Super supper salads

One-dish summer meals

August 21, 2009

During the winter, we rely on soup for our go-to one-dish meals. But come summer, especially when the heat soars, we want salad instead.

Given all the delicious produce available — juicy ripe tomatoes, crunchy cukes, fresh basil — it doesn’t take much effort to throw together a great-tasting salad in August and September.

If it’s too hot to cook, zero in on the raw salads or substitute ingredients (canned beans instead of dried, supermarket-roasted chicken instead of home-roasted). Or cook when it’s cool(er).

When putting together salads that store well — grain, bean, and noodle — do yourself a favor and make large quantities. Then, on those nights when you don’t feel like cooking at all, you’ll appreciate dipping into that big batch of tabouli or supping on leftover salade niçoise.

Here are eight categories of supper salads we favor, with recipes.

  1. Penne Salad With Herbs and Hot Pepper
    Pasta and noodle salads. Penne Salad with Herbs and Hot Pepper and Fresh Tomato and Basil Summer Pasta Salad, or Otsu (Soba Noodle Salad) and Japchae (Korean Sweet-Potato Noodles).
  2. grain salad
    Going with the Grain. Farro Salad with Tomato, Red Onion, and Green Olives, Tabouli, Bulgur Salad with Red Pepper and Walnuts, Quinoa Salad with Lemon Dressing, and Wheat Berries and Garbanzos with Lemon-Tahini Dressing.
  3. Tuna and White Bean Salad
    Legume salads. Lentil Salad with Herbs and Fennel, Black Bean Salad with Chipotle-Cumin Dressing, Green Beans and Shelling Beans with Cherry Tomatoes, Tuna and White Bean Salad.
  4. Emerald City Salad
    Rice is nice. Emerald City Salad and Zanne’s World-Famous Rice Salad.
  5. Salade Niçoise
    One fish, two fish. Salade Niçoise and Caesar Salad.
  6. Thai Chicken Salad
    Salad with chicken, not chicken salad. Barbecue Chicken Salad, Thai Chicken Salad, and Chicken Milanese.
  7. Idaho Salad
    Man salads. Chipotle-Glazed Steak and Avocado Salad and Idaho Salad.
  8. Greek Spinach Salad
    Cheese makes everything better. Greek Spinach Salad, Jane’s Great Salad, Romaine Salad with Tomatoes, Bacon, and Blue Cheese Dressing, and Country Potato Salad.
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