Salads are enjoyed year-round, but they are especially gratifying in the summer, when the produce section is brimming with fresh vegetables. Toss in some lean protein, and a salad becomes a nutritious all-in-one meal -- no side dishes required.
What's more, most of the components can be made ahead of time and quickly assembled just before serving. Poached fish and chicken, for example, stay moist when refrigerated overnight. And preparing their dressings in advance actually enhances them.
Though easy to make, the four salads here are complex in texture and taste: A cold salad with soft soba noodles and creamy tofu and avocado gets crunch from sesame seeds. Our warm Thai-influenced composed salad includes grilled sirloin, cabbage, carrots, and chopped peanuts. Tender poached salmon served atop yellow beets, crisp turkey bacon, and baby spinach has layers of flavor, as does chicken mixed with potatoes, butter lettuce, and a lemony dill dressing.
Whether you prefer a version that incorporates beef, tofu, fish, or chicken, these salads are perfectly nutritious -- and perfect for summer.