Chametz-Free NYC, Day 4: When Salad Becomes a Meal

Editor's note: For eight days I'll be keeping a diary on eating well in New York while staying kosher for Passover. The goal: never feel hungry or desperate enough to touch matzo unless I want to. For the rules I'll be keeping, see here. All remarks and recommendations are personal and not intended as religious/cultural commentary.

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[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

I'm writing this post forcibly stuck to the couch. Our Seder ended over two hours ago, but I still can't move.

Let's recap: matzo ball soup, once and again. All the haroset we could eat. A many-part main course. Two helpings of pavlova. A...fair share of wine.

There are few times that I say to myself, "I just want a salad for lunch today," but Passover's one of the few holidays that follows up a feast day with another consecutive feast day. I think Tuesday morning will be one of those times.

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Horiatiki from Souvlaki GR. [Photograph: Shell Tu]

And salads are one of few categories of food that barely rely on chametz at all. You don't need to work hard to find a good chametz-free salad. At worst you skip the croutons and order two different ones to make a meal.

The Greek salad category is a good start. Take the horiatiki from Souvlaki GR for example, a substantial bowl of tomatoes, cucumber, feta, and olives. It's one of the few salads where it's a really good idea to to do the "$2 extra grilled protein of choice," because here it's the restaurant's near-perfect souvlaki, and the only thing better than a crouton in a salad is a meat crouton.

Kale Salad at Northern Spy Food Co.

Kale salad from Northern Spy Food Co. [Photograph: Maggie Hoffman]

This is also a good day for the Italian-inspired but really New American kale salad, you know, the one with a citrus vinaigrette and Parmesan and nuts for crunch; the kind you'll find at Northern Spy, 606 R&D, Birdbath Tribeca, and The Smile To Go.

I like to get my meal salads at places that treat their food seriously but don't worship their greens. Worshipful salads too often mean overly delicate things, garnished and garlanded but not the kind of nourishing meal I need on a day like today. When I'm looking for salad as a form of culinary art I'll aim higher, but right now I just want something that won't leave me hungry two hours later.

This is all just the tip of the iceberg, of course. Have a go-to chametz-free salad to share? Let us know in the comments.

More Chametz-Free New York

About the author: Max Falkowitz is the editor of Serious Eats: New York. You can follow him on Twitter at @maxfalkowitz.

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