Salads are manly. I’m not going to go any further into that point.
Knowing that, let’s continue our “beat the heat” series (started on Monday with help staying cool in a suit) with the logical food to eat when the mercury rises: salad. My love of salad was rekindled recently when during a local heat wave I hit up a pub with an incredible steak caesar. Lightly dressed and topped with medium-rare meat, it was the perfect meal to cap off my day.
Last year I offered you 101 summer salads as well as my recipe for The Simplest Possible Vinaigrette. Now you’ll have to register with the New York Times to read those ideas, but not (yet) the new ones they offer in the NYT Well blog’s list of salads featuring cold pasta and quinoa:
- Summer Pasta Salad on a Bed of Arugula
- Quinoa, Corn and Edamame Salad
- Curried Brown Rice and Wheatberry Salad
- Spicy Quinoa, Cucumber and Tomato Salad
- White Beans With Pesto
But wait! There’s more! The Houston Chronicle (and you know how it gets in Houston!) summoned local chefs to offer up a boatload of dressing recipes so that you can add some fresh ingredients to your fresh ingredients. Toss that old bottle of ranch dressing and whip up a quick Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette, a Lemon Thyme Dressing or a Port Poppy Blue Cheese (just hope there’s no drug testing at work tomorrow!).
The chefs also provide tips for great dressings, including making sure you’re using high-quality oil and vinegar, and marinating fruit, vegetables or spices in vinegar before straining and using it on your salads.
Another great thing about salads is that you can throw just about any crisp vegetable, meat or cheese, seed or nut in the bowl and with a good dressing it will work. Keep good leafy lettuce (not iceberg!), green onions, all colors of peppers, carrots, cukes and tomatoes in the fridge and some oil and vinegar on the counter and you’ll never go hungry.
There is literally no good reason not to make yourself cool, nutritious salads in the summer months. Oh, and as I’ve mentioned before, bring one to a party and be prepared for women to give you much more credit than you deserve. Don’t worry, it’ll be our secret.
Summer Salads as the Main Attraction [New York Times]
Dressed to impress [Houston Chronicle]