Salad Topped Main Course & Vegetables By Color - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures Salad Topped Main Course & Vegetables By Color
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Salad-Topped Main Course & Vegetables By Color

Here’s an easy way to get everyone to eat a few more veggies: Top main courses with a small salad.

Fried, grilled, roasted and sautéed proteins are all candidates to be topped with an alluring crown of vegetables and herbs—not a dinner salad or dressed lettuce, but something that looks great. Dress the salad very lightly with olive oil or vinaigrette.

The “salad topping” doesn’t preclude your ability to serve the side salad of your choice.

Aim to mix at least three bright colors and ideally four: green plus orange, red or yellow. Different shades of green don’t count as different colors. We’ve also included green salad-friendly fruits.

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli (including rabe and rapini)
  • Cucumber
  • Edamame
  • Green apple
  • Green beans
  • Green bell pepper
  • Green grapes
  • Green olives
  • Green onion tops
  • Green peas
  • Herbs (basil, dill, parsley, etc.)
  • Lettuces (everything from arugula to watercress)
  • Microgreens
  • Pickles/gherkins
  • Sprouts
  • Sugar snap peas, snow peas
  • Zucchini

  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Dried apricots
  • Kumquats
  • Mango
  • Orange bell pepper
  • Orange cherry or heirloom tomatoes
  • Orange or mandarin segments
  • Red lentils

  • Baby radish
  • Dried cherries or cranberries
  • Pomegranate arils
  • Radicchio or red endive
  • Raspberries or strawberries
  • Red apple
  • Red bell pepper
  • Red cabbage
  • Red leaf lettuce
  • Red grapes
  • Red tomatoes
  • Watermelon

  • Berries: blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries
  • Eggplant (grilled)
  • Fruits: figs, grapes, plums
  • Purple potato slice
  • Purple cabbage
  • Specialty varieties: purple bell peppers, carrots, cauliflower, corn, potatoes, string beans, plus forbidden rice (black rice)

  • Chickpeas
  • Corn
  • Pineapple
  • Yellow bell pepper
  • Yellow lentils
  • Yellow tomatoes

  • Cauliflower
  • Deviled egg or boiled quail egg
  • Enoki mushrooms
  • Parsnips and turnips
  • Shredded daikon
  • White baby radish
  • White bean Salad (Cannellini, Navy, Great Northern)
    Thanks to Wendy Thorpe Copley, author of one of our favorite new books, Everyday Bento, for organizing lists of fruits and veggies by color. We’ll be reviewing her book shortly.


    [1] Pan-sautéed catfish topped with a parsley and tomato salad (photo courtesy Whole Foods Market.

    [2] Salad-topped root vegetable soup. Here’s the recipe (photo © Jeanette’s Healthy Living).

    [3] Salad-topped pressed sushi, also called box or hako sushi (photo © Miyako’s 21 grams | NYC [now closed]).

    [4] Salad-topped grilled chicken cutlet (phot © Gardenia Restaurant| NYC [now closed]).

    [5] Salad-topped lamb loin (photo © Kindred Restaurant | Davidson, NC).

    [6] Salad-topped scallops (photo © Chianina Steakhouse | Long Beach, CA [now closed]).


    [7] Chicken cutlets topped with broccoli rabe and sundried tomatoes (recipe and photo courtesy Westside Market | NYC).


    This dish may look familiar: Italian restaurants frequently top cutlets with a bit of red and green. You can prepare this dish in just 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes cooking time. You can cut calories and cholesterol by eliminating the mozzarella.

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken cutlets, slightly pounded
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, steamed or sautéed
  • 2 ounces sundried tomato slivers

    1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté garlic until golden, then discard.

    2. SPRINKLE chicken breasts with salt and pepper on each side. Dip chicken into beaten egg and then coat with breadcrumbs. Place chicken in skillet and cook until brown on both sides, about 5 minutes.

    3. PLACE cutlets in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray or greased with oil. Bake the cutlets for 10 minutes, top with mozzarella, rabe and tomato slivers. Continue baking until cooked through, another 10 to minutes or so.

    3. ARRANGE chicken on four plates and top with mozzarella and broccoli rabe. Garnish with tomato slivers and serve.


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