By Alison Bailin Batz
What better time than March to think green – as in salads. But if a salad conjures images of simple mixed greens with less-than-thrilling garnishes, think again. Thanks to the ingenuity of local chefs, “rabbit food” these are not. So, before you skip over the salad section of the menu, take note of 12 nosh-worthy veggie variations.
Atlas Bistro BYOB
Dish: Heirloom Beet Salad, $14
About: This artful dish is a celebration of beets and their classic pairings, featuring golden, Chioggia and Merlin beets using four different techniques: roasted, raw, confiture and pureed. The accoutrements include forms of dill, sour cream, horseradish and potato chips, which are tossed with ground dehydrated horseradish. Pickled pearl onions add the finishing touch, bringing acidity to the earthy dish.
2515 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale; 480.990.2433;
Char Kitchen + Bar
Dish: Farmers Market Kale & Quinoa, $12
About: A nod to the owners’ Albanian heritage, this salad features flavors from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean. Comprised of kale, quinoa, roasted red peppers, carrots, feta, cranberries and almonds, the salad is tossed with a light Champagne vinaigrette.
6107 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale; 480.664.9238;
Dish: The Stetson Chopped, $13
About: A Scottsdale classic – and perhaps the most famous salad in town (it has its own Facebook page!) – this mixture of dried corn, Israeli couscous, smoked salmon, Asiago cheese, pepitas, tomatoes, arugula and currants with a housemade pesto buttermilk dressing is a medley of flavors you won’t soon forget.
7133 E. Stetson Drive, Scottsdale; 480.946.3111; www.cowboyciao.com.
Dish: Butternut Squash & Kale, $11
About: Pears, Brussels sprouts, goat cheese and pecans mixed with fresh kale and caramelized honey vinaigrette make this melange a savory complement to Culinary Dropout’s gastropub fare. Try it with smoked salmon or chicken for a filling and flavorful meal in itself.
7135 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale; 480.970.1700;
D’Lite Healthy on the Go
Dish: The “Man” Salad, $9.25
About: The tuna-stuffed avocado is the star here, but the bed of fresh mixed greens, chicken, bacon, feta and tomato it’s served on – not to mention the creamy cucumber blue cheese dressing – is just as fabulous (in a manly way, of course).
7337 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale; 480.248.9545; 2613 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale; 480.247.8537; www.dlishdrivethru.com.
EAT by Stacey Weber
Dish: Roasted Vegetable and Kale Salad, $10
About: This hearty salad features a variety of seasonal veggies including butternut squash, delicata squash, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower – each of which has been roasted to intensify the flavors – which are then mixed with Tuscan kale and finished with dried apricot, candied buckwheat and housemade maple-balsamic vinaigrette.
4740 E. Shea Blvd., Phoenix; 602.328.9344; www.eatbystaceyweber.com.
Ironwood American Kitchen
Dish: Kitchen Sink Salad, $16
About: Did someone say popcorn? Yes, heirloom popcorn (specially grown kernels with natural pollination and flavor) is included in this dish at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, which also features edamame, spring peas, avocado and white endive – all from Ironwood’s own garden – dressed with a sweet mustard vinaigrette.
7575 E. Princess Drive, Scottsdale; 480.585.4848; www.scottsdaleprincess.com.
Dish: Beets + Palm Salad, $14
About: Beets from Executive Chef Chris Neff’s on-property garden at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa are the showstoppers in this signature starter. The fresh beets are tossed with goat cheese from Arizona’s own Crow’s Dairy, along with palm hearts and blood oranges, then drizzled with housemade St. Germain vinaigrette.
5402 E. Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale; 480.905.7979; www.camelbackinn.com.
Marigold Maison Indian Cuisine
Dish: Quinoa Salad, $10
About: Delightful in its simplicity, mixed greens, quinoa, chickpeas, cucumber, tomato and onion are tossed in citrus dressing. This medley is fresh and vibrant on its own, but when paired with a protein like the tandoori salmon, you’ll get an extra kick of flavor and nutrients.
4720 E. Cactus Road, Paradise Valley; 602.795.0020;
Dish: Kale Salad, $12
About: Marinated for 24 hours in Aleppo pepper, lemon juice and olive oil, this salad at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia takes kale to a new level. With each bite, experience the light housemade green goddess dressing, a delicious combo of avocado, lemon juice, Greek yogurt and spices. Topped off with marcona almonds, black grapes, manchego cheese, broccolini and more avocado, the salad is a sensory experience – especially if you add salmon for a bounty of protein.
4949 E. Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley; 480.627.3020;
Dish: The TapHouse Salad, $12
About: This salad is bursting with bright notes, thanks to the addition of citrus and a vinaigrette made with Uncle Bear’s Mandarin Wheat beer, which are blended with Arizona greens, Crow’s Dairy feta cheese, local cucumber, candied walnuts and grilled red onion.
6137 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale; 480.656.0012;
The Living Room Wine Cafe & Lounge
Dish: Super Food Salad, $13.95
About: This is one plate packed with powerful ingredients, such as kale, romaine lettuce, dried cranberries, radishes, almonds, avocado, quinoa, goat cheese and flax seeds, all tossed with a housemade herb yogurt dressing.
8787 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale; 480.634.6709;