and the dried shrimp, if using. Pour in ¼ cup dressing and toss gently to combine. Add the coconut and peanut mixture and toss with a couple more tablespoons of the dressing. Divide the salad among bowls or transfer to a serving platter. Top with the remaining cilantro leaves, spoon over the remaining dressing and sprinkle with the crispy shallots. Serve immediately.

Green Salad With Apple Cider Vinaigrette

With its delicate, crisp bite, this “just greens” salad — meaning not just leafy greens, but shades of green — dressed with an acidic, lightly sweetened cider vinaigrette can be a simple addition to your holiday spread. The recipe carries many of the season’s brightest notes and uses ingredients you likely have on hand. Green is the theme but not the rule, so any sour-sweet red apple will work just great.

Total time: 10 minutes

Services: 4

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Dijon mustard teaspoons
  • 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 green apple, cored, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce, trimmed, leaves pulled apart, washed and torn into large pieces
  • 1 head romaine, trimmed, leaves pulled apart, washed and torn into large pieces
  • 2 baby arugula cups
  • ¼ cup chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts (optional)
  1. In a small bowl, combine the cider vinegar, mustard, dark brown sugar and 1 teaspoon room-temperature water. Whisk continuously and drizzle in the olive oil to make a smooth emulsion. Season with salt and black pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
  2. Transfer the apple slices and chips to a large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of the dressing and toss together to coat. Add the green leaf lettuce, romaine and baby arugula and gently toss to combine.
  3. Pile handfuls of the mixed greens and apples on a serving platter or among plates. Drizzle each handful on the plate with a spoonful of dressing. Continue with more handfuls and drizzles of dressing until the greens are all used up. Top with the chopped, toasted nuts, if using. Serve immediately.

Beet Salad With Coriander-Yogurt Dressing

This beet salad with roast chickpeas and cilantro yogurt is all about big forkfuls of vegetables. Plump chickpeas suffused with warm coriander and bright orange zest lend a delightfully crisp crunch. And you’ll probably want to top everything on your plate with the creamy yogurt dressing.

Total time: 30 minutes

Services: 6

  • 1 (15½-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 orange
  • ¼ cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 pounds cooked whole red or golden beets (store-bought or homemade), peeled and cut into ½-inch-thick rounds
  • 3 baby arugula cups
  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the chickpeas on a small baking sheet and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Season lightly with salt, black pepper, ½ teaspoon coriander and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Roast the chickpeas until golden brown and crispy, shaking the sheet halfway through baking, 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and while still warm, zest the orange over the roasted chickpeas. Stir to combine.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the yogurt, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar and the remaining 1 teaspoon ground coriander. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss the beets, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and remaining 1 tablespoon rice vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Add the arugula and toss to combine.
  4. To serve, spread half of the yogurt dressing on a serving platter. Add the beet mixture and scatter the chickpeas all over the top. Spoon the remaining yogurt dressing over everything and serve immediately.

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