Show Up for Salad: 100 More Recipes for Salads, Dressings, and All the Fixins You Don't Have to Be Vegan to Love

Image of Show Up for Salad: 100 More Recipes for Salads, Dressings, and All the Fixins You Don't Have to Be Vegan to Love
Release Date: 
June 4, 2019
Da Capo Lifelong Books
Reviewed by: 

In Show Up for Salad: 100 More Recipes for Salads, Dressings, and All the Fixins You Don’t Have to Be Vegan to Love, Terry Hope Romero does a lot more than provide a few recipes for those who can’t bear to look at another bushel of kale (thanks to its popularity, now one of the so-called “Dirty Dozen,” a list of fruits and vegetables known to be saddled with the most pesticides, and best to buy organic).

Instead, she devises a full toolkit for making the salad a main course we turn to every day, not only as a way to bring more vegetables and clean eating into our bodies, but also as a way to bring in more flavor, more variety, more versatility, and more convenience into our diets.

“The unmistakably hearty, filling, and entirely vegan salad (and soup) recipes in this book are designed to be enjoyed à la carte. Go ahead and cherry-pick to your heart’s content. A dressing on Tuesday night, a tasty tofu to garnish veggies after work, a complete dressed salad for a chill Saturday night dinner, or just some “cheesy” croutons to drop on your own fast salad or even a soup. My hope is that you’ll create a highly customized salad bar that excites your palate. It’s a DIY salad bar that awaits when you open the refrigerator wondering, What’s to eat? So you can show up for salad every damn day.” 

The tone is friendly, but straight-forward and with purpose, like a pep-talk without the preaching or the unneeded urgency. The recipes are simply detailed, with the average salad requiring 6–10 ingredients (this includes all the toppings) and a short paragraph or two of instructions, the vast majority estimated to take under 30 minutes to make.

The book also sports gorgeous full-color photography and a large number of recipes with alternative variations that would seem impossible to cram into the standard 200-plus pages in most cookbooks. And yet, Show up for Salad also manages to include a primer on the basic five tools needed to “slay” your salads, tips for choosing and storing your greens—both before you’ve turned them into a salad base, and after—a section on microgreens (herbs), another on how to give heft and scale to your salads, a how-to for using hemp and for cooking sticky rice, a metric conversion table, and a comprehensive chapter on making your own dressings and toppings for added crunch, texture, protein, nutrients, or even calories.

Hope Romero also includes a set of the aforementioned soup recipes to combine with your salad for those days when a salad, no matter how flavorful and filling, just isn’t enough.

For those days, she also shows how to make Roasted Cabbage Steaks with Peanut Sauce and Fried Shallots, Pan-Roasted Chili Corn, The Juicy Grilled Summer Days Peach Salad, White Sweet Potato Salad with Spinach Zhug Dressing (zhug is a type of Yemenite hot sauce that uses cilantro and parsley), and the Buffalo Tofu, Butternut Squash, and Kale Bowl.

Dressing recipes include Sriracha Cilantro Ranch Dressing, Oregano Garlic Lemon Vinaigrette, and a Pepita Greenest Goddess Dressing that uses sherry vinegar, almond milk and lemon juice, among other ingredients.

And, so, vegan or not, if you’re thinking these salad and dressing names sound like enticing vegetable commercials for meals you might really be able to get behind, you’re not alone. Hope Romero is the author of several bestselling, award-winning cookbooks, and in all of them displays a talent for turning us onto an ingredient, the idea for a dish, a new way of doing things, a lifestyle. This latest effort, too, feels thorough, earnest in its desire to provide all we might need to give salads an honest try.

It also shows consciousness of the fact that not everyone likes vegetables as much as the next person, and that sometimes the one thing missing from your life isn’t more kale. It’s a handful of cheesy croutons to sprinkle over the one already on your plate.