It's still summer, so there's still LOADS of time to make these 3 easy, yummy and incredibly versatile salads!
These 3 salads can be the star of your dinner, or the side kick.
When it comes to serving the perfect side dish, it can be hard to come up with something new and tasty this far into the summer. You've grilled ALL the veggies and eating ALL the tomatoes. Then you go and buy some steaks with a definite plan to throw them on the grill, but you haven't really figured out what to serve WITH the steaks. You could go traditional, and grill up some corn on the cob. AGAIN. Or there's asparagus. AGAIN. If you're looking for something new, you'll find your new summer side dish with these salads. All 3 of them are easy to make, simple to adjust depending on what ingredients you have on hand, and will go with any main course you serve this Summer. Best part? You can make them fast!
BONUS: If you want a ONE DISH WONDER, just add your favorite grilled protein and VOILÁ, dinner is served!
So, without more chattering on, here are 3 easy salads you should make this Summer.
First up is a salad that has just a few ingredients, but packs so much flavor because of the vinaigrette. It's light, fresh and is Summer in a salad. This is an incredibly versatile salad that goes just as well with grilled fish as it would with chicken or pork. Fennel has a faint licorice flavor and gives this salad a great crunchy texture. There's avocado for creaminess, grapefruit for a burst of fresh citrus and the tangy vinaigrette ties everything together. Grilled shrimp or grilled salmon would be the perfect match to turn this into a one dish dinner.
Here's a salad I could literally eat every day. all day long. all Summer long. I've used a variety of different melons and can vouch that you really can't go wrong with whichever melon you choose. Just pick one that's sweet to balance the salty prosciutto. Burrata is my absolute favorite type of mozzarella to use in this salad. In Italian, burrata translates to "buttery" and is the dreamiest, creamiest, most amazing mozzarella you will ever eat. The outer shell is mozzarella and the inside is an unpulled mozzarella and cream. When you cut into it, melt in your mouth goodness will flood onto your plate. You can read all about how much I LOVE burrata in this blog post.
If you use burrata, it won't slice evenly, so I usually break the burrata in a bowl first, then plop down pieces on the plates to keep it somewhat neat. Scatter basil leaves on top, or chiffonade the basil. To chiffonade the basil, take the basil leaves, layer a few on top of each other, roll them together and then thinly slice starting at the top. You now have lovely ribbons of basil for the salad.
This easy, breezy salad literally tastes like Summer to me. The peppery bite of the arugula, sweet peaches and tomatoes all get a light drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This salad can play lots of different roles on your menu. Add grilled shrimp or thinly sliced steak on top and VOILA it becomes a main course. Or leave it as is for the perfect, light, refreshing side salad. If you can find heirloom tomatoes, I definitely recommend using them for their sweetness. The salty feta balances the sweetness, but another cheese that works just as well is goat cheese. Or, you can shave a bit of Parmesan on top.
The other weekend, I made a big green salad with tons of veggies (carrots, cucumbers, avocados, radishes and tomatoes). and wasn't feeling like making my usual vinaigrette. So I made this creamy dressing and added fresh herbs from my garden. We practically licked the salad bowl clean. It's one of those dressings that will work just as well drizzled over grilled chicken or fish, as it does in a salad. It's also ridiculously easy to make because everything goes in a blender. No chopping required. I would recommend making it a day or two ahead of when you want to serve it to allow all the flavors to meld together.