Top Five Summer Salads You Should Know

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Five Summer Salads

There’s something about how temperature affects the body that makes specific cravings burst forth from every pore. In the winter, visions of hot stews occupy the mind, and nothing satiates the palate like a big hunk of grilled flesh. Not so, however, in the summer. The air is warm and heavy, the colours are bright, and the body needs less intake because it isn’t constantly battling the elements of wind and ice to survive. Aside from (or perhaps in addition to) a cold, crisp beer, one aspect of summer cuisine is crucial: the summer salads. Wait! Don’t groan. Because one thing about the salad is that it has a bad rap as that tasteless, watery green thing you eat before the good stuff when you’re at your grandmother’s house. But there are some exquisite ways to bring out summer flavours in a well-designed salad that will force you to reconsider your previous conceptions.

Top Five Summer Salads

Here are the top five summer salads

1) Watercress Salad with Orange and Avocado:

Watercress Salad with Orange and Avocado
Image by: Pxhere

Oh, my. This is a delightful treat—ripe, fresh ingredients with a light feel but a sweet taste. You probably didn’t even know what watercress was until now, huh? Time to learn.

What you need: (12 servings)

Dressing:

  • 2.5 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • ¾ tablespoon of aniseed
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 1 red onion (sliced)
  • ¼ cup fresh pomegranate juice
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced Serrano chiles (seeded)

Salad:

  • 4 large navel oranges
  • 2 large avocados (peeled, pitted, sliced)
  • 5 green onions
  • 3 bunches of watercress (stems trimmed)
  • 5 cups thinly sliced red cabbage

Dressing:

Preheat broiler. Put your garlic cloves on a baking sheet and broil until golden brown, about 2 1/2 minutes per side.

Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Throw in the onion slices and cook until lightly brown and soft, about 7 minutes per side. Finely chop garlic and onion. Whisk pomegranate juice, lime juice, chiles, and aniseed in a small bowl. Whisk in 1/4 cup oil. Mix in onion and garlic—season with salt and pepper. Whisk in cilantro.

Salad:

Cut off all the peels of orange and cut between the membranes to release segments.

Combine cabbage, watercress, green onions, and orange segments in a large bowl. Add some dressing and avocado slices and toss gently to coat. Put the salad on a large platter and serve.

2) Corn Salad with Tomatoes and Cucumber:

Who said salad had to be green? This one takes advantage of summer’s best offerings: CORN. And it’s so easy you’ll be doing backflips on your kitchen counter. Check it out.

What you need: (12 servings)

  • 1 purple onion (diced)
  • 15.5 oz of fresh kernel corn
  • 15.5 oz of white corn
  • 2 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 cucumber (diced)
  • 15 oz of sweet peas
  • 3 tablespoons pimentos
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste

What to do:

Just mix all that stuff! Season it with salt or pepper, cover it and stick it in the fridge. Let it cool for at least 1 hour and remove for serious feasting.

3) Tomato Salad:

This recipe is swiped from Nigella Lawson’s recipe book because that tomato salad is simple and cannot be beaten.

What you need: (6 servings)

  • 18 oz cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • ¼ teaspoon English mustard
  • 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large egg (beaten)
  • 4 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • Chives (or chopped spring onions)

What to do:

Fill your sink halfway up with cold water. Next, mix the mustard, flour, and sugar with a teaspoon of salt and some pepper in a heavy-based saucepan. Add milk and stir to combine until it becomes a smooth paste, then put on low heat and continue adding milk, stirring as you do.

When milk is added, add the beaten egg and vinegar and continue whisking until it begins to thicken. When the mixture has become creamy, whisk in the oil and plunge the pan into a cold water sink. Continue to whisk.

When the mixture is cool, cut the tomatoes in half and arrange them on a serving plate. Drizzle dressing over tomatoes and add some chopped spring onions or chives.

4. Golden Beet and Sunflower Salad:

On the other hand, if you haven’t gotten in on the beet salad game, you need to reevaluate your priorities. This simple, subtle, light salad is a fantastic starter to a meal or complement to the main dish.

What you need: (6 servings)

  • 2.5 lbs medium golden beets (keep the greens on but trimmed)
  • 2 tablespoons shallot (finely chopped)
  • ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 2.5 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 oz sunflower sprouts
  • Salt
  • Pepper

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 425°. And Wrap the beets individually in aluminium foil and place them in preheated oven. Leave for about 45 minutes or until tender. After than bake the sunflower seeds on a plate or a small baking pan in the lower third of the oven with beets in the oven. Shake it occasionally until the seeds turn golden brown, about ten minutes.

Whisk together the shallot, vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar in a small bowl, then add oil in a stream. Continue whisking. When beets are cool, slip off and throw away skins. Cut the beets lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices and toss gently with three tablespoons of vinaigrette in a pot. Hurl sunflower sprouts and half of the sunflower seeds with the remaining vinaigrette separately. Also, arrange beets on salad plates and top them with dressed sprouts. Sprinkle salads with remaining sunflower seeds.

5. Steak Salad with Ginger-Lime Dressing:

Saving the best for last is always a good idea. This Vietnamese-inspired speciality includes something you didn’t even think to put in your salad: STEAK. Yes, don’t hate on the salad just yet, meat lovers. Give this a try first.

What you need: (12 servings)

Dressing:

  • 9 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • Six tablespoons water
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 teaspoon minced red jalapeño chilli
  • 3 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salad
  • 3 ¾ pounds New York steak, trimmed, cut into 2/3-inch cubes
  • 6 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 3 tablespoon medium-dry Sherry
  • 6 teaspoons tamari soy sauce
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 teaspoons (packed) brown sugar
  • 6 bunches of watercress, bottom 2 inches discarded, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 9 cups mizuna leaves, torn in half if massive (about 1 1/2 ounces)
  • 6 cups (lightly packed) torn Bibb lettuce leaves (about 6 large)
  • 3 cups Thai basil leaf cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 1.5 12-ounce English hothouse cucumbers, halved lengthwise, sliced very thinly on diagonal
  • 36 cherry tomatoes
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1.5 medium-size red onion, cut into thin wedges6
  • 6 shallots, sliced into thin rounds
  • 3/4 medium pineapple, peeled, cored, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices

What to do:

For Dressing:

Twist all ingredients in a small bowl to blend.

For salad:

Mix oyster sauce, Sherry, tamari soy sauce, and brown sugar. Mix in the steak. Also, Marinate the steak at least for 30 minutes and up to 2 hours, thrilling occasionally. Merge watercress, mizuna, lettuce, basil, cucumber, and tomatoes in a bowl. Arrange greens mixture on a large rimmed platter.

Firstly, heat the oil in a big nonstick skillet over high heat. Secondly, add onion and shallots and sauté for 30 seconds. Add beef with marinade. Sauté until meat is brown outside but still pink inside, about 4 minutes. So, after that add pineapple slices and stir until pineapple is heated through, about 1 minute longer. Spoon steak mixture with any pan juices atop dressed greens mixture on the platter—drizzle salad with remaining dressing and serve.