La Rèserve Omni Hotel, 4 Riverway Houston
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Even without fancy dressing, this showy Mediterranean-style salad makes a spectacle of itself. Chef Timothy Keating of the Omni Houston Hotel’s La Rèserve restaurant (4 Riverway), created the “intense” salad, as he calls it, for a fundraiser last year on a Hollywood soundstage, where he was “elbow-deep in roasted vegetables, bags of basil, and jars of olives.” Keating now serves the health-conscious salad as a crowd-pleasing vegetarian entrèe, accompanied by toast spread with a garlicky bean purèe. “The ingredients are staples in my kitchen—and plenty flavorful,” he says. Each forkful has a character of its own, and the taste resonates long after the last bite.