Summer can leave you feeling sticky and sluggish. You find yourself languishing on the sofa, head in front of the fan. From a spicy cabbage slaw to a grilled chicken Niçoise, here are 14 recipes for cool, crisp summer salads to help you along when you're in the mood for something a little lighter and brighter.
'summer salads' on Serious Eats
Fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil are a classic combination, but sometimes the dish can be very bland. Here, cherry-sized mozzarella balls (ciliegine) are marinated in extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil, salt and pepper, and then tossed with sweet cherry tomatoes and golden balsamic vinegar. Nothing bland about that.
Frozen tortellini is on my list of top-five staples. They're always in my freezer. This salad is perfect for picnics when combined with summer vegetables and a simple Dijon vinaigrette. It's not exactly pasta salad, which I'd associate more with pestos and other sauces like that rather than this vinaigrette, but I suppose it's essentially a pasta-based salad.
Skirt steak sits on a bed of a baby arugula, grape tomatoes, and tortilla chips, which is then topped with a cilantro-lime dressing for a simple, yet incredibly flavorful salad.
The Goody Girls are a barbecue team from Texas who turn out award-winning chicken and brisket but it's their potatoes that gets Guy Fieri excited. He adapted their recipe in his newly released Guy Fieri Food and it's insanely decadent—think of it as the potato salad version of a loaded baked potato with cheddar, bacon, scallions, and sour cream all well represented.
Though canned tuna is an ingredient most of us grew up with, and therefore we hardly give it a second glance, the truth is that buying good quality canned tuna makes a big, big difference. It means that you can make it the undisputed star of a dish and not just something mixed with mayonnaise for a sandwich.
The Caesar salad is, when done properly, one of my favorite things to eat. Obviously anything you get out of a bottle is not going to meet this requirement, but the dressing itself is not all that difficult to make. Once you've tasted the clean, creamy, bright flavor of the real thing, going back to the bottle is impossible.
When it's asparagus season, I gobble it up almost daily, with little regard for balance. Like corn, asparagus is one of those vegetables that seems to deteriorate more quickly than others, the sweetness turning starchy and the texture turning woody soon after it's snapped out of the ground. Which makes it even more imperative to eat it fresh and local, when the season is here. This year I've had it roasted, grilled, steamed, and boiled—but raw asparagus, in this salad recipe from Epicurious, is something I hadn't tried.
I'm a huge fan of panzanella, but in my mind its built on the back of pure summer tomatoes. Sure, the bread helps bulk things out, but it's the tomatoes that add the character to the dish. But this recipe from Bobby Flay's Grill It uses grilled asparagus as the main ingredient. With the weather warming up, I decided to give it chance. I'm really glad I did.
This Jícama-Avocado Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette brings together creamy avocado, sweet corn, and crunchy jicama to make a salad that's absolutely addictive. I decided to forgo the Corn Nuts since I've never been able to shake the Heathers reference—the connotations aren't that appetizing. And really, the salad had enough delicious crunch of its own.
[Photographs: Kerry Saretsky] Previously Dijon Lentil Salad with Lemon Roasted Shrimp » All French in a Flash recipes » I am not at all opposed to themed food. Last year's Valentine's column was a traditional Coeur à la Crème, a...
Beyond the absolutely brilliant idea this recipe for peach caprese salad is—substituting the juicy summer tomato with the fragrant, sweet peach—there's not much more to say about this variation on an a classic. All the usual elements are there: creamy...
I'm not too crazy about room-temperature bean salads; I like my beans best when they're hot and refried. But I'm always tempted by legume recipes for their cheapness and healthiness, and it's the season for salads. I've also yet to...
In the summer, my cooking seriously improves. As long as I can get to a farmers' market and not mess up royally, dinner doesn't take much more effort than chopping everything up, throwing it into a bowl, and covering with...