Salads don’t have to be a pile of wilted greens coated in an excessive amount of oily, calorific dressing. The summer season brings with it the most amazing produce, which is perfect for making extravagant salads that take center stage at the dinner table, rather than being a last-minute afterthought. In these warm, sunny months filled with ripe fruits and vegetables, there is no excuse to ever make a flavor-free, entirely underwhelming salad.
A successful salad requires thought, care, and balance. It firstly needs a base, which could be made of leaves, grains, or heftier vegetables. On top of that, add your favorite salad components, such as sliced vegetables, plenty of chopped herbs, or some tasty protein. Toppings should be sprinkled on as a necessary extra: Salty cheese, toasted nuts and seeds, or crumbled bacon are always popular options. Finally, you need to perfect the dressing: Pass by the readymade grocery store options and make your own. Dressings are simple to prepare, need very few ingredients, and are so much tastier (and healthier) when made at home.
These 20 summer salads are everything your summer meals need: Enjoy them as a filling, healthy main meal, as a side to grilled meat or fish, or as a light, healthy lunch. Make sure you’re using the freshest, ripest produce, and are carefully balancing freshness, saltiness, crunch, and acidity, and every salad you make will be the best you’ve ever created.