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July 22, 2009

THE MINIMALIST

101 Simple Salads for the Season
By MARK BITTMAN

SUMMER may not be the best time to cook, but it’s certainly among the best times to eat. Toss watermelon and peaches with some ingredients you have lying around already, and you can produce a salad that’s delicious, unusual, fast and perfectly seasonal. That’s the idea behind the 101 ideas found in this section. In theory, each salad takes 20 minutes or less. Honestly, some may take you a little longer. But most minimize work at the stove and capitalize on the season, when tomatoes, eggplant, herbs, fruit, greens and more are plentiful and excellent. This last point is important. Not everything needs to be farmers’ market quality, but it’s not too much to expect ripe fruit, fragrant herbs and juicy greens. Salt, to taste, is a given in all of these recipes. Pepper, too (if I want you to use a lot of pepper, I say so). Herein, then, are enough salad ideas to tide you over until the weather cools down. MOSTLY VEGAN SALADS 1. Cube watermelon and combine with tomato chunks, basil and basic vinaigrette. You can substitute peach for the watermelon or the tomato (but not both, O.K.?). You can also add bacon or feta, but there goes the vegan-ness. 2. Mix wedges of tomatoes and peaches, add slivers of red onion, a few red-pepper flakes and cilantro. Dress with olive oil and lime or lemon juice. Astonishing. 3. A nice cucumber salad: Slice cucumbers thin (if they’re fat and old, peel and seed them first), toss with red onions and salt, then let sit for 20 to 60 minutes. Rinse, dry, dress with cider vinegar mixed with Dijon mustard; no oil necessary. 4. Shave raw asparagus stalks with a vegetable peeler. Discard the tough first pass of the peeler — i.e., the peel — but do use the tips, whole. Dress with lemon vinaigrette and coarse salt. (Chopped hard-boiled eggs optional but good.) 5. Grate or very thinly slice Jerusalem artichokes; mix with pitted and chopped oil-cured olives, olive oil, lemon juice and a sprinkling of coarsely ground cumin. Unusual and wonderful. 6. Sichuan slaw: Toss bean sprouts, shredded carrots and celery, minced fresh chili, soy sauce, sesame oil

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lime juice. I love this — the tomato juice-soy thing is incredible. capers. Drain. 16. lots of chopped fresh parsley and mint.html?_r=. 10. olive oil.. lime juice. Chop and steam baby or grown-up bok choy until crisp-tender. add lemon zest or juice or both. Mix cooked cannellini or other white beans. Sweet. sour. Toss with toasted cumin seeds. mint and/or cilantro. in a food processor) and toss with olive oil. toss with soy sauce. all whizzed in a blender. http://www.com/2009/07/22/dining/22mlist. Cool a bit.) 7. carefully. Chop or slice radishes (or jicama. Chop or slice jicama (or radishes or kohlrabi) and mango and mix with coconut milk. Come fall. Grate carrots. 2 of 9 7/23/09 1:07 AM . (The full trio is best. then mixed with soy sauce. peanut or other oil. Combine sliced fennel and prune plums. chopped cherry or grape tomatoes and arugula or baby spinach. Top with chopped peanuts and chopped basil. then pour over beans. Call this chickpea tabbouleh. then toss with chopped arugula..The Minimalist . Combine. 8. serve with vinaigrette spiked with minced ginger. Cook whole grape tomatoes in olive oil over high heat until they brown lightly. olive oil and lemon juice. then shock it in ice water. lime juice and mint or cilantro. Raisins are good in here. 20. A classic Moroccan thing: Thinly slice carrots. then toss with halved cherry tomatoes. shaved Parmesan and balsamic vinegar. Nice pairing. With thanks to Szechuan Gourmet restaurant: Finely chop celery and mix with a roughly equal amount of pressed or smoked tofu. Cut cherry or grape tomatoes in half. still crunchy) mango. toast some sunflower seeds. this will be even better.Recipes for 101 Simple Salads for the Season . The dressing is roasted peanuts. lemon juice. or grate or shred them (the food processor makes quick work of this). lemon juice and plenty of black pepper. 13.. 11. Deliciousness belies ease. 15. sprinkling with curry powder. Shred Napa cabbage and radishes. Roughly chop cooked or canned chickpeas (you can pulse them. or the ever-surprising kohlrabi) and combine with chopped or sliced unripe (i. a bit of dark sesame oil and basil or cilantro. basil leaves. lemon juice and cilantro. Lightly toast sliced garlic in olive oil with rosemary and red pepper flakes. cilantro and fresh or dried chili. 9. then dress with mustardy vinaigrette and chopped parsley.nytimes. too. 17. crunchy.. 18. soft. curry powder and cilantro or mint. and toss with blueberries.. loads of chopped mint and lime juice. Slice fennel and crisp apple about the same thickness (your choice). There is no better use of raw carrots. olive oil. A red salad: Combine tomato wedges with halved strawberries.e. chopped. and a few chopped tomatoes. Dress with peanut oil warmed with chili flakes and Sichuan peppercorns. 14. cool slightly. 12. 19. and a bit of sugar.

Dice cucumbers (if they’re fat and old. then drain and shock in ice water. Pit and halve cherries (or halve and pit cherries). chilies and cilantro. olive oil.) 22. then cook gently with olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar until they break down. dress them with olive oil. peel and seed them first) and toss with cubes of avocado. endive. peel and seed them first). Toss mâche or another soft green with toasted slivered almonds and roughly chopped fresh figs. (This is a super vinaigrette. (You could mix in a little lump crab meat. Quite elegant. even rice. Combine chopped bell peppers. especially one laced with tahini. orange juice and olive oil. Fast. cannellini or other white beans. 21. 27. use packaged chips. When they taste lightly pickled. all welcome. unpeeled eggplant in a dry. then slice or cube and toss with a little chopped garlic (or a lot of roasted garlic).com/2009/07/22/dining/22mlist. sherry vinegar. toasted pine nuts. Some will like this with fresh goat cheese. The real five-bean: Chickpeas. chop it and toss it with toasted pine nuts. kidney or other red beans. Same deal with the beets. 26. bell peppers. but toss with cooked corn. alone or over rice. Dress with olive oil. Squeeze it dry. Some chopped escarole. rice vinegar and soy sauce.. hot skillet or on a grill. olive oil and a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar.. toss with finely chopped carrots and celery and mix with mung bean sprouts. Combine mushroom caps and thinly sliced red onions with olive oil. Chop and toss with toasted pita.nytimes. etc.Recipes for 101 Simple Salads for the Season . cooked white beans and halved cherry tomatoes. steamed string 3 of 9 7/23/09 1:07 AM . 32. red onion. really not vegan. sherry vinegar and chopped shallots. with some salt and sugar. toasted walnuts.. by the way. until completely collapsed and soft. Toss with chopped radicchio. raisins. Thin some almond butter with water and sherry vinegar to taste and use as a dressing. escarole or a combination. 30. broil gently until tender and browned. then toss with corn tortilla strips. 28. 25. Capers are good. red onions. Cook whole. grown-up potato salad: Boil bite-size red potatoes. Thinly slice some cucumbers (if they’re fat and old. but then it’s not vegan). 29. too. Chopped shallots. 24.. Roast beets whole (or buy them precooked).html?_r=. Toss with a lot of chopped fresh parsley or basil (or both) and a simple vinaigrette.) 23. a little soy sauce and minced ginger. 33. While still warm. 31. Or a (non-vegan) yogurt dressing is good. radishes and fresh chili pepper. Finish with peanut or olive oil. tomatoes. toasted in a 350-degree oven until crisp (or yes. Blanch spinach.. whole grain mustard. lemon juice and lots of black pepper. why not?). Dust with chili powder and lots of lime juice. if necessary. capers and parsley. and call it a California roll salad. lemon juice. a little mirin (or honey. drain and serve. actually.The Minimalist . http://www. arugula. some toasted hazelnuts and more oil and vinegar. Soak for a few minutes in equal amounts vinegar and water. arugula or watercress is good. too. too. turning occasionally. Thinly slice button mushrooms.

40. combine with roughly chopped mint. combine with sliced or shaved Parmesan. but also especially popular. Let it cool. but you can use canned or frozen) and combine with cherry tomatoes. Roughly chop and toss with black beans. chopped celery. Cube watermelon. Yucatecan street food as salad: Roast fresh corn kernels in a pan with a little oil.html?_r=. 38. bits of feta or Parmesan or both. This you will do forever. olive oil.Recipes for 101 Simple Salads for the Season . 35. Despite saltiness of feta and olives. (Anchovies optional. Toss with chopped cucumbers. Grate raw beets (use the food processor to avoid ruining everything within spattering distance) and toss with watercress or arugula. chopped scallions or red onion.com/2009/07/22/dining/22mlist. 44. 46. toss with cayenne or minced chilis. 36. parsley and a vinaigrette 4 of 9 7/23/09 1:07 AM . Make a crisp grilled cheese sandwich. Teeny-tiny croutons are great on this. Drizzle with olive oil and sherry vinegar.. Halve or quarter cooked artichoke hearts (the best are fresh and grilled. lots of pepper and little dollops of fresh ricotta. radishes and peas or pea shoots. 41. Put them on anything. Slice cucumber and top with capers. queso fresco. shredded carrots. Cherry tomatoes are optional. Dress lightly with olive oil and lemon juice. Combine cooked or canned black beans with shredded cabbage and this vinaigrette: olive oil. 39. beans and steamed yellow wax beans. then cut into croutons. olive oil. ricotta and oil must all be really good. crumbled feta. Add chopped capers and toss with tomatoes. but especially tomato and basil salad. then brush it with a mixture of honey and orange juice. with good bread and not too much good cheese.. Feels like a steakhouse side-dish salad. Sauté mushrooms and shallots in olive oil. Cube smoked tofu. basil and mozzarella. sliced red onion and chopped Kalamata olives. 34. Note: cucumbers. lime juice and cilantro. this may need salt. fresh orange juice. 42. Mix cooked or canned chickpeas with toasted coconut. broil until browned. cube and marinate in black olive tapenade thinned with more olive oil. Thinly slice raw button mushrooms. lime juice and a little queso fresco.. radicchio and/or endive. olive oil and lemon juice. Serve in the meaty avocado shells. chopped unless the leaves are small.) 43. Especially obvious. http://www. drizzle with soy sauce and lime juice. Add a lot of spinach. and add dill and chopped shallots. stir in parsley and crumbled blue cheese.The Minimalist . curry powder. and parsley. Grill quartered romaine hearts. When it wilts. ground cumin. Halve avocados and scoop out some but not all of their flesh. Trim crusts if necessary from day-or-two-old bread (or even three-day-old bread). not much sherry vinegar. cilantro. perhaps. chopped tomatillos and lime juice. 47. Top with sherry vinaigrette and a little goat cheese. Toss with vinaigrette.nytimes. 45. VEGETARIAN SALADS 37..

Chop hard-boiled eggs and mix with just enough mayonnaise to bind. Ditto on the tuna. 57. sprinkle with a fair amount of salt and let sit for an hour or so. red wine vinegar..html?_r=. olive oil. sherry vinegar and shallots. Toss cubes of day-or-more-old good bread with soy sauce. Mix equal parts plain yogurt and tahini. Slice roasted red peppers (if you must use canned. and toss with the beets along with lemon juice and za’atar (a mixture of toasted sesame seeds. Toss greens with walnuts. sherry vinegar and a teaspoon of pimentón. capers. lemon juice and mustard. halved seedless grapes. you get the idea.The Minimalist . tomatoes. Toss with cooked white beans. Top each with a small canned sardine and drizzle with a vinaigrette of olive oil. Sear tuna until rare (for that matter. (Before you start cursing me out. None of these is crucial. good tomatoes. a chopped shallot and fresh rosemary or parsley. 5 of 9 7/23/09 1:07 AM . mayonnaise as needed.) 49. Arrange sliced ripe tomatoes and hard-boiled eggs on a platter. Chop it up and mix with chopped olives. Serve with vinaigrette or aioli. Toss with shredded jicama or radish and shredded Napa cabbage. make mounds of olives. here’s a quick way to make preserved lemons: chop whole lemons and put in a bowl with the juice of another lemon or two. 58. red onion and capers. http://www. Drizzle with a dressing made with olive oil. cooked new potatoes and green beans (warm or at room temperature). or use good canned tuna. a bit of cumin and black pepper. Salade niçoise. blue cheese and raspberries. try to find piquillos) and fresh mozzarella. soy sauce and cilantro. Make a vinaigrette with olive oil. 53. avocado.nytimes. parsley and olive oil.. sort of: On or around a bed of greens. capers. drizzle with a simple vinaigrette. you can make it yourself using dried thyme). olive oil. 59. 56. dried green herbs and ground sumac. 54. Avocado and/or wasabi paste are great with this. scatter a handful of chopped pitted green olives on top. capers. you could leave it raw) and cut it into small cubes. 51. season with mirin. chickpeas.Recipes for 101 Simple Salads for the Season . Sell for $14 a serving. Mix watercress with chopped smoked salmon. spoon into endive leaves. Like a weird shrimp toast panzanella. Mix with chopped apples.. chopped radishes and cilantro. of olive oil. hard-cooked eggs and good quality Italian canned tuna. chopped tomatoes. chopped red onion. 50. a tiny bit of garlic and some red onion. sherry vinegar and mustard powder. SALADS WITH SEAFOOD 55. too. chopped sautéed shrimp. Toss roughly chopped dandelion greens (or arugula or watercress) with chopped preserved lemon. It’s puttanesca-ish: Egg salad with pitted black olives. 60. 52. Peel beets and grate them in a food processor. fennel slivers. 48. Sear tuna. anchovies (optional).. crumbled feta and olive oil.com/2009/07/22/dining/22mlist.

62. or any ham — and a not-too-subtle chili vinaigrette. olive oil. and lemon juice.Recipes for 101 Simple Salads for the Season . chopped celery. as is watercress).. Sort-of carpaccio salad: Broil or grill skirt or sirloin steak very rare and slice very thin. Julienne red. Dress with lemon juice (you won’t need much oil. olive oil and cooked crumbled sausage or chopped salami. a little more oil and parsley. lemon juice and perhaps a bit of cilantro and crumbled ancho chili. yogurt or mayonnaise. chopped romaine. Arrange on a plate with tomato wedges. Sunday brunch salad: Mix diced cucumbers. then toss with flaked smoked trout or whitefish. chopped tomato.html?_r=. lemon juice and olive oil (or anchovy oil). 64. 73. SALADS WITH MEAT 70. Hawaiitalian: Combine pineapple chunks with bits of any cured pork product — cooked guanciale is ideal. Shred brussels sprouts in the food processor. Sauté in butter or oil (or a combination) with fresh corn kernels and flavorful cooking greens (bok choy is good. then toss with thinly sliced fennel and lemon or orange vinaigrette and some chopped fennel fronds. if any). halved cherry or grape tomatoes. In a hot pan. Mix crab meat with pan-roasted corn. flash-cook cut-up squid in a little olive oil for no more than two minutes. sear sea scallops for a minute or two on each side. Mix canned salmon (sockeye. cilantro. Alternative Sunday brunch: Shred or chop cucumbers (if they’re fat and old..The Minimalist . peel and seed them first). a few capers. 68. Dust shrimp with chili powder. combine with tomato wedges. Slice or chop.nytimes. yellow and orange bell peppers. Toss with cooked or canned chickpeas. Bread salad for anchovy lovers: Chop together many anchovies. capers. lemon juice.com/2009/07/22/dining/22mlist. Stir-fry small or chopped shrimp in olive or peanut oil with lots of ginger. 63. 71. top with roughly chopped basil. Toss with vinaigrette and crumbled bacon. Toss with cubes of toasted bread and chopped tomatoes or halved cherry or grape tomatoes.. Combine sliced green tomatoes and sliced fresh mozzarella.. 6 of 9 7/23/09 1:07 AM . scallions and lots of lime juice. http://www. minced red onion and capers with bits of smoked salmon. lettuce and lemon juice. mix with thinly sliced red onion. depending on size. In a hot pan. dill. 67. Serve on greens or in endive leaves. 65. 72. Take a step further by adding croutons of cubed toasted bagels. 66. chopped bell peppers. 69. 61. Add halved cherry tomatoes and lime juice at the last minute. while still warm. black pepper and crumbled bacon. or use cooked fresh) with capers. chopped avocado. Good in pita. olive oil. lemon juice and olive oil. 74. preferably with the slicing disk.

Toss chilled cooked soba noodles with diced cucumber (if they’re fat and old. inauthentic. chopped prosciutto.. wait a minute or two. chopped pickles. balsamic vinegar (the best you have) and crumbled blue cheese. chili flakes and chopped roasted peanuts. and rice vinegar or lime juice. not a pasta salad with arugula. then slice. 82. Sear a steak and move it to a cutting board (don’t wash the pan). chopped cilantro. Dress with a vinaigrette made with mustard (should be yellow for authenticity.) 79. but . So good. olive oil and sherry vinegar. if you live where they grow — and top with crumbled bacon. 76. oil and wine vinegar. Toss salad greens with the onions. Cut kale (preferably black.) and celery salt. or dino kale) into thin ribbons and toss in the pan over high heat for a minute. Toss both with chopped bitter greens — radicchio. soften a few sheets of rice paper in warm water. Top with good old Russian dressing. (You could throw in freshly made croutons. and steak. The Little Italy salad: Chop or julienne salami and prosciutto. Spring rolls. Soak sliced prune plums or figs in balsamic vinegar for a few minutes. pat dry. Sort-of-Cobb salad: Choose any combination of hard-cooked eggs. olives.The Minimalist . then toss with cubed mozzarella. Drain. grated carrots. 78. chopped fresh marjoram or oregano and chopped almonds. Cut pancetta into matchsticks and crisp in a skillet with some oil.html?_r=.. a 7 of 9 7/23/09 1:07 AM . add chopped black olives. Serve on top of or toss with greens.. 83. also known as Tuscan. http://www.nytimes. chopped tomato. for example — toasted pine nuts and halved cherry or grape tomatoes. A few shrimp are a nice addition. 77. chickpeas or white beans. 80. lemon zest. 86. crumbled Gorgonzola. cut into strips and toss with chopped cucumber. Make vinaigrette with capers and anchovies.Recipes for 101 Simple Salads for the Season . cooked chicken. chopped tomatoes. Slice fresh figs — many. 81. slice it thin. sliced red onion. Sear a skirt steak and let sit a minute. escarole or endive. 85. but better than a hot dog bun. Dress with toasted sesame oil. unrolled: One at a time. Serve kale with steak on top. Mix lots of arugula with somewhat less cold whole wheat penne. olive oil and Parmesan. fish sauce or soy sauce. peel and seed them first). call it a turkey sandwich salad and don’t knock it until you try it. shredded lettuce and a few slices of broiled or grilled hot dog. Combine shredded cabbage or lettuce with bits of good turkey. hot peppers. then add olive oil. chopped celery and red onion. shreds of roasted or grilled chicken. Swiss cheese and rye croutons. Turn off the heat. The idea is an arugula salad with pasta. pepperoncini. bean sprouts. then caramelize onions in the fat. 75. add a little more oil and vinegar if necessary... roasted red peppers. SALADS WITH NOODLES 84. Toss thinly sliced Vidalia or other sweet onions with olive oil and red wine vinegar. What happens when your Chicago hot dog falls apart: Toss together tomato wedges.com/2009/07/22/dining/22mlist..

nytimes. toasted pine nuts. tossed with sprouts. a minced chili. and/or cilantro. Sort of classic pasta salad: Pasta. Serve over greens. lemon juice and thinly sliced romaine lettuce. barley or other chewy grain with chopped-up grapes. Cook short-grain white rice in watered-down coconut milk (be careful that it doesn’t burn) and a few cardamom pods. Toss cooked pasta with roasted red peppers. soy sauce and a combination of sesame and peanut oils. Microwave if necessary to soften the rice. tons of parsley. 90. shredded carrot and minced scallion. chopped cashews or pistachios. roughly chopped hazelnuts. 87.The Minimalist . GRAIN SALADS 91. Call it quinoa tabbouleh. 95. sliced prosciutto or salami. toasted sesame seeds and a vinaigrette laced with soy sauce and miso. 89.. chopped scallions. 97.. scallions. While warm. lime juice. with ricotta salata or feta if you want. Toss with olive oil. a little cumin.. 94.com/2009/07/22/dining/22mlist. Dress with olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar. but still good. fresh goat cheese. and lime juice. along with garlic and chili flakes in a blender or food processor. Dijon mustard. 10 to 15 minutes. 96. Mix leftover rice with lemon or lime juice. cooled farro. sliced oranges. and lemon juice. a pinch of chili flakes and chopped raw spinach. maybe honey. some chopped tomatoes and. Toss cooked bulgur with cooked chickpeas. toss with cubed unripe mango. olive oil and lemon juice. Add olive oil. if you like. Simmer a cup of bulgur and some roughly chopped cauliflower florets until tender. bits of cooked meat or fish if you like and more soy sauce. olive oil. Soak or cook rice noodles. Toss sauce with cooked and cooled noodles. Toss cooked. http://www.Recipes for 101 Simple Salads for the Season . Cereal for grown-ups: Start with puffed brown rice. chopped plum tomato. shredded radishes. Mix cooked couscous or quinoa with orange zest and juice. Make a dressing of rice vinegar. Dress with coconut milk and lime juice. toss with chopped tomatoes. quartered cherry or grape tomatoes. Thai basil. fish sauce. perhaps with some mustard. small amount of hijiki reconstituted with water. toss again. chili and a bit of sugar. a load of mint. drain and rinse. Cook and cool quinoa. artichoke hearts.html?_r=. Cold not-sesame noodles: Combine about a half-cup peanut butter with a tablespoon soy sauce and enough coconut milk to make the mixture creamy (about a half cup). raisins or dried cranberries. toss with peas (they can be raw if they’re fresh and tender). minced garlic. 8 of 9 7/23/09 1:07 AM . cooked or canned chickpeas and toasted unsweetened coconut. basil and olive oil. 93. wheat berries. loads of lemon juice. chopped red onion and chopped almonds. then serve at room temperature. chopped peanuts. Corny. Shredded cucumber and carrots optional. 88.. lots of chopped parsley. 98. 92. or not. toasted walnuts. Toss with chopped tarragon.

Recipes for 101 Simple Salads for the Season . http://www. sriracha. cilantro and green onions. 101. Toss cooked quinoa with fresh sliced apricots. sesame oil.html?_r=. Mash a canned chipotle with some of its adobo and stir with olive oil and lime juice.The Minimalist .. While it’s still hot. Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company Privacy Policy Terms of Service Search Corrections RSS First Look Help Contact Us Work for Us Site Map 9 of 9 7/23/09 1:07 AM . cherries. and enough lemon and black pepper to make the whole thing savory.nytimes.. 99. fresh corn cut from the cob (or drained pinto beans). fermented black beans. pecans. Toss with drained canned hominy.. toss with raw grated zucchini. Add bits of leftover roast chicken or pork if you have it..com/2009/07/22/dining/22mlist. Cook a pot of short-grain rice. and pass soy sauce at the table. sake and a touch of rice vinegar. 100.

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