Tossed green salads are, of course, one of life’s mainstays, but when it comes to salads for a buffet I tend toward something sturdier, something that doesn’t wilt halfway through the meal. Here are two such offerings that look good and behave well on the holiday buffet table.


Inspired by a traditional Sicilian antipasto salad, this colorful sweet-salty-bitter composition tastes as good as it looks.

About 8 buffet servings

7 navel oranges, peeled and sliced crosswise

1 large or 2 small bunches radishes, thinly sliced

Half a large red onion, thinly sliced

1 cup torn basil leaves, plus sprigs for garnish

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

5 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar


Freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup pitted imported black olives, such as Kalamata

Spread out the oranges, radishes, onion and basil on 1 very large or 2 medium-large platters. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Drizzle with the oil and vinegar, season with salt and pepper, and scatter olives over the top. Garnish with basil sprigs.


The French don’t eat many vegetables in their raw state, but grated salads made with either just carrots, just celery root (or celeriac) or a combination are standard fare in bistros all over the country. Celery root is a gnarly, mottled, tan orb that needs quite a bit of peeling to get down to the sweet white flesh. If you can’t find it, the salad is also delicious made with all carrots.

About 8 buffet servings

6 large carrots

Half a medium-sized celery root

Half a bunch of flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

5 tablespoons lemon juice

5 tablespoons light olive oil

1 small shallot, finely chopped

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons sugar

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Peel the carrots and celery root and shred in a food processor or by hand on a box grater (or on a mandoline). Transfer to a bowl and toss with the parsley and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. (Can be made a few hours ahead and refrigerated.

Whisk the remaining 3 tablespoons lemon juice and the oil, shallot, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. When ready to serve (or up to 2 hours ahead), toss the vegetables with dressing. Serve cold.

Brooke Dojny is author or co-author of more than a dozen cookbooks, most recently “Chowderland: Hearty Soups & Stews with Sides and Salads to Match.” She lives on the Blue Hill peninsula, and can be contacted via Facebook at:

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