In the throes of summer when the weather is blazing, there is little more satisfying than a cool-down meal that doesn't have you firing up the oven. And it goes without saying, though we will for emphasis, salads rule this minimal-cook cuisine. Highlighted by bright, peak-season fruits and vegetables, tossed with cool and crunchy greens, and drizzled with herb-infused vinaigrettes—any one of these 12 mouthwateringly tasteful salads will keep you feeling cool and light.
Crunchy pistachios and aromatic mint add flavor to this warm beet salad. With fresh leafy greens, this salad will leave your body and mind happy. Serve as a side or have a full meal by adding feta, shrimp or chicken.
Recipe: Warm Beet Salad
Pretty, pink shrimp and mesclun greens pair nicely with roasted asparagus to make this salad both nutritious and delicious. We get particularly excited about its basil chiffonade and the addition of grape tomatoes, the pair give the salad that garden-fresh flavor we're after.
Recipe: Roasted Asparagus and Shrimp
Reminiscent of Cobb, this salad is composed of chopped vegetables grouped on a bed of Romaine. Extra dressing makes terrific dip. Bright and colorful, this salad will surely be a hit on the pot-lucking circuit.
Recipe: Chopped Greek Steak Salad with Yogurt-Lemon Dressing
The subtle sweetness of watermelon and tomatoes combine harmoniously in this light side salad. We suggest packing it for a picnic and serving in small plastic cups for easy snacking.
Recipe: Watermelon, Tomato and Cucumber Salad
An interesting combination of Asian flavors and crisp vegetables make this salad one of our favorites. After all, why should the crunch of peanuts and flavors of cilantro, ginger root and basil be constrained to stir fry?
Recipe: Asian Chicken Salad
We love this nutty, chewy, and earthy wheatberry salad. Juicy peaches and ripe tomatoes join farmstead favorites in the recipe which is filling enough to satisfy vegetarians and meat eaters alike at dinnertime.
Recipe: Summer Wheatberry Salad
For a quick summertime lunch that requires no stove, oven or grill, try this simple caprese salad with peppers. Your fresh produce will really shine in the salad, so be sure to use juicy and beautifully ripe tomatoes.
Recipe: Caprese Salad with Peppers
This seemingly simple edamame salad explodes with flavors of the Mediterannean—olives, tomatoes, Feta cheese and a lightly seasoned homemade vinaigrette. As versatile as it is flavorful, this nutritious mix works nicely served solo as a side dish, mixed with greens or atop lettuce cups—even tossed up in your favorite pasta.
Recipe: Mediterranean Edamame Salad
Meet caprese salad's more flavorful cousin. This salad combines the sweetness of tomatoes and Vidalia onions with salty olives and an herby vinaigrette. We suggest using ciliegine mozzarella, fresh mozzarella that comes in the shape of small, cherry-sized balls, for an extra-pretty plate.
Recipe: Herbed Tomato Salad
Fingerling potatoes, sometimes called California long whites after the state in which they were developed, are daintily spread throughout this salad with shredded Brussels sprouts. These two often neglected vegetables come together to form a tasty and visually appealing dish.
Recipe: Rustic Fingerling Potato Salad
When you're craving a big salad, we fully support tossing in everything but the kitchen sink. That means making a medley of crunchy romaine, bright bell peppers, juicy tomatoes, artichoke bottoms and whatever else you have on hand in your fridge and pantry.
Recipe: Kitchen Sink Chopped Salad
As nutritious as it is beautiful, this bread salad makes an ideal one-dish dinner. Think protein-packed salmon—right at home with its favorite herb, dill—bright greens and crisp summer vegetables, all lightly coated in a fresh vinaigrette. We can't think of a finer combination.
Recipe: Salmon Panzanella Salad
A supremely simple lentil salad glazed in lemon juice, onions and fresh parsley, we highly recommend this recipe to vegetarians looking to boost their protein intake.
Recipe: Lentil and Rice Salad
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