Summer’s Best Salads

Author: Alecia Pirulis  

Fruit

Spend some time at the farmer’s market this weekend and it quickly becomes clear why salads are so popular during the summer. Those gorgeous, vine-ripened tomatoes, an abundance of watermelon, beautiful blueberries, lettuce, herbs, fresh-picked green beans … who wouldn’t want to toss together a stunning, colorful salad? And, because no cooking is required, a summer salad for lunch or dinner is a cool and refreshing way to enjoy eating at home without heating up your apartment. And forget what you may have heard — salads are not boring! Here are some beautiful salads you can make for lunch or dinner this summer:

Watermelon and Tomato Salad: Cut up some heirloom tomatoes and some seedless watermelon. Mix these together in a large bowl with some lemon juice, a dash of sea salt, a couple tablespoons of olive oil, and some chopped fresh herbs (mint is great). Sprinkle some crumbled feta cheese over the top and enjoy!

Melon Salad: Cut up some honeydew melon and cantaloupe, mix in some arugula and some fresh basil, and toss with some olive oil. Add some salt and pepper — or even some crushed red pepper to add a hint of heat.

Greek Dinner Salad: Mix together romaine lettuce, sliced cucumber, chopped fresh mint, kalamata olives, and cherry tomatoes. Make a dressing by combining olive oil, lemon juice, and honey (whisk in a separate bowl). Add some cooked chicken to the salad, and top with the dressing before serving.

Corn and Tomato Salad: Husk roughly six or seven ears of fresh corn. Cut some grape tomatoes in half. Toss these together with some mozzarella, cut into cubes. Make a dressing by whisking together some white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and serve.

Strawberry Spinach Salad: Hull and cut up some strawberries. Toss them with fresh, organic baby spinach. Add some almonds and feta cheese crumbles. Top with your favorite vinaigrette, or make your own by whisking together red wine vinegar, olive oil, and some honey.

Salmon and Blueberry Salad: Combine mixed greens with grape tomatoes and blueberries. Add cooked salmon on top of the greens, then whisk together some olive oil, champagne vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over the salad.

Build Your Own Salad: Start with dark, leafy greens such as romaine lettuce or baby spinach. Add some tomato, shredded carrots, broccoli florets, sliced cucumber, etc. For a more filling dinner salad, top it with some cooked fish, chicken, or steak. Add some almonds, dried fruit, or cheese. Finish your salad with a salad dressing. If you’ve never made your own, it’s easy! Try this one: combine lemon juice, lime juice, olive oil, and some salt and pepper. Whisk together and pour over your salad.