Summer Salad Recipes From The Restaurants You Love

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A wise man once said, “A good salad is like a beautiful woman. Once you know how she’s put together, you’ll cherish that knowledge forever.” Just kidding, no one ever said that, but there is something to be said about a well-executed salad, whose ingredients seem to have been cultivated solely to be assembled in that very dish. How often have you gone to a restaurant and loved your order so much that you wished you could go home and re-create it night after night? Well, we’ve got you covered. Here, four easy-to-make summer salads from some of the best chefs coast to coast.

Photo by Mathew Christopher Miller, Courtesy of FIG

Up Your Salad Game

Photo by Mathew Christopher Miller, Courtesy of FIG

Grilled Halloumi and Stone Fruit Salad

FIG Restaurant, Santa Monica, California

Ingredients

  • 8 cups fruit (nectarines, white peaches, yellow peaches, apricots, pitted cherries), pitted and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 block halloumi cheese (about 8 oz), sliced into large planks for grilling
  • California extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups loosely packed watercress, large stems removed
  • Aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 pinch sumac
  • Coarse sea salt

Instructions

  • Place fruit in a mixing bowl and chill until cheese is ready.
  • Brush halloumi with olive oil, season with pepper and lightly grill using a grill pan over medium heat, or an outdoor grill.
  • Let cheese come back to room temperature and dice into bite-size pieces.
  • Add cheese, watercress and 3 tbsp olive oil to fruit.
  • Season with more pepper and toss salad to incorporate. Toss again right before you're ready to serve.
  • Place in a serving bowl and finish with a few dashes of vinegar (how much depends on the sweetness or tartness of fruit).
  • Garnish with toasted pine nuts, sumac and sea salt to taste.
Courtesy of Narcissa

Narcissa's Salad

Narcissa, New York City

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup lacinato kale
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinaigrette
  • 2 tbsp pistachios, toasted and chopped
  • 3 strawberries, sliced
  • 2 tbsp zucchini, sliced into rounds and lightly fried
  • 1 1/2 cups salad greens
  • 2 tsp smoked gouda, grated

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients and toss lightly before serving.
Courtesy of Bay Kitchen Bar

Summer Asparagus Salad

Bay Kitchen Bar, East Hampton, New York

Ingredients

For the dressing:

  • 3 oz extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz fresh orange juice
  • 4 oz fresh sheep's milk feta cheese
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

For the salad:

  • 1 lb medium asparagus, trimmed, peeled, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 lb mixed-color cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 oz broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 oz small green beans and yellow wax beans, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 medium heirloom tomato, thinly sliced (about 1/8-inch thick)
  • Fresh sheep's milk feta cheese, for sprinkling
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients for dressing. Set aside.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and blanch one group of vegetables at a time (except for the tomato) for a few seconds each.
  • Remove each and plunge into a bowl of ice water, then set on a paper towel to dry.
  • Cover the entire circumference of a plate with tomato slices and sprinkle with salt.
  • In a bowl, combine the blanched, cooled vegetables and pour the dressing over top.
  • Gently toss, careful not to break up the vegetables.
  • Place asparagus over tomato and gently mound the rest of the vegetables on top of asparagus.
  • Sprinkle more cheese, salt and pepper to taste.
Courtesy of Main Street Meats

Warm Summer Vegetable Salad with Watermelon

Main Street Meats—Chattanooga, Tennessee

Ingredients

  • 1 large Zephyr squash, cut into 1-cm-thick strips
  • 4 large asparagus stalks
  • 1 ear sweet corn
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for grilling, plus 1 tbsp for dressing
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large heirloom tomato, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup Sun Gold tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/2 Sugar Baby watermelon, cut into small cubes
  • 1 sprig fresh basil
  • 3 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • Honey, to taste

Instructions

  • In a mixing bowl, place three-quarters of the squash, 3 asparagus stalks and the corn. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Place on a hot grill and cook on all sides (approximately 4 to 5 minutes). Be careful not to overcook the vegetables, you want them to have plenty of texture.
  • Let vegetables rest off heat for 1 minute.
  • Cut grilled squash and asparagus into bite-size pieces and place into a mixing bowl.
  • Slice thin the remainder of the raw asparagus and squash and add to bowl.
  • Cut corn off the cob into the bowl, then add tomatoes, watermelon, basil, vinegar, oil, and salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Toss all ingredients together while grilled vegetables are still warm.
  • Plate the salad, drizzle with honey.