This creamy, dynamic salad should be on your summer to-eat list whether you're a meat-free diner or not.

The first thing to know about Northstar Cafe's Townsfair Salad: It's not as elusive as it seems. In name, you'll only find the "Townsfair" ($14) at Northstar's Easton location, but the same salad is served in Clintonville (the "Beechwold") and the Short North (the "Village"). The second thing: This is a creamy, dynamic salad that should be on your summer to-eat list whether you're a meat-free diner or not.

You won't find any cumbersome leaves in this salad-or any of Northstar's salads, for that matter. Its crunchy mix of kale, radicchio and napa cabbage is chopped finer than in years before, says Aminda Warburton, head of culinary research and development at Northstar. Translation: even forkfuls, a crucial detail to any salad lover. The other ingredients include dates, almonds, sweet corn, green onion, tomatoes (now in season!) and generous dollops of avocado and Mackenzie Creamery goat cheese. The mix is finished with a bright, scratch-made Champagne vinaigrette and, normally, rotisserie-roasted chicken; but firm tofu, seared and seasoned simply with salt and pepper, is also available. And a big hunk of Northstar's white bread is served on the side.

In the fall, Northstar also offeres a seasonal rendition of the salad, Warburton says, with organic chickpeas and kidney beans.

Have salads on the brain now? Check out this story from our latest issue for five other can't-miss salads around town.