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Could our best salads yet be just five ingredients? Absolutely.

By Grace Elkus
Updated May 03, 2018
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Breakfast Salad With French Toast Croutons
Here’s the thing about this breakfast salad: the croutons are non-negotiable, but the rest you can adapt to your liking. We prefer arugula for its peppery bite, but spinach is a great alternative. Vegetarians can lose the bacon and cook the croutons in olive or coconut oil. And as long as you have a runny yolk to help dress the greens, the eggs can be prepared any number of ways: poached, soft-boiled, and fried are all winners. Get the recipe:Breakfast Salad With French Toast Croutons
| Credit: Jennifer Causey

With summer just around the corner, the last thing you want is a recipe that calls for standing over the hot stove. So we developed five new summer-ready salad recipes that not only require very little heat, they require very little time in the kitchen, period. Spend the extra time outside with friends and family, devouring these simple recipes in the backyard or at a picnic. We’ve covered everything from an herb-and-grain packed main dish to a flavorful fruit salad that doubles as dessert.

Sweet Bell Pepper and Tomato Salad With Mint
Credit: Jennifer Causey

1
Sweet Bell Pepper and Tomato Salad With Mint

When tomatoes are at their peak in the heat of the summer, we could pretty much eat them like apples. But we opted for a slightly more sophisticated approach with this gorgeous salad, in which fresh heirlooms are tossed with broiled sweet bell peppers and tangy quick-pickled shallots. Every bite is even better than the last.

Get the recipe: Sweet Bell Pepper and Tomato Salad With Mint

Herb and Grain Salad With Basil Oil and Popped Sorghum
Credit: Jennifer Causey

2
Herb and Grain Salad With Basil Oil and Popped Sorghum

Popped sorghum was hiding right in front of us all along. It’s made from the same grain that forms the base of this salad, but instead of boiling it in salted water until tender, you’ll toast it in a saucepot with a splash of olive oil. The result is miniature popcorn that’s not only fun to make, but makes for a delicious salad topper.

Get the recipe: Herb and Grain Salad With Basil Oil and Popped Sorghum

Smashed Cucumber Salad With Spicy Feta and Olives
Credit: Jennifer Causey

3
Smashed Cucumber Salad With Spicy Feta and Olives

Salty feta, briny olives, and crisp cucumbers combine for a crunchy, addictive salad you’ll want to eat on repeat. Marinating feta and red pepper flakes in olive oil adds a spicy kick to the cheese, and adds some heat to the oil, too. You’ll drizzle some onto the salad, but save any remaining oil for salad dressings or grain bowls.

Get the recipe: Smashed Cucumber Salad With Spicy Feta and Olives

Breakfast Salad With French Toast Croutons
Credit: Jennifer Causey

4
Breakfast Salad With French Toast Croutons

Here’s the thing about this breakfast salad: the croutons are non-negotiable, but the rest you can adapt to your liking. We prefer arugula for its peppery bite, but spinach is a great alternative. Vegetarians can lose the bacon and cook the croutons in olive or coconut oil. And as long as you have a runny yolk to help dress the greens, the eggs can be prepared any number of ways: poached, soft-boiled, and fried are all winners.

Get the recipe: Breakfast Salad With French Toast Croutons

Ginger-Lime Melon Salad
Credit: Jennifer Causey

5
Ginger-Lime Melon Salad

Once we discovered the match made in heaven that is sweet summer melon and freshly-grated ginger, we couldn’t stop combining the two. Adding lime zest and juice makes it extra zingy and refreshing.

Get the recipe: Ginger-Lime Melon Salad

Torn Pita and Eggplant Salad With Parsley and Green Tahini
Credit: Jennifer Causey

6
Torn Pita and Eggplant Salad With Parsley and Green Tahini

This simple salad hits all the right notes. The nutty green tahini is brightened up with the addition of fresh lemon juice, and acts as a creamy, flavorful base for the broiled eggplant and pita. To serve, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and an additional squeeze of lemon.

Get the recipe: Torn Pita and Eggplant Salad With Parsley and Green Tahini