O.C.’s Best Salads
Whether prepared as a main dish or a side course, salads are a staple here in Orange County. We’re not talking about placing some plain old leafy greens on a plate, we’re talking a medley of vibrant colors, textures, and tastes that are satisfying, but still leave you feeling light and healthy. We’ve rounded up the our favorite salad destinations in Orange County, just for you:
True Food Kitchen at Fashion Island has a mantra: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple and Pure. That’s just what you’ll find in their Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad ($13). This refreshing mix of goat cheese, basil, cashew & olive oil atop of juicy heirloom tomatoes and crisp watermelon is a summer must try.
The Organic Tuscan Kale Salad ($9) is another True Food Kitchen favorite. This seemingly simple dish is packed with both flavor and nutrients. Lemon, Parmesan and breadcrumbs are whisked together and thoughtfully mixed in with organic kale.
The Farmer’s Market Panzanella ($14) from Babette’s in Crystal Cove Shopping Center is composed of lollipop kale sprouts, Asian pear, pickled cauliflower / heirloom radish, pumpkin seeds, cabernet reduction, Point Reyes farmstead blue cheese and drizzled in a hazelnut-honey vinaigrette. Each bite captures sweet and tangy notes.
The Grilled Shrimp and Quinoa Salad ($25), an arrangement of organic greens dressed in avocado, radish, almonds, goat cheese, pomegranate vinaigrette and topped with juicy shrimp, is a hearty and delicious option at Mariposa in Fashion Island.
Tender Greens at Irvine Spectrum Center is fast casual and always fresh. The Chinese Chicken Salad ($11.50) is a delightful mix of Asian greens such as tatsoi and mizuna, golden pea sprouts, carrot, crispy wontons, roasted peanuts, cilantro, green onion and sesame dressing. This contemporary take on the classic Chinese Chicken salad is a lunchtime must.
The Ahi Californian is hands down one of the best seafood salads in the county. Visit Provenance in Eastbluff Village Center to try this savory and light serving of blackened barely seared ahi, frissee lettuce, asparagus, arugula, green beans, blood oranges, fennel, green onions, black Moroccan olives, pickled mustard seeds dressed in a basil pesto vinaigrette.
Daphne’s California Greek at The Market Place is home of the Chicken Shawarma Cobb Salad ($9.59). Packed with smoky chicken breast, fresh greens, corn, cucumber-tomato salad, avocado, Moroccan carrot salad, seasoned garbanzo beans and accompanied with crispy pita, hummus and Greek dressing, this salad is a meal in itself!