Great Summer Salads
These salads are quick and easy, require minimal or no cooking, and are the perfect way to enjoy all the produce that's in season now.
By including a variety of ingredients, salads are often a nutritional powerhouse: This recipe provides lots of antioxidants from the grapes, healthy fats and vitamin E from the sunflower seeds and grapeseed oil, and folate and vitamin A from the arugula. A sweet mustard vinaigrette dressing matches both the peppery bitterness of the greens and the sweet juiciness of the grapes. Try this salad topped with salmon or tuna for a healthful dinner.
Heirloom Charentais melons have smooth, gray-green skin and bright orange flesh that is supersweet and fragrant. For a substitute you can use a combination of honeydew melon and cantaloupe.
Wild porcini mushrooms and artichokes are in season from late spring to early summer and again in early fall in the Pacific Northwest. Fresh porcini are sweet, woodsy, and delicious when thinly sliced and served raw. Substitute thinly sliced cremini mushrooms if you can't get fresh porcini.
With fresh green beans, hearty garbanzos, and a smoky-creamy dressing, this Spanish tapas-style dish is unlike any other tuna salad you've tried. But it still takes less than 10 minutes to make and contains fewer than 400 calories per serving. High-quality tuna is a must; check European or Mediterranean markets for imported oil-packed tuna.
Melon and prosciutto are a classic pairing; Parmigiano-Reggiano (don't skimp―use the real stuff) pumps up their flavor with its deep savoriness. Make this salad the centerpiece of an antipasto meal by serving with bruschetta and an assortment of olives, cheeses, and slices of salami or ham.
With plenty of chicken, creamy avocado, bacon, and blue cheese, this is the classic entrée salad. Bottled Italian dressing cuts down on time (the whole recipe, including cooking the chicken, takes less than 15 minutes). But if you like, you can whip a quick low-fat vinaigrette for that homemade touch.
With a full pound of crabmeat, this is a luxurious dish that captures the fresh flavors of summer. It's a great way to highlight heirloom tomatoes from your local farmer's market or, even better, your own garden. A cold soup like vichyssoise or cucumber soup (or gazpacho, if you're a real tomato lover) makes a perfect pairing.
Main-dish salads with just greens can feel insubstantial at times, so this dish adds a base of orzo to fresh arugula, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, and basil. Tangy goat cheese gives a luscious creaminess to each bite, and chopped chicken makes for a filling meal. Leave out the chicken and double the other ingredients for a picnic pasta salad that'll drive guests wild.
Don’t forget that something fresh, vibrant, and crunchy is often missing from potluck gatherings; this easy salad will get gobbled up quickly because it satisfies on those levels.
Here is a salad that will hold, creamy buttermilk dressing and all, for several hours, so it’s a great make-ahead or take-to-picnic dish. Just sprinkle the blue cheese and bacon on right before serving. Be sure to dunk blanched beans in cold water so they don’t overcook. But no soaking: They’ll get soggy. To make it a vegetarian meal, ditch the bacon and crumble in smoked blue cheese in place of regular. You’ll get meat-free smoked flavor.
Pickled onions, feta, and capers add bright briny pop to an earthy beet and broccoli salad. Steam the broccoli while you are cooling and peeling the beets. Look for beets that are about 2 inches in diameter to match our steaming cook time. Don’t toss the broccoli stalks. They steam up even more tender and juicy than the florets.
Whole-grain farro bulks up this hearty Mediterranean salad. If you like the crunch of fresh red onion but not the full pungency, give the slices a 30-second dip in ice water to tame the flavor; drain and toss in the salad.
If you're in the mood for a light, yet filling meal, this mix of bountiful greens adds up to just 400 calories. But beware, a little of our dressing goes a long way. Start with 1 tablespoon; toss well. If the greens still seem dry, add 1 tablespoon more at a time.
This simple salad calls for avocado, which is readily available in the spring through autumn, making it the perfect summer supper. Here's a promising tip: serve your salad on a plate to keep all those tasty (and heavy) toppings from collecting in the bottom, as they might in a bowl.
In this vibrant salad, the sweet flavors of blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries alike complement the salty tang of raw beets and goat cheese. Tossed in a balsamic rosemary vinagarette, this no-cook salad will quickly become one of your all-time favorites.
During the summer, peaches are at their peak. What better way to enjoy them than topping your salad with the softest and juciest slices? Finished with a few bold boosters, like crumbled blue cheese and thinly sliced prosciutto, this healthy option will surely make a supper to savor for seasons to come.