Here's the beauty of salads: They're anything you want them to be.
Sure, most of the time they have lettuce. But not necessarily. Some are just iceberg lettuce doused in bottled Italian dressing. Some are hunks of potato slathered in mayonnaise. Some are all fruit, some are all pasta, and some are inexplicably made with marshmallows and sour cream (looking at you, Ambrosia).
Usually, they tend to be cold … except for warm spinach salads. And, now that we think about it, some other varieties that are best served with a little heat.
So a salad can be a tricky thing to define. But here's what we know about them: they're best enjoyed when the weather is warm, and they evoke a sense of carefreeness and lightness. The term "salad days" exists for a reason, after all.
So the geniuses up at Toronto's The Hole in the Wall really know how to make a damn salad. Eschewing lettuce, this recipe combines quick-pickled watermelon marinated in limoncello and absinthe with seared halloumi (a delightfully salty and firm cheese), fresh mint, and a spiced syrup standing in for what some salads would call "dressing." It's refreshing, and sweet, and savory, and boozy.
MAKE IT: Watermelon, Mint, and Halloumi Salad
It's the perfect dish for a spring lunch or a light dinner. And if you take a couple of shots of absinthe and limoncello alongside it, you might find yourself coming up with some even more creative "salads" later in the evening.