The Best Summer Salads
These salads from Andrew Swallow, co-founder of eco-gourmet restaurant Mixt Greens, make getting your greens a whole lot more fun. Health.com digs in.
Founded in San Francisco in 2005, Mixt Greens is a restaurant devoted to making great salads using local and organic ingredients. They’ve now expanded to six locations and have served over a million pounds of lettuce. Here are three of their summer favorites:
Mâche with Summer Lemon Cucumbers and Lychee
Tender greens, delicate mushrooms, crunchy cucumber and fragrant lychee fruit make this an especially refreshing salad. And with only 241 calories, it won’t weigh you down.
Fat: 14 grams
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pint fresh or 1 (16-ounce) can lychees, rinsed
1 (3.5-ounce) package enoki mushrooms
8 ounces mâche lettuce
1 pint mixed cherry tomatoes, halved
2 lemon cucumbers, sliced into half-moons*
1 English cucumber
1. To make dressing, whisk together first 3 ingredients (through sugar) in a bowl. Add oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
2.Peel and chop lychees. Gently separate mushrooms from one another.
3.For each serving, toss 1 cup mâche with some cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, lemon cucumber, and English cucumber with 1 tablespoon dressing in a bowl. Top with 1 teaspoon chopped lychees and a dash of sea salt. (Add more lychees if you’d like a stronger floral flavor.)
*Note: If you can’t find lemon cucumbers, use 8 red radishes.
Summer Melon with Fig and Prosciutto
The luscious, fleshy fruit gives this classic combo a refreshing twist.
Fat: 7 grams
1 Sharlyn melon, peeled, seeded and cut into medium cubes (about 4 cups)*
1 honeydew melon, peeled, seeded and cut into medium cubes (about 4 cups)
1 cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and cut into medium cubes (about 4 cups)
3 ounces prosciutto di Parma, julienned
1 bunch basil
8 fresh dark-skinned figs, trimmed and quartered
1/4 pound arugula
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 (4-ounce) block ricotta salata, shaved, for garnish
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper, for garnish
For each serving, place 1/2 cup of each melon in the center of the plate; place about 1/3 ounce prosciutto on top of the melon, followed by a few basil leaves, 4 fig quarters, and a few arugula leaves. Drizzle each serving with a little olive oil, and garnish with the shaved ricotta salata and a dash of crushed red pepper.
*Note: If you can’t find Sharlyn melon, use extra honeydew or cantaloupe.
Filet Mignon with Roquefort and Red Leaf
This steak-and-potatoes dish is guaranteed to make salad lovers out of the staunchest meat eaters. Calories: 441
Fat: 27 grams
2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 thyme sprigs
2 rosemary sprigs, roughly chopped
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic
1 teaspoon sliced shallot
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 (6-ounce) prime filet mignon steaks
2 heads red leaf lettuce, leaves separated
2 large tomatoes, quartered and sliced
1/4 pound Roquefort blue cheese, crumbled
1. Preheat oven to 375° and grill to high.
2. Toss first 4 ingredients (through rosemary sprigs); place on a baking sheet. Roast the potatoes for 25 minutes or until golden; set aside.
3. Combine vinegar and next 6 ingredients (through sugar) in a blender. Add 1/2 cup oil in a thin stream; blend. Add 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper; set aside.
4. While potatoes roast, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a pan over medium heat. Sauté onion 10-12 minutes or until caramelized; set aside.
5. Season steaks with remaining salt and pepper. Reduce grill to medium-high; cook steaks for about 7 minutes per side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from grill; let rest 3 minutes before slicing into 1-inch cubes.
6. Toss lettuce with tomato and blue cheese; add the potatoes and onion. Drizzle with dressing; toss. Top with steak; serve.