Good Eats: Easy Summer Salads

Eating fresh veggies and fruits is a must when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet. During the hot summer, I like to have salads for lunch and dinner. I pile my salads high with vegetables and fruit, which keeps me full and satisfied. The best salads are simple, usually consisting of only a few main ingredients accompanied by a light homemade dressing. You can imagine how happy I was when I stumbled upon Mark Bittman’s 101 Simple Salads for the Season article for The New York Times… 101 simple salads? Yes, please. I tried a few of them out and enjoyed them all (to the very last bite)!

One of my favorites from 101 Simple Salads for the Season is #7. This salad has grated carrots, blueberries, and toasted sunflower seeds in. It’s all mixed together with some olive oil, lemon juice and black pepper and the resulting salad is absolutely delicious. In Bittman’s article, he describes it as crunchy yet soft, sweet and a little bit sour.

Another salad I fell in love with from the 101 list is #49. This salad combines raspberries, herb greens, walnuts and blue cheese with balsamic vinaigrette. After you’ve put together this decadent mix, Bittman suggests: “Sell for $14 a serving.” I couldn’t agree more.

My favorite salad is #2. It’s described as “astonishing,” which it is. What’s in this salad? It’s probably the most unlikely mix of ingredients I’ve ever heard of. It’s a mix of tomatoes (I prefer heirloom), peaches, red onion, red-pepper flakes and cilantro. Then it’s drizzled with some lemon juice and olive oil. Let’s just say this salad will leave you speachless (sorry spelling fanatics, I had to).

After reading through all 101 of the salads I’ve been inspired to be more adventurous with my salad preparation by trying out new combinations. If I come up with any winners, I’ll be sure to let you know. In the mean time, give these a try.

For your ingredients, I suggest picking up them up from a local farmers market. Fresh produce is always better, especially if you buy locally. When you buy your produce at a farmers market, the flavor is fuller and you can usually score organics for less.

What’s your favorite (simple) summer salad? Post your recipes to your profile page and link the recipe in the comments below! I’ll feature my favorite salad idea in a Member Spotlight post. And I’ll add my other picks to the Dine Gallery.

Not sure how to upload and submit a recipe? Click here to learn how.

XO Lauren