On a Thanksgiving table loaded with heavy starches and creamy carbohydrates, a colorful, crunchy salad is a salve. A good one, with well-dressed fresh vegetables and seasonal fruit, illuminates everything around it while offering a welcome textural contrast. One bite of a smartly dressed salad can cut the richness of buttery potatoes and custardy or crisp stuffing, perk up gamy turkey meat and play off the dazzling tang of cranberry sauce.
Bitter greens such as radicchio, kale or endive are a fine choice for fall, but crunchy iceberg, feathery arugula or sweet spinach can be dressed up for an autumnal salad, too. Herbs such as parsley, dill or mint add boosts of unexpected flavor. Sweet, chunky or spicy additions will make a salad memorable. Think: fresh or dried fruit, roasted or candied nuts or slices of fresh chiles or frizzled ginger. Finally, the acidity of a good dressing will help cleanse your palate between bites of everything else.
These salads are the perfect fit for Thanksgiving. Find more ideas in our Recipes archive.