A Month of Summer Salad Recipes
Pinto, Black, and Red Bean Salad with Grilled Corn and Avocado
"When I was growing up in Mexico City, my parents would throw wonderful summer barbecues," says Chef Medina (Toloache, Yerba Buena, Coppelia, New York City). "We would grill corn on the cob and mix in leftover beans from the weekend and make a delicious, simple corn and bean salad." This Latin-accented three-bean and corn salad is studded with guacamole components: jalapeño, cilantro, white onion, lime, and avocado.
Lemony Orzo-Veggie Salad with Chicken
Fresh and light describe the flavors of this salad. With pops of green onions, herbs and cucumber, and bright red bell pepper, this dish will be a delight for both the eyes and the palate.
Heirloom Tomato and Beet Salad
Heirloom tomatoes serve as the base for this vibrant and delicious vegetable salad.
Fig, Tomato, and Sweet Onion Salad
The ingredient list for this recipe is full of fresh summer flavors that are perfect for a light, yet satisfying, salad. Use any fig variety you like or a combination of varieties.
Warm Pasta Salad with Shrimp
Pantry-friendly ingredients make this pasta salad easy on your budget. Toss warm pasta with the tangy dressing so it will absorb more flavor. If you prefer to serve this salad chilled, make it up to a day ahead, toss, and refrigerate until you're ready to serve.
Farro, Green Bean, and Fennel Salad with Tuna
To make this a full whole-grain salad, avoid pearled farro, which has been partially processed. Yes, it takes a little longer, but to save time, hunt down some precooked whole-grain farro. It's found on the rice aisle. The recipe, however, begins with uncooked grain, which needs an hour in the pot and a little time to cool. We recently tasted—and loved—Wild Planet's wild albacore tuna, jarred in olive oil, which is firm, meaty, rich, and moist. We also love that it's sustainable, 100% pole and troll caught.
Gemelli Salad with Green Beans, Pistachios, and Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette
Haricots verts are thin, tender green beans. If you can't find them, use trimmed regular green beans, but add them to the pasta after 8 minutes of cooking since they'll take longer to cook. You can make the salad ahead, but dress it just before serving so the beans don't turn drab.
Farmers' Market Potato Salad
A mix of red, purple, and brown-skinned fingerling potatoes makes this salad exceptionally stunning. If you can't find them, substitute small red potatoes. You can serve this dish at room temperature just after it's tossed together, or make it ahead, refrigerate, and serve chilled.
Golden Beet Salad with Wheat Berries and Pumpkinseed Vinaigrette
This colorful salad will be a bright addition to any table. It’s light and flavorful, making it perfect for an alfresco dinner on a warm summer day.
Light and Fresh Potato Salad
If you don't like mayonnaise, this is the potato salad for you. With a vinaigrette base, the recipe truly lives up to its light and fresh claims. To make matters even better, there's only 90 calories per serving. Eat up!
Grilled Caponata Salad with Grilled Flatbreads
Look for caper berries near the olives in the supermarket; they should be next to the capers, but they're much bigger and have a stem. In a pinch, substitute about a tablespoon of chopped capers. Japanese eggplants have thinner skins than typical globe eggplants, so you can leave the peel on. The light purple color is pretty, too.
Melon Chicken Salad
A great balancing act of flavors and textures is evident in this main-dish salad. Sweet honey, salty soy sauce, tart vinegar, bitter daikon radish, and savory chicken create an interesting interplay of flavors, while crunchy walnuts and peanut butter juxtapose juicy melons. You can use leftover or rotisserie chicken to make this dish on a busy weeknight.
Orzo Salad with Spicy Buttermilk Dressing
Pasta salad gets a southwestern twist with the addition of corn, black beans, chili powder, and fresh cilantro. Make ahead for lunch, dinner, or even a picnic.
Herby Cucumber Salad
Creamy and tangy, this simple side comes together in a flash. Don't make the salad ahead--the cucumbers will release too much water.
Grilled Chicken Salad
Inspired by the popular curried chicken salad, this recipe calls for an Indian tandoori-style yogurt marinade for the chicken. Then it's grilled, chopped, and stirred together with tangy dressing, which includes store-bought mango chutney. If you prefer more spicy heat, add a bit more ground red pepper.
Smoked Potato Salad
The mesquite wood chips bring a strong smoky flavor to the potatoes, but the vinaigrette balances it out, especially when the kalamata olives are added to the mixture. To bring more heat to the potato salad, you can add cayenne or red chili flakes.
Spinach-Pea Salad with Grilled Shrimp
Sweet, briny shrimp are lovely here—seared scallops would be, too. For a beautiful garnish, purchase edible flowers, separate the petals, and scatter them on top. Grilled whole-wheat pita makes wonderfully thin croutons; we like whole-wheat, but you can use white pita, too.
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Tomato Granita
One of our favorite things about summer is the effortless splendor of heirloom tomato salads. Ripe, peak-season specimens need almost no adornment, so skip the granita if you're in a rush. But if you have a few hours to let it freeze, it will make this dish spectacular.
Lemony Grilled Potato Salad
Grilling the vegetables brings unexpected smokiness to a familiar picnic staple.
Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing
This salad is light and refreshing, the perfect choice for a warm spring or summer day. To make a splash when serving, garnish the dish with lime wedges to give diners a hint of the flavor they will encounter when they dive in.
Cracked Wheat Salad with Nectarines, Parsley, and Pistachios
Great with grilled chicken, lamb, or salmon, this side-dish salad also packs well for a picnic. Almost any fruit would work well in place of nectarines–try apricots, peaches, or figs.
Warm Potato Salad With Ramps and Bacon
As it is served warm, this potato salad is slightly more elegant than most. Ramps give it a robust garlic and onion flavor, while the bacon adds a smoky crunch. If you can't find fresh ramps, you can substitute scallions or spring onions.
Melon and Fig Salad with Prosciutto and Balsamic Drizzle
The salty and sweet flavor combination in this salad cannot be beat. A drizzle of tangy balsamic proves to be the perfect finishing touch.
Spinach Salad with Grilled Shrimp
An Asian-flavored vinaigrette with an orange juice kicker is the secret to this simple salad, while ginger and cumin give the shrimp skewers nice spice.
Curried Chicken Salad with Apples and Raisins
Enjoy this fruit-studded chicken salad with whole-grain crackers, or spread it on whole-wheat bread for a sandwich. The balance of sweet apples and raisins with fragrant curry elevates chicken salad to a new level.
Orzo Salad with Radish and Fennel
Lemony dressing and fresh mint add vibrant flavor to this pasta salad. Serve chilled or at room temperature, and garnish with pretty mint leaves, if desired.
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.
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 Caesar Salad
Grilling lettuce gives it a hint of smokiness and lends the leaves crisp-tender contrast. Toasted garlic bread stands in for croutons.
Chicken Salad with Nectarines in Mint Vinaigrette
The mint adds a refreshing note to the dressing, which will also work well in a fresh fruit salad. Use any curly lettuce leaves in place of red leaf.