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.

Up Your Salad Game

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.

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.

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.

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.