Fun Summer Salad Recipes

Fun Summer Salad RecipesSummer is almost here, and that means invitations to picnics and outdoor potluck meals. It can also mean steamy weather that leaves you less than excited to heat up your kitchen. No worries! An easy but delicious salad makes the perfect meal for a hot summer night at home, or you can make one to bring to the next cookout on your calendar. These salads are quick to throw together, and they won’t have you working in a hot kitchen when you could be enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.

Caprese Salad
This Italian classic takes moments to make, and it needs just three main ingredients: fresh basil, a ripe tomato, and fresh mozzarella cheese. To make it, cut the tomato and mozzarella into quarter-inch thick slices. Create layers by alternating a slice of cheese, slice of tomato, and a leaf of basil on your plate. You can form a circle, or arrange ingredients in a line. Drizzle with olive oil, and finish with a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper just before serving.

Cucumber Watermelon Salad
For a delightfully refreshing side dish with a touch of sweetness, just add watermelon. This summer fruit also pairs well with savory salad ingredients. Thinly slice a small red onion and marinate in 2 tbsp. lime juice and 2 tbsp. olive oil. Cube one seedless watermelon and a large cucumber, and toss with ½ cup thinly sliced fresh mint leaves. Pour the onion dressing over the salad and toss; add 1 cup crumbled feta cheese and serve.

BLT Salad
Serve a yummy BLT to a crowd with this salad. Toss together 12 ounces romaine lettuce, 1 ½ pounds grape tomatoes (halved), 6 slices crispy cooked bacon, and 2 cups thick croutons. To really make it stand out, make a buttermilk dressing as a stand-in for the traditional mayo on a BLT. Combine 1 tbsp. minced onion or shallot and 1/4 cup cider vinegar in a medium-sized bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk in 1/2 cup buttermilk, 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and 1/8 tsp. sugar. Pour dressing over the salad, and toss just before serving. Garnish with chopped flat-leaf parsley and torn basil leaves.

The beauty of a summer salad is that it’s all about fresh ingredients. Tomatoes and other garden staples are at their peak of flavor at this time of year, so let nature do the work for you. Throw together these salads for an easy meal that will leave you satisfied and refreshed.