April 19, 2017

Summer salads are the perfect dishes to take advantage of the bounties of your garden or the local farmer's market. Sweet, fruit-based salads can whet your appetite for a grilled dinner; hearty salads with seasonal vegetables make a light main course when it's too hot to cook. With so many fruits and vegetables coming into the peak of their flavor, you can set out a different five-star summer salad every night of the week.

Watermelon Salads

Watermelon is the essence of summer. It's a star in salads that pack neatly into your beach picnic basket and offers a cool balance to your charcoal-grilled burgers and hot dogs. And, when it's cut into bite-sized pieces, you don't have to worry about juice dribbling down your chin (no promises). Combine watermelon with other fruit for a sweet medley, or play off its sweetness with tangy feta cheese and herbs, tart arugula, or smoky bacon.

Berry Salads

Strawberries and blueberries are great in pies, and even more amazing in salad. Berries of all kinds mix well with other sweet fruits like peaches and oranges, which take savory salads with kale or bell peppers to another level. Pick up an extra quart of berries at the nearest roadside stand for a salad to round out the table at your next cookout.

Tomato Salads

Whether you grow your own tomatoes or gather heirloom varieties at the farmer's market, tomatoes are a versatile and delicious summer staple. Match them with fresh soft cheeses and homegrown basil, and enjoy the classic flavor of a hot summer afternoon.

Cucumber Salads

Crisp, crunchy cucumbers are like a cool breeze for your dinner table. They play well with a wide range of flavors, from the sweetness of tomatoes to the bite of bell pepper and cilantro.

Corn Salads

You're not doing summer right if you haven't sunk your teeth into fragrant, buttery, fresh-cooked corn on the cob. Corn-based salads let you mix the sweet and savory taste of fresh corn with tomatoes, peppers, or herbs, and are much easier to pack along for an office lunch.

Vegetable Salads

Savory salads help you get your recommended servings of vegetables during the hottest months. Keep cool by mixing crunchy raw vegetables with tangy dressings. Or use the grill tonight to sear and season asparagus, squash, and onions that chill for tomorrow night's main-dish salad.