When produce is at its peak, a simple salad can be magical.
Summer in a Salad Bowl
As summer hits its stride, it's easy to turn salads from side dish into entree. To turn it into a complete meal, just add a little protein.
Salads are a great way to use up leftover barbequed chicken or steak. Any kind of lunchmeat is good, too--smoked turkey, ham, tuna, salami, corned beef, and prosciutto are all great on salads. If you want to keep it meatless, open up a can of beans--kidney, cannellini, garbanzo, and black beans all make tasty, satisfying salad toppers.
Try on Some New Dressing
Salad dressings are easy to make from scratch. One taste of homemade dressing, and you won't go back to those bottles hanging around the refrigerator door.
Fresh raw sweet corn adds a wonderful crunch when cut off the cob and sprinkled into a salad. The vines and brambles are bursting with plump berries right now--try sprinkling some into your next salad. You'll be surprised at how delicious that touch of tart sweetness is in an otherwise savory salad. Toasted nuts are tasty, too. Toss some pecans, walnuts, almonds or pine nuts into a skillet and stir over medium heat until the nuts turn a shade darker and give off an enticing aroma.
Use your Head--or Not!
It doesn't need to be leafy and green to be called a salad! Try a Greek salad of tomato wedges, sliced cucumber, white onions, bell peppers, tart olives and tangy feta mixed with a simply delicious dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, and chopped oregano. Another spectacular salad for the peak of tomato season is the Insalata Caprese: rounds of garden-fresh tomatoes and fresh mozzarella layered on a platter and crowned with basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt. There's a whole world of grain and bean salads, too! Try tabbouleh, a Middle Eastern favorite with nutty, chewy bulgur wheat flecked with refreshing cucumber, tomato, green onions, and fresh mint and parsley.