Anything but rabbit food

Two refreshing, lettuce-less salads for summer.

click to enlarge THE ANTI-SALAD: No lettuce required. - Katie Machol
Katie Machol
THE ANTI-SALAD: No lettuce required.

Salads are a staple of summer and come in many forms. While lettuce-based salads are well and good, there are other forms to consider this time of year, like ones consisting entirely of veggies and/or fruit. They’re a great way to utilize the best produce available and boost the nutritional content of your meal.

The first recipe utilizes fresh, raw veggies that are tossed in creamy Green Goddess dressing. It makes for a great side for a summer gathering. Instead of smothering this dish in a mayo and/or sour cream-based dressing, it gets its creaminess from avocados and buttermilk — the latter being much healthier than you might think (one cup contains less than 100 calories and only 2.2 grams of fat). Make the dressing a few hours before serving to allow the flavors to marry and feel free to toss the veggies together with the dressing up to an hour before serving.

The next lettuce-less salad was inspired by my boyfriend. When we first met, he told me about visiting an Italian restaurant in New York one summer ordering a “tomato salad” only to be very disappointed when they served him a, “plate of mother f—-ing tomatoes” (he was expecting a large plate of lettuce to accompany them). I explained that he shouldn’t have been surprised as he was at an Italian restaurant and tomato salad isn’t an uncommon thing to find. So this f—-ing tomato’s for you, Karl.

Summer Vegetable Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

2 ears of sweet corn (raw)

1 medium-sized zucchini, diced

1 bell red or orange pepper, diced

1/2 medium red onion, diced

1 medium ripe avocado, pitted and diced

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped, plus extra for garnish

2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped, plus extra for garnish

2 tablespoons sliced fresh chives, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, ribs and seeds removed and minced

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Shuck the ears of corn, stand them up straight on a cutting board or in a large bowl and shave the kernels off the cob. Combine corn kernels, zucchini, bell pepper and onion in a medium bowl.

To make the dressing, mash up the avocado in a medium bowl and stir in the buttermilk to combine. Stir in the herbs, garlic, jalapeno or serrano, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the dressing over the vegetables, folding it in to combine. Sprinkle chopped cilantro and parsley on top.

Marinated Tomato, Herb and Goat Cheese Salad

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

2 large tomatoes, preferably heirloom or hothouse, sliced 1/4-inch thick

1 cup cherry or teardrop tomatoes, halved

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

2 scallions (green onions) thinly sliced

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

3/4 cup soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Place the tomatoes on a large plate. Sprinkle the garlic, thyme and scallion on top of tomatoes, then drizzle the vinegar and olive oil over tomatoes. Let marinate in the refrigerator or at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour. Place tomatoes on individual plates or leave on large plate to serve. Sprinkle goat cheese and tarragon on top, season with salt and pepper and serve.

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