It's too hot to cook. Hell, let's face it, it's too hot to move. When the temps rise above 95 I pretty much boycott my oven. I'm not kidding. At this very moment, I'm standing in my kitchen holding a big picket sign. I'd pace back and forth, but then I'd sweat more, and that's sort of the whole reason why I chose to boycott my oven in the first place.
When I'm on my stove sabbatical, nothing saves the day like a salad. My favorite ones include a good mix of different textures, flavors and colors and a healthy dose of lettuce, fruit, cheese and nuts. I pretty much always make my dressings homemade because they're easy, fresher and so much tastier. Here are some of my summer standbys...
Greens with mandarin oranges, mushrooms, sesame seeds and red onion with ginger-sesame dressing
2 tbsp minced ginger * 2 tbsp honey or brown sugar * 2 minced garlic cloves * 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar * 2 tbsp soy sauce * 1 tsp sesame oil * 1/2 cup olive oil
Mixed greens with sliced carrot, cucumber, broccoli, sesame seeds and creamy tarragon dressing
(Okay, I did use my oven for this one:)
Baby spinach with red onion, carrots, avocado, sesame and chia seeds
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar * 1 tbsp dijon mustard * 1 clove garlic, minced * 1/2 cup olive oil, salt & pepper
Baby spinach with sliced strawberries, goat cheese, red onion, gala apple, curried pecans and maple-cider vinaigrette
Romaine with grilled chicken, roasted red peppers, grilled summer squash, homemade croutons and caesar dressing
Arugula with lemon juice, olive oil, black pepper and shaved parmesan
It's only June. I need more ideas. If you have a great salad recipe on your blog or in your back pocket, please link to it in the comments!