After laboring over a main course, few have the stamina to tackle a complicated green salad recipe. But what many don’t realize is, in the time it takes to whip up a workaday vinaigrette, a dizzying array of bold, eclectic salads can come together, too. Here are a dozen of our favorite alternatives to the classic salade verte.     

Cilantro Salad with Olives, Avocado, and Limes

Cilantro Salad with Olives, Avocado, and Limes
Photography by Belle Morizio

This crisp, bright salad from Tanoreen in Brooklyn sings alongside fried fish and grilled meats, but it’s equally divine as a palate-cooling first course. Get the recipe >

Nam Khao (Crispy Rice Salad)

Nam Khao Rice Salad
Photography by Chris Nguyen

The best-selling dish at Ma Der Lao Kitchen in Oklahoma City is this chile- and cilantro-packed starter that you can whip up using leftover rice from last night’s takeout. Get the recipe >

Shredded Collard Green Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Cashews

Sweet Potato Collard Green Salad, Senegalese Thanksgiving
Photography by Ryan Liebe

The bite of raw collards contrasts wonderfully with tender roasted sweet potatoes and tangy, rich goat cheese in this hearty starter. Get the recipe > 

Puntarelle & Dandelion Green Salad with Honey-Olive Vinaigrette

Puntarelle and Dandelion Green Salad
Photography by Romulo Yanes

Bitter dandelion greens and sturdy puntarelle (an Italian chicory) are tossed in a honey-mustard vinaigrette in this assertive spring salad. Get the recipe >

Blue Cheese, Grape, and Gem Lettuce Salad

Blue Cheese, Grape, and Gem Lettuce Salad
Photography by Anders Schonnemann

Paired with some crusty bread and a glass of crisp white wine, this satisfying salad is a meal in itself. Get the recipe >

Seared Little Gem Lettuce with Buttermilk, Anchovy, and Bread Crumbs

Little Gem Salad
Photography by Fatima Khawaja

Fans of the classic Caesar salad will find much to love in this simple yet elegant French riff from Paris chef Alexia Duchêne. Get the recipe >

Burmese Tea Leaf Salad

Burmese tea leaf salad
Photography by Dylan James Ho

Soft, crunchy, acidic, hot: This classic Southeast Asian mainstay is a medley of compelling textures and flavors. Get the recipe >

Grilled-Cabbage Caesar Salad

Grilled-Cabbage Caesar Salad
Photography by Jenny Huang

Fire-roasted savoy cabbage is tossed with garlicky bread crumbs and a caper-anchovy vinaigrette in this summery, lettuce-less “Caesar.” Get the recipe >

Danish Salted Cucumber Salad

Cucumber salad
Photography by Chris Tonnesen

Quick-pickled cucumbers get tossed with a lemon-herb dressing in this palate-cooling starter or side. Get the recipe >

Cucumber and Corn Salad with Pomegranate and Poppy Seeds

Cucumber and Corn Salad with Pomegranate and Poppy Seeds
Photography by Belle Morizio

Pomegranate seeds add a pop of acidity to each bite of this late-summer salad tossed with crunchy cucumbers and a toasty sesame oil vinaigrette. Get the recipe >

Cranberry and Grapefruit Salad

Cranberry and Grapefuit Salad
Photography by Joann Pai

Bright acidity from citrus and fresh cranberries shines through in this salad redolent of mulling spices. Get the recipe >

Shaved Asparagus Salad with Garlicky Breadcrumbs

Shaved Asparagus Salad with Garlicky Breadcrumbs
Photography by Kat Craddock

Sweet, in-season jumbo asparagus is the cornerstone of this salad combining ribbons of the crisp stalks with crunchy sourdough breadcrumbs and a lemony anchovy vinaigrette. Get the recipe >