While it’s true that cooked components can take your salad to the next level, you don’t always feel like sweating over a hot stove during the dog days of summer.
And besides, the longer you’re in the kitchen, the less time you’re spending with the ones you love. Here are eight quick, simple, and most importantly, delicious salads that take just minutes to prepare.
So simple, so delicious, and the perfect salad for summertime chefs in a hurry! All you have to do is slice some fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, lay on some basil, and then season with salt and olive oil. Adding olives makes for a nice variation, too. This dish was created in the 1950s in Italy (Insalata Caprese translates as “Salad of Capri”) and in a nod to its motherland uses ingredients matching the colors of the national flag.
Another quick and flavorful Mediterranean classic! Equally as delightful as a side or main, Greek salads always hit the spot. This guaranteed crowd-pleaser can be whipped up in less than five minutes. Tomato, cucumber, onion, feta, and olives, seasoned with salt and oregano, and dressed with oil — there’s just nothing not to love!
There is perhaps no salad quite so refreshing as a watermelon salad. It is simply perfect for summer and takes just minutes to prepare. We like to cut the watermelon into bite-sized chunks, throw in some feta and arugula, toss with vinegar (surely vinegar and watermelon are one of the most unlikely culinary romances of all time?) and then serve it right up.
Earth ‘n’ Turf
Take some leafy greens (think kale, baby chard, spinach), chopped apple, sliced soft aged cheese, olives, and some cut up salami, and simply toss it in a bowl with a red wine vinegar/olive oil/Dijon mustard dressing. Season with some salt and pepper, and you’ve got a great-tasting side salad that took less than ten minutes to make!
Mango Avocado Salad
Umm… wow! For a summertime starter that’ll blow your guests away, try whipping up this quick and tasty, Caribbean-style salad. There’s just three ingredients: cubed mango, slices of avocado, and diced red onion. For a dressing, whisk together some balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and some lime juice, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Curried Tofu Salad
This veggie version of the classic curried chicken salad is great on a bed of crispy greens, but also thrives as a filling for a sandwich. Simply whisk together some plain yogurt, mayo, mango chutney, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Then stir in some crumbled tofu, diced celery, sliced grapes, sliced scallions, and some chopped walnuts. Voilà!
Anchovy and Cherry Tomato Salad
So quick and simple it’s redonkulous! Season with chopped chives and a zesty vinaigrette and you’re good to go. To create a salad as pleasing to the eye as it is to the tongue, use a combo of orange, red, and yellow tomatoes.
Grated Carrot Salad
This simple, single-ingredient salad is a French bistro classic. Just grate some carrot and then mix some Dijon mustard with some lemon juice and peanut oil, and toss! If you have any lying around, cut up some tomato wedges and serve on the side.