15 Summer Salad Recipes for When It's Too Hot to Cook

Summer is great and all, but also too. damn. hot.

Jun 14 2018, 6:45pm

Photo by Heami Lee

June 21 is rapidly approaching, friends, and with it, the official start of summer. That means the temperatures are going to start rising, as will the humidity and every miserable subway commuter's body temperature while standing on a boiling hot platform deep underground. It's the season when you sweat so much immediately after showering, you wonder why you bothered in the first place. The season where, despite how beautiful it might be outside, you're still going to order food for delivery to avoid leaving the comfort of air conditioning. But most of all, it's that time of year when the urge to eat things that will cool and refresh your body from the inside out means that salads are a go-to dinner option pretty much every night of the week. We rounded up some of our favorite recipes for fresh and refreshing summer salads for the impending heat wave. Keep these bookmarked for the rest of this sweaty, sweaty summer.

Lots of crunchy, bitter chicories are balanced perfectly with tangy red wine vinegar, lush Castelvetrano olives, and some salty parmesan cheese in this salad.

Keep it lighter this summer: All the flavors you love in a good Caesar salad, none of the dairy.

If your herb garden is as overflowing with parsley and mint as the one here at MUNCHIES is, then tabbouleh is a great way to make use of them this summer.

This salad adheres to the maxim that anything is healthier if you put it on a salad, including barbecue chicken.

Let your perfectly vine-ripened summer tomatoes macerate a bit with some balsamic vinegar and briny capers for a super easy summertime side dish.

Try hitting your summer produce with just a bit of heat for something different. These grilled cukes add a little smokiness to the mix.

This salad makes the magic of elotes even easier to indulge in by making it spoonable. Eat this one all summer long while corn is fresh and sweet.

Toss some finely shaved zucchini with a salsa verde dressing made with whatever green herbs you can get your hands on for a simple salad that screams “summertime.”

What appears to be a basic chopped salad of tomatoes and cucumbers is deceptively spicy, with a kick from a teaspoon of Aleppo pepper flakes.

The easiest way to turn a sort of “meh” salad into a hearty, filling meal is to throw some nicely grilled bread into the mix, a la this classic panzanella from cooking nerd J. Kenji López-Alt.

When peak tomato season hits, you don’t want to do too much to them other than shove them right in your mouth. Keep it simple with just a little fresh, creamy burrata and some balsamic vinegar.

Summertime is exactly the season when you want your recipes to be so short they could fit in a Tweet. Twice. Cookbook author Julia Turshen is here with a back-pocket salad recipe that can do just that.

If you’re not into cooking with cannabis, you can use any old olive oil to make your za’atar to top this fresh cucumber and orange salad.

Searing cubes of halloumi cheese makes for a creative riff on a crouton in this salad from Toronto chef Geoff Hopgood.

Warm, acidic tomatoes are the perfect counterpart to creamy avocado and crunchy toasted sunflower seeds.