The Secret to Loving Salad + The Vegetarian Flavor Bible Giveaway |

The Secret to Loving Salad + The Vegetarian Flavor Bible Giveaway

The Secret to Loving Salad + The Vegetarian Flavor Bible Giveaway |
If there were ever an antidote to cooking ruts, this book would be it. You may have heard of The Flavor Bible before, authored a handful of years ago by Karen Page and photographed by Andrew Dornenburg (it earned a James Beard Book Award in 2009 and is currently the #1 best seller in the professional cooking category on Amazon). And now, Karen and Andrew have released The Vegetarian Flavor Bible—the same comprehensive guide to culinary creativity as the first, but tailored specifically to plant-based food. In a word, it is EPIC.

The Vegetarian Flavor Bible is not a recipe book, but rather a reference for all things flavor. There are hundreds (thousands?) of ingredients, listed alphabetically and paired with the seasonings that are best used to enhance them. It’s an intuitive style of cooking that lends itself to seasonality and what you already have on hand. Too often, we can find ourselves making the same dishes over and over or always combining certain ingredients because we’re not sure how else to use them. What I love about this book is that it takes the guesswork out of trying new foods and flavors, without inhibiting creativity. Instead, it’s all about simple, whole foods, prepared in new and interesting ways.

The Secret to Loving Salad + The Vegetarian Flavor Bible Giveaway |

I’m honored to share a guest post from Karen on her secrets to making great salads. It seemed particularly appropriate for this time of year, as many of us are getting back to eating more fresh produce and greens after the holidays. Keep reading to find out how to pair your greens and dressings for salads that are anything but boring, and be sure to enter to win a copy of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible at the end of the post!

Simple Tomato Avocado Basil SaladVegan Caprese Salad

When it comes to greens, there are fewer better experts to turn to for advice than Annie Somerville of the renowned vegetarian restaurant Greens, which was founded in San Francisco in 1979. That’s what I did when I was researching The Vegetarian Flavor Bible and seeking the secrets of great salad-making.

Annie’s words now ring through my mind every time I step into the kitchen to make a salad:

“Every dish needs a vibrant quality to it. In a leafy green salad, when you toss it and serve it, it doesn’t have all the leaves upside down so their backs are to someone. I call it ‘fluffy and lofty’ — the greens twins — that make the salad inviting. If you list a bunch of ingredients in the salad, don’t hide them all at the bottom. Make sure the stand-out ingredients stand out. And don’t go cheap: Three extra cherry tomatoes is not going to break the bank. You want a person to feel that you care every step of the way.”

When seeking stand-out ingredients, it helps to think about which best enhance the flavor of the salad green or greens you’re starting with. Each green has a different flavor profile that you’re going to want to work with. I always open The Vegetarian Flavor Bible for ideas of various flavor affinities (i.e., groups of three or more ingredients) that best enhance various greens. For example:


arugula + apples + lemon juice + maple syrup + olive oil
arugula + fennel + grapefruit
arugula + fennel + hazelnuts + orange + radicchio
arugula + garlic + pesto + portobello mushrooms + white beans
arugula + olives + red onions


romaine + almonds + avocado + carrots + smoked tofu + tomatoes
romaine + avocado + pumpkin seeds
romaine + dill + garlic + lemon + scallions
romaine + Dijon mustard + lemon + olive oil + scallions
romaine + pears + sherry vinegar + walnuts


radicchio + apple + fennel
radicchio + arugula + endive
radicchio + fennel + olive oil + orange + pear
radicchio + frisee + mustard + nuts + pears + red wine vinegar

Orange Avocado Salad with Olives, Capers & Parsley | picklesnhoney.comOrange Avocado Salad with Olives, Capers and Parsley

The Salad Dressing

The final secret to a great salad is, of course, a great salad dressing – which is why The Vegetarian Flavor Bible contains lots of flavor affinity ideas for salad dressings on pages 451-454. I love scanning the lists for ideas that make my mouth water that particular day. For example:

apple cider vinegar + cilantro + garlic + lime juice/zest + olive oil
balsamic vinegar + basil + garlic + mustard + olive oil
carrot + ginger + miso
garlic + lemon juice + tahini + tamari + umeboshi plum vinegar
shallots + sherry vinegar + walnut oil

Photography by Aaron Scott

Thank you, Karen! And now, the giveaway! Please note that this is open to U.S. residents.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S. 16 Healthy Soups, Salads and Green Recipes


Leave a Comment

  1. Natalie rivera says

    My favorite pairing for any salad has to be a raspberry vinegrette.

  2. Kristen G says

    Radicchio, chicory and fennel with lemon or Orange is a current favorite. But I make a salad almost every day and am constantly trying out different combinations.

  3. court says

    I love tomatoes+basil+balsamic!

  4. abby says

    i love to pair any winter squash with lemon or acv and maple.

  5. Kier says

    This is on my list of books to get! I was so exited to see the vegetarian version come out. I have to say that I am a sucker for tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and balsamic.

  6. Ah! I have the Flavor Bible! I got it a few years ago at Christmas. I didn’t know there was a vegetarian one! Awesome!
    Favorite salad flavor combo? Well I love adding sweet crisp apples to salads, and you can never go wrong with balsamic!

  7. Maria Anne says

    My favorite salad pairings are crunchy + creamy…avocado with pumpkin seeds, tahini dressing with crispy!
    xo Maria Anne

  8. Marie says

    I like to pair a salad with avocado and black beans.

  9. Eileen says

    Yay, salads! I like spinach with citrus slices, toasted almonds, and maybe some goat cheese in there. So good. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  10. Melissa says

    Lately I’ve been enjoying dried cranberries and butternut squash kale salad.

  11. Nasim says

    Trader Joe’s has this fantastic Orange Champagne vinegar that tastes delicious with olive oil for a salad dressing!

  12. Nikki says

    The secret for appetizing salads for me is adding crunch! I use a mix of seeds to amp up even the most boring salad – check out my favorite mix on my blog here – Super Seed Salad Mix!

  13. Jen says

    I love arugula with quinoa, asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes. Yum!

  14. Jennifer says

    My favorite pairing? Probably a chocolate balsamic vignette, with strawberries and spring greens. Mmmm… decadent.

  15. Madeline M. says

    I love to eat my greens with butternut squash and some lemon juice drizzled on top. At other times, I’ll add pomegranates instead. So yummy!

  16. Alyson says

    I’m not a vegetarian, but I eat that way about 4-5 days a week; psyched to see some new flavor profiles to try!

  17. Alyson says

    Kale, quinoa, butternut squash with pomegranates is my favorite at this time of year!

  18. Great guest post! Thank you both for sharing. I just put the book on my B&N wishlist. 🙂

  19. Kathie says

    My favorite salad pairings are a combo af sweet and savory. I love to try new combinations so The Vegetarian Flavor Bible is going to be a “must” for me!

  20. Hope says

    I love any tahini based dressing and avocado!! So earthy and creamy all at once.

  21. Hope says

    I love any tahini based dressing with avocado!! So earthy and creamy…yum

  22. Heather says

    I really like creamy & tangy together, for example a nut butter with apple cider vinegar plus a dash of something to sweeten.

  23. Nicollette D says

    This book looks amazing. I frequently put a bunch of ingredients & spices I like together all at once and then can’t figure out why the sum is not as good as all the parts.
    For salad (and this is stolen from somewhere– maybe the McDougalls?), I LOVE LOVE LOVE soy sauce & mustard as dressing. Perfect amount of salty tang for me.

  24. Amber says

    Wow, I love the arugula pairings. I always seem to struggle with that one. And those dressing pairings sounds great, too. This book sounds fabulous! My favorite salad pairing is baby spring mix, red cabbage, lots of cukes, tomatoes, and green onions, and my favorite part: green olives with juice! So delicious!

  25. Stacy says

    Quinoa and red peppers. Love the flavor of them all together!

  26. Sophia says

    I don’t think I’m particularly creative when it comes to salads (I guess I could really use this book), but I like to pair ingredients with opposing flavors. Like a super lemony or vinegary dressing with bitter greens and sweet dried fruit.

  27. Kirsten P says

    I love mixing different types of greens, especially arugula and tuscan kale. Avocado on anything makes it better. I always make sure to have something crunchy in my salads – like bits of apple or celery.

  28. Casey says

    My favorite salad pairing is White Balsamic + Olive Oil + Dijon + Garlic + Maple Syrup (for sweetness)

  29. Laura H says

    I like tangy…so I add green onions and a garlicky dressing! Thank you!

  30. punkrockmartha says

    much to my dismay, my current addiction is chopped broccoli and onions, chickpeas and barley tossed in, ahem, wishbone italian.

    1. Amanda says

      Hey, no judgement here!

  31. Lina says

    I am really into pomegranate seeds and avocado as stand-out ingredients with mixed greens, cucumber and a simple balsamic-lemon-olive oil vinaigrette.

  32. saniel says

    organic baby kale , hemp seeds, avocado, sliced tomatoes and olive oil lemon juice dressing. thanks

  33. Terri Cole says

    One of my favorite salad combos is a veganized Nicoise-style salad. I love the different flavors and textures, green beans, potatoes, capers, olives, white beans or chickpeas, fresh homegrown tomatoes, all beautifully arranged on greens and drizzled with a simple vinaigrette. YUM!

  34. kale and fennel with apple

  35. Shana says

    Right now I’m digging greek salads with tomatoes, olives, artichokes, and olive oil vinaigrette. But my preferences change pretty much weekly.

  36. Rhonda says

    I love Fennel and Arugula

  37. Jessica Caneal says

    smoky + creamy for the win!

  38. Annette says

    Some of my favorite salad flavor pairings are strawberries + cucumbers + fresh mint

  39. Kait says

    I’m so simple: love me some arugula tossed with lemon juice and I’m good to go! Its simple and refreshing and a great side salad or base for just about anything.

    Also I’m so tired it took me 5 times to spell arugula properly. Time for bed!

  40. gail says

    My go to is balsamic vinegar, mustard, olive oil, maple syrup, dash pepper. Such a lovely and useful book – thank you for the opportunity!

  41. Sonja says

    I love quinoa salad with a lot of cumin!

  42. Liz says

    I love tomato and cucumber with olive oil and a bit of balsamic.

  43. Melissa says

    One of my favorite salad flavor combinations is carrots, corn, edamame or peas, and a soy miso dressing. I love sweet/salty dressings, and anything with miso usually does the trick.

  44. Calli says

    ginger dressing + shredded carrots & cucumbers!

  45. Chloe says

    hm…avocado with some sort of seed or chopped nut.

  46. Mardi says

    This looks wonderful. Always looking for new flavor combinations.

  47. Rosanna says

    Wow!! A book like these is certainly a kitchen Bible!.. My favorite pairing is simple olive oil, mustard, sea salt, a pinch of chipotle and turmeric drizzled on a simple salad.. Lettuce, avocado, tomato, celery and hemp seeds! Thanks for the giveaway!

  48. LEARN from Other Vegans
    so You Can Live Healthier!

  49. Becca F says

    Dried canberries and candied walnuts on a spinach salad

  50. gaby says

    I love a tahini lemon dressing or my balsamic cream. My boyfriends been making pickled veggies like okra and onions too that are awesome to add on top!

  51. EVA says

    Honestly, any salad works as long as it has roasted vegetables and dried cranberries/cherries. Nuts are NOT required but VERY VERY recommended. In fact, I go nuts without nuts in my salad!

  52. Ashley says

    I love roasted chickpeas on my salads- gotta have some crunch! Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

  53. Carolsue says

    salad greens, eggs, cucumbers with peanut sauce

  54. Jess says

    I love adding some sweet fruit to my salad, whether it’s apples, strawberries, or dried cranberries. Wonderful with a fruity balsamic dressing.

  55. Gaby says

    Those dressing combos look delish! Can’t wait to whisk one up!

  56. Diego says

    I love lemon tahini, vinegar and mango, and all the variations with balsamic vinegar!

  57. Jane Clay says

    I love to pair beetroot and orange.


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