In your head, picture a salad. What do you see? A bed of romaine lettuce, a couple of cherry tomatoes, thin rings of red onion, colorful bell peppers, a spiral of ranch?
This monotonous rendition of a salad is the main reason why this dish has achieved a reputation as bland and boring — “rabbit food” — but salads can be so much more than a chilled plate of greens, dressing, and roughly chopped vegetables. Over the centuries the category of “salad” has evolved from brined-seasoned vegetables (“sal” is the Latin word for salt) to include everything from pasta and grains to chicken and seafood. A salad can be warm or cold, savory or sweet — or even suspended in Jell-O.
But as we transition from spring into summer, salad will play a more important role in your diet. Salads are refreshing and bright, usually seasoned with tangy vinaigrettes, fresh herbs, and crisp vegetables. They’re not overly rich and rarely weight you down. A lemony-asparagus salad or zesty-dill potato salad are the perfect accompaniments to any backyard barbecue or summer grilling session, but they can also stand on their own as a filling side dish, main course, or even dessert.
We’ve assembled 50 salads that are ideal for the spring and summer season. They use a range of ingredients from unusual grains like farro, bulgur, and wheat berries to vegetables like beets, parsnips, zucchini, and carrots. There are classic combinations like the iconic Cobb salad, but there are also more modern salad interpretations such as a grilled halloumi and peach salad. Throw out any preconceived notions of what you thought a salad should be, and let these 50 recipes spark your imagination.
Here are 50 Salads for Spring and Summer.