Keeping it light: 5 great salad recipes

It may be hard to believe, but Halloween is Saturday, and the rest of the holidays are just around the corner. So before you start digging up casseroles, gratins and all those other heavy seasonal staples, we thought we'd share something light, with five great salads. Click on the photos to go to the recipes.

Grilled romaine with walnuts, Parmesan and anchovy dressing

Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Grilled tender hearts of romaine are tossed with a fresh anchovy dressing, toasted walnuts and shaved Parmesan to make a perfect light meal.

Mediterranean barley salad

Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

This hearty salad combines barley, oregano, olives, capers, pine nuts and green onions tossed with a bright lemon vinaigrette.

Chickpea salad with chorizo (Garbanzos alinados con chorizo)

Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Whether you call them garbanzo beans or chickpeas, if you're a fan, you won't get a much better chance to enjoy them than this refreshingly bright salad, one of our top 10 Recipes from 2011. Marinate chickpeas in a blend of lemon juice, olive oil and salt, then toss them with some Spanish chorizo, tomatoes and a little garlic, green onion, parsley and bell pepper. Marinate the beans first thing in the morning, then assemble the salad in the last few minutes before you sit down to eat. It makes a colorful side or a perfect light meal.

Cool rice and cucumber salad

Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

When we want to bring out the best in rice, cook it like pasta in a big pot of water. As Food columnist Russ Parsons notes, this makes for grains that are light and separate, not sticking or clumped together. For a refreshing salad idea, toss the cooled grains with cucumber and a bright, tangy dressing. Yes, there is lettuce, but only for garnish, and that's optional. The dish can be made ahead of time and chilled until ready to serve.

Huckleberry’s roasted carrots with avocado

Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Roasted carrots are tossed with fresh avocado, with rich flavors including earthy cumin, fresh cilantro and lemon juice.

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