Lettuce optional

Break the mold with summertime salads; photos by Tomas Flint

Summer—the season where even the most dedicated carnivore starts craving some crunchy vegetables. Yes, you can get your usual refreshing Caesar salad or ice- berg with grilled chicken and ranch on the side. But aren’t you tired of that? How much ranch can one person consume?

Enter the lesser-known salads around Rochester that could unseat that Caesar as your favorite go-to for the cooling veggie crunch. Here’s a roundup of some tasty salads that could make your summer much more delectable.

Fattoush salad from Master Falafel

Tomas Flint 585 Summer Salads 1006

Crisp romaine lettuce, cucumbers, olives, and tomatoes marinate together in a bright Greek dressing, but the absolute highlight of this salad are the pita chips. They are freshly made in house and liberally dusted with tart sumac. Master Falafel does not hold back on these—the salad is almost half vegetables, half pita chips (my kind of ratio).

Master Falafel, 519 Monroe Avenue


Horiatiki salad from Voula’s Greek Sweets

Tomas Flint 585 Summer Salads 1009While Voula’s horiatiki salad is already well known around Rochester, it is so good that it is worth a mention just in case you haven’t heard. The juicy wedges of ripe tomato, slightly spicy red onion slivers, crunchy cucumber planks, and salty olives are dressed in high-quality Greek olive oil and red wine vinegar. As if that were not enough, this salad also comes with a large rectangular block of imported feta. Two small pieces of crostini are provided, but a true Voula’s fan knows to order a side of lagana (housemade Greek flatbread) for effective consumption of the dressing.

Voula’s Greek Sweets, 439 Monroe Avenue


Larb gai from Seasoning Thai Bistro

Tomas Flint 585 Summer Salads 1002Larb gai is the salad carnivores have been praying for. It is a Thai/Laotian-style salad that consists of primarily ground chicken. The chicken is first cooked with seasonings. Then it is tossed with a fish sauce and lime juice dressing, shallots, and a variety of herbs (scallion, cilantro, mint). The shallots wilt in the residual heat of the cooked chicken. The sour/salty/toasty flavors of this salad are best enjoyed at room temperature and scooped onto rice or as a lettuce wrap.

Seasoning Thai Bistro, 2602 Elmwood Avenue


Tomato fitfit from Addis Ababa

Tomas Flint 585 Summer Salads 1008The easiest way to explain tomato fitfit is to compare it to its Italian counterpart—panzanella. Instead of bread, this Ethiopian salad uses injera. The sour and spongy flatbread is chopped into small pieces and mixed with lemon juice, finely chopped jalapeño, onion, tomatoes, and garlic. The injera absorbs all the flavors as it sits. Served cold, this is the sleeper hit of the summer. One may expect this salad to be heavy due to the injera, but the amount of acid from the lemon juice and tomatoes make the dish light and easy to eat in the heat.

Addis Ababa, 752 S. Goodman Street



Street fruit salad from Old Pueblo Grill

Tomas Flint 585 Summer Salads 1013Ever want a cold salad on the go? Old Pueblo Grill has got you covered with its take on the street fruit salad. Pieces of green apple, watermelon, pineapple, etc. (the variety of fruit is subject to availability), are drizzled with chamoy (a sauce that is traditionally made from pickled fruit), tajin (a spicy and acidic chili-based seasoning), and fresh lime. This dish will have your tongue tingling from the spicy, sweet, sour notes. Traditionally served as a street food, it will be just as perfect when enjoyed poolside this summer.

Old Pueblo Grill, 55 Russell Street


Categories: Taste