In the heat of summer, cooking can seem like such a chore and a heavy meal may seem unappetizing. Now’s the perfect time for a delicious, refreshing salad, either as an entree or a lighter option for a side dish. And we’re not talking about a few boring, limp lettuce leaves on a plate. These three salads recommended by Olympus on Broadway are filled with flavor and far from ordinary.
Smashed Cucumber Salad
Smashed cucumbers, or pai huang gua, is a Sichuan dish with a delicious dressing. This recipe from the Splendid Table combines nearly seedless English cucumbers, smashed (but not pulverized) into large, irregular pieces, with black vinegar, salt, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil. The craggy, smashed pieces of cucumber do a better job of holding on to the dressing for that extra pop of flavor in your mouth. If you want to turn this into an entree, serve it with some marinated, grilled chicken or even some smoked brisket.
Grilled Peach & Arugula Salad with Feta
Peaches are an iconic summer fruit, and grilled peaches are next level. This amazing grilled peach and arugula salad from Southern Living incorporates the rich, sweet flavor of grilled peaches and crisp, peppery baby arugula, along with tangy feta cheese, mint leaves, toasted pistachios, and a lemon and honey Dijon vinaigrette dressing. So good, and it only takes around 25 minutes to prepare – even with the grilling time for the peaches. It pairs well with any grilled meats.
Thai Mango Salad with Peanut Dressing
This colorful salad from Cookie + Kate encompasses all the Southeast Asian flavors you love AND mango. Mic drop! It’s sweet and spicy with butter lettuce, sweet diced mango, red bell pepper, roasted peanuts, green onions, cilantro, and jalapeño, all tossed with a crazy-good peanut dressing that you may just want to eat by itself with a spoon. If you do, just make sure you save enough for the salad. The authors suggest adding some crispy baked tofu to turn this into a hearty vegetarian entree.
Enjoy these stellar summer salads and find more great food and lifestyle tips at the Olympus on Broadway blog.