We love a good salad, especially in the summer when warmer days leave us loathe to heat up the kitchen to cook a meal. Plus, produce is at its peak, and that means there’s more options than ever for creating that perfect crunchy, crispy bite. If you’re looking for inspiration to shake up your salad routine, we’ve got some delicious options that are sure to satisfy. So read on for our top tips and recipes for your best-ever summer salads.
How to make the best summer salads
One of the best things about salads is how easy they are to toss together and enjoy. And with these tricks from the First for Women test kitchen, you can speed through prep like a pro!
Try this towel trick to keep lettuce crisp. To ensure your summer salad has the crispiest, most refreshing lettuce, simply line the Tupperware container with paper towels and place the washed lettuce inside. The paper towels will soak up all the extra moisture, and your lettuce will stay fresh for up to 10 days. (Click through to see how you can also store lettuce in water.)
Make chopping a breeze with a pizza cutter. While summer salads are tasty, prepping them can be time-consuming sometimes. To cut that time in half, simply pile all the ingredients into one big bowl and cut through them with a pizza cutter!
Perk up wilted lettuce with a bath. If the greens you were planning on using for your summer salads are looking a little sad and wilted, don’t worry: Simply fill a large bowl with ice water, place the greens in it for 15 minutes, and then spin dry. The ice-cold water will replenish the vegetables’ moisture and reverse the wilting. (Want to give your salad an extra good-for-you punch? Click through the read about the health benefits of watercress.)
Try this fast fix for too-tart dressing. If your salad dressing is tasting a bit too tart for your liking, simply add in a pinch of baking soda. The alkaline in the baking soda will neutralize the acid taste and won’t add in any extra flavoring.
Surprise way to use leftovers. If you’ve got just a few handfuls of tossed salad greens leftover, you can turn them into gazpacho. In blender, pulse 2 to 3 cups of salad (including any dressing, veggies and even croutons), 1 small onion and 1 clove garlic until coarsely chopped; add 2 cups of vegetable juice and chill. That’s it!
12 summer salads that really shine
Salad boring? Not with these recipes! We’ve got all sort of flavor combinations packed with fresh ingredients that’ll satisfy even the heartiest of appetites.
1. Tuna Panzanella Salad
We used broccolini in our twist on an Italian classic, but regular broccoli works just as well.
2. Napa Chicken Salad
Store-bought rotisserie chicken speeds this Asian-inspired dish to the dinner table.
3. Grilled Steak Salad
This salad’s flavor-packed dressing can do double duty as a marinade for meaty sirloin.
4. Chicken ‘n’ Peach Salad
Sweet, juicy peaches combine with peppery arugula, crunchy radishes and buttery avocado in this refreshing meal-in-a-bowl.
5. Balsamic-Chicken Caprese Salad
This crowd-pleasing combo of ripe tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella is extra hearty topped with sliced chicken.
6. Grilled Romaine and Ranch Cobb Salad
Grilling romaine makes it smoky-sweet — perfect with yolky eggs. Like yours hard-cooked? Boil two minutes more.
7. BLT Caesar Salad with Tuna and Avocado
Creamy avocado, crunchy bacon and zingy feta combine to deliver tempting tastes and textures to every bite.
8. Grilled Steak with Beets and Greens
Loaded with vegetables, tender steak and tangy goat cheese, this hearty toss will satisfy a hungry crowd.
9. Zesty Fajita Chicken ‘n’ Rice
Pre-cooked breaded chicken adds the ultimate crunch to this Tex-Mex salad.
10. Tuscan Tuna Niçoise
This lean, green protein-rich dish gets a boost of flavor thanks to zesty marinated artichokes
11. Mediterranean Tortellini Toss
Sauteed Swiss chard meets fresh baby spinach to create a tender yet crisp texture in this nutrient-dense starter.
12. Veggie Rainbow Medley
This colorful main meal is lightly tossed in an oil-and-vinegar dressing for the perfect touch of tang.
For more fun and fresh information on salads click through the links: