Who doesn’t love a picnic? Whether it’s a fancy spread set out on a blanket, wine and cheese on the deck, or sandwiches and fresh fruit at the beach, food tastes extra delicious when you eat it outdoors.
And we’re guessing there’s lots more outdoor dining gatherings on your calendar—picnics, barbecues, potlucks, and beach outings with friends and family—than there were this time last year.
If you’re hosting a get-together, you’ll want some knockout summer dishes to add to your buffet table. If you’re a guest at a cookout or part of an impromptu potluck, you’ll want to bring along a delicious side dish to pair with whatever’s coming off the grill.
Even if you’re just eating at your own kitchen table you’ve still got hungry mouths to feed.
That's where these yummy, healthy summer salads come in. Taking advantage of late-season fresh produce — sweet corn, sun-ripened tomatoes, fresh herbs, and more — they’re easy to prepare, and bound to become new summer favorites.
Corn, Avocado, Tomato Salad with Red Onion and Cilantro Dressing
- 2 cups cooked corn, cut from the cob
- 1 diced avocado
- 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes
- 1/8 cup finely diced red onion (more or less to taste)
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs fresh lime juice
- ½ tsp lime zest
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- In a large bowl, add 2 cups cooked corn, 1 diced avocado, 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes and 1/8 cup finely diced red onion (or to taste)
- In a separate bowl whisk together 2 tbs olive oil, 1 tbs fresh lime juice, ½ tsp lime zest, ¼ cup chopped cilantro, ¼ tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper.
- Stir the vinaigrette into the salad and serve.
Note: Proportions for the salad are flexible. Add more or less corn, tomatoes, avocado and red onion to your liking.
Spicy Sesame Noodle Salad with Cabbage and Kale
- 4 oz rice or soba noodles
- ½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- ½ -1 medium carrot, thinly sliced into half-moons
- 4 cups shredded cabbage + kale
- Huge handful chopped herbs (cilantro, mint, or basil)
- 1-2 tbs toasted sesame or sunflower seeds (or untoasted sunflower seeds)
- 2 tbs good quality tahini (try soom or mightysesame )
- 2 tsp white or yellow miso
- 2 tsp hot sauce (or cayenne), to taste
- 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
- 1 tsp soy sauce/tamari
- Juice from 1-2 limes
- Juice from ½ lemon
- 2-3 tbs warm water, to thin
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- Cook the noodles according to directions
- Add noodles into the salad and mix; then add the dressing and mix well.
Recipe from holistic nutritionist and health coach Erin Parekh
Mediterranean Couscous and Lentil Salad with Arugula, Tomato, and Feta
- 1 cup green or brown lentils
- 3 tbs white wine vinegar
- 1/1/4 cups water
- 1 cup couscous
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 bunch arugula, washed, dried and chopped
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¼ pounds feta, crumbled (about 1 cup)
- In a small saucepan simmer lentils in water to cover by 2 inches until tender but not falling apart, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain well.
- Transfer lentils to a bowl and stir in 1 tbs vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Cool lentils completely, stirring occasionally.
- In a saucepan bring water to a boil and add couscous and salt. Remove pan from heat and let couscous stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in 1 tbs oil and cool completely, stirring occasionally.
- In a small bowl whisk together garlic paste, remaining 2 tbs vinegar, remaining 3 tbs oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir lentils and dressing into couscous. Chill salad, covered, at least 3 hours and up to 24.
- Just before serving, stir in remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper.
Recipe from epicurious.com