In the summertime, we like to keep it fresh and simple. This year, we’re kicking off the season with salad. Easy to make, easy to eat, and delicious to boot, salads are fast, inexpensive, and versatile.
“Salads can get a bad rap,” says Meg Whitbeck, MS RDN, RVNA’s registered dietitian and nutrition educator. “People perceive them as “diet food,” or some kind of ‘penance,’ or just a bowlful of lettuce. But they are so much more!” Whitbeck’s evidence: Citrus Kale Salad and Tomato & Rye Panzanella, recipes she discovered to keep our salad days fun and flavorful.
As these recipes prove, your salad can be vegetable-based and enjoyed as a side dish or snack; or you can make it a complete meal with the addition of a protein, like beans, fish, nuts, seeds, or lean meat. Or, you can skip the lettuce altogether, like the Panzanella, and build the salad with toasted bread as the base. A sandwich in disguise!
When preparing these salads, remember these salad prep basics: Always wash your hands, cutting boards, and your produce before constructing your masterpiece. When adding meat or fish, prep your salad first, and then prepare and cook your meat and fish. This reduces the risk of contaminating your fresh salad with bacteria from uncooked protein.