Summer salads are my favorite of the year. Certainly, there is a time and place for a good hearty salad with roasted vegetables and a sweet and deep balsamic dressing. And I love spring veggie salads too... But summer salads are something special - it's like traditional rules don't fully apply and the most triumphant recipes are those that require few ingredients and minimal effort. When you read a summer salad recipe, ask yourself: can I throw this together after a long day at the beach or in the pool when the sun has sucked almost every last drop of energy from my body? Will the flavors be worth that effort? The answer is "yes" for these salads which are portable, easy to fix and enjoy anywhere. Bon appetit!
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Buttermilk & Crispy Prosciutto
I'm quite proud of this recipe (and the accompanying photo - could it be my food photography is improving?!). The below is based on a photo I saw in passing one day - I could never find the original recipe but the drool-worthy photo stayed in my mind long enough that I decided to try to recreate it. I imagined what I thought it should contain and tinkered until I found the perfect combination - THIS is really perfect.
5-6 big, ripe heirloom tomatoes, differing colors
1 package prosciutto
1/2 cup buttermilk
1-2 cloves garlic
3 springs fresh oregano
Thinly slice tomatoes and arrange them on a long platter like a carpaccio, sprinkle with tasting salt (like Maldon) and pepper then put in the fridge while the rest comes together. Crisp a package of prosciutto on a tin-foil lined baking sheet in the oven at 350 until golden and crunchy-looking. Transfer to plate to cool. In a small bowl, I combine half a cup of buttermilk with the squeeze of half a lemon, a tablespoon of champagne vinegar and one large garlic clove, grated (use two if you looove garlic & don't mind a kick). When ready to serve, use a spoon to ladle the dressing over top of the tomatoes then top with fresh oregano and crumbled prosciutto.
Cold Corn Salad with Sugar Snap Peas
This is another "Emily original" that I made based on what I had in the house one night. We had three leftover ears of corn, already cooked, so I cut the corn off the cob into a bowl. I cut sugar snap peas and scallions on a bias, added some diced avocado and tossed with lemon juice, salt and pepper and a touch of olive oil. Simple and delicious served cold.
Honeydew & Fennel Salad with Basil from Bon Appetit
I absolutely love raw fennel and this salad really makes it the star of the show - with some great backup performances from hot, crunchy pistachios and a bit of heat from red chili pepper.
Charred and Raw Corn Salad with Chile and Cheese from Bon Appetit
This salad is a delight. Easy to make but packed with flavor. The char gives the corn a bit of caramelization and crunch. Pairs beautifully with fish tacos or burgers on the grill.