Arugula, Grape, and Sunflower Seed Salad
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.
Tomato and Cucumber Salad
Summer Melon and Ham Salad with Burrata and Chile
"This is an obvious play on melon wedges wrapped in prosciutto," Christensen says. "Here the melon is sliced to the same thickness as the ham. Instead of 'making melon taste good,' it puts two beautiful things in balance. I love the balance of the musky fruit with the salty-sweet ham and the creaminess of the burrata cheese (you can sub fresh mozzarella). You have a lot of strong flavors at play, and the cheese sets the canvas for the whole thing.”
Veggie Salad in a Jar
Layer a colorful salad in portable glass jars. Kids will give it a thumbs-up. Make these salads up to a day ahead; pack them tightly with the dressing on the bottom, followed by denser ingredients that won't get soggy while they marinate. Customize with your favorite seasonal veggies, fresh cheeses, and whole grains. These make great additions to lunch bags, picnic baskets, or road trip coolers and can easily double if you need lunch for 4 people.
Summer Melon Salad
To achieve beautiful, crater-free spheres, press the cup of the melon baller flat and firmly into the flesh of a halved seeded melon. Then turn 180 degrees (or 360 degrees if the melon needs additional shaping), and lift.
Porcini, Artichoke, and Parsley Salad
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.
Lettuce Wedge and Potato Salad
The smoky bacon-mustard dressing that coats this salad is a play on Hot German Potato Salad, a summertime favorite and a classic Pennsylvania Dutch dish.
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 Salad with Savory Granola
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.
Melon and Prosciutto Salad with Parmigiano-Reggiano
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.
Asian Green Bean Salad
This light and fresh pasta salad, with its easy sweet-sour-spicy dressing, is wonderfully versatile. Serve as a side to just about any pork, beef, or salmon dish, or mix in canned tuna, leftover chicken, or chopped hard-boiled egg for a simple and healthful brown-bag lunch at work or school.
Spinach Salad with Grilled Shrimp
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Tomato Granita
Chicken Cobb Salad
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.
Stone Fruit Salad with Toasted Almonds
With a dressing of almond oil and a white wine reduction, plus a topping of tangy goat cheese, this recipe brings some added elegance to the everyday fruit salad. It makes a nice light lunch or dinner starter on its own, but you can top with sliced chicken breast to make it more substantial. Either way, serve with chilled glasses of the wine you used in the dressing.
Fresh English Pea Salad with Mint and Pecorino
English peas and mint are a classic combination, given extra depth of flavor here with the addition of savory pecorino and bitter arugula. Fresh lemon juice (always better than bottled) in the dressing brightens all the flavors. Crumbled feta or goat cheese make excellent substitutes for pecorino, and if you can't find fresh English peas, try green beans or sugar snap peas, or use frozen.
Crab, Corn, and Tomato Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing
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.
Grilled Sirloin Salad
Opposites attract in this dish: hot steak sits atop cold salad, and tender meat contrasts with crunchy vegetables. The basic salad with red wine-lemon vinaigrette is easy and works great, but you can customize the salad with your favorite vegetables (or fruits) and dressing. Just about anything will match the steak.
Chicken-Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese
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.
Creole Tomato Salad
This simple no-cook salad is one of the best ways to highlight heirloom tomatoes, with its counterpoint of pungent raw onion and a light Dijon vinaigrette. You can also make this salad the spotlight of a great BLT (use the dressing in place of mayo), or add sliced mozzarella cheese for a Creole Caprese Salad.
Grilled Vegetable Salad with Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing
Melon and Fig Salad with Prosciutto and Balsamic Drizzle
Lemony Grilled Potato Salad
Grilling the vegetables brings unexpected smokiness to a familiar picnic staple.
Black Pepper Pasta Salad with Prosciutto, Asparagus, and Romano
Herby Cucumber Salad
Pinto, Black, and Red Bean Salad with Grilled Corn and Avocado
Grilled Caesar Salad
Lemony Cucumber Salad
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.
Indonesian Vegetable Salad with Peanut Dressing
Farro, Green Bean, and Fennel Salad with Tuna
Spinach-Pea Salad with Grilled Shrimp
Grilled Caponata Salad with Grilled Flatbreads
Grilled Steak Panzanella with Pickled Vegetables
Heirloom Tomato and Beet Salad
Italian Three-Bean Salad
Beefsteak Tomato Salad with Fried Tomato Skins
Cucumber and Herb Salad with Pine Nuts
Farro, Cherry, and Walnut Salad
Shaved Melon Salad with Lemon-Sherry Dressing
Wax Bean and Radish Salad with Creamy Parsley Dressing
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.
Broccoli, Beet, and Pickled Onion Salad
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.
Greek Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Farro
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.
Shrimp, Squash, and Bacon 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.
Chicken, Avocado, and Peanut Salad
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.
Balsamic, Beet, and Berry Salad
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 vinaigrette, this no-cook salad will quickly become one of your all-time favorites.
Peaches and Green Salad
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.