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Step Away From the Stove & Make These Raw Summer Salads Instead

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Summer means light, fresh meals like these 4 easy salads

Cooking in the winter is rough enough, but firing up that oven when it's about a million degrees outside — well, that's just torture. Thank goodness there are so many lovely fruits and veggies in season in summer that make for tasty raw salads. Otherwise we'd be at a loss.

Here are some simple salads you can make in minutes that look gorgeous and taste even better.

Summer means light, fresh meals like these 4 easy salads

Shaved asparagus with grapefruit and mint recipe

Ingredients:

For the salad

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 pink grapefruit
  • 1-2 cups greens ( I used kale)
  • Handful of mint leaves

For the dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 grapefruit juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Summer means light, fresh meals like these 4 easy salads

Directions:

  1. Chop the ends off the asparagus and discard any tough bits. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the asparagus into long thin strips.
  2. Peel the grapefruit and cut it into sections. Cut it over a bowl to catch the juices for the dressing.
  3. Finely chop the mint.
  4. Assemble the salad by combining the greens, mint, asparagus and grapefruit. Whisk together the honey, olive oil and grapefruit juice. Add salt and pepper to taste and then drizzle the dressing over the salad. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

More: 3 Recipes That Turn Seasonal Fruit Into Perfect Summer Desserts

Summer means light, fresh meals like these 4 easy salads

Root vegetable salad with creamy avocado dressing recipe

Ingredients:

For the salad

  • 4-6 small carrots
  • 1-2 small beets

For the dressing

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • Handful of fresh herbs (I used mint and parsley)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Summer means light, fresh meals like these 4 easy salads

Directions:

  1. Start by making the dressing. This dressing is so rich and creamy I put in on everything. It holds up really well to crunchy vegetables. In a food processor, blender or even by hand, combine the avocado with olive oil, lime juice, apple cider vinegar and herbs. Pulse a few times and add salt and pepper to taste. I like the dressing on the creamier side, but feel free to thin it with a little more lime juice and/or a few teaspoons of water.
  2. Wash the carrots and beets, and trim off the stems. Use a vegetable peeler to make long thin strips of carrots and thin beet rounds.
  3. To assemble the salad, place a few dollops of dressing on the plate and then pile on the veggies. Serve with extra dressing on the side.

More: Attention: Pickle Juice Ice Pops Are the Trendy Cold Treat of the Summer

Summer means light, fresh meals like these 4 easy salads

Summery Greek salad recipe

Ingredients:

For the salad

  • 2-4 cups kale (or green of your choice)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 lime
  • 1 watermelon radish (or 2 regular radishes)
  • Olives
  • Feta cheese

For the dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Summer means light, fresh meals like these 4 easy salads

Directions:

  1. Thinly slice the red onion. Place in a small bowl and squeeze the lime juice directly over the onion. Set aside and let it marinate while you make the rest of the salad. This will mellow the onion and give it tons of flavor.
  2. Chop the kale thinly. Chop the cucumber and halve the tomatoes. Thinly slice the radish. Pit and slice the olives.
  3. To make the dressing whisk together the olive oil and red wine vinegar. Toss in the onions with the lime juice and add salt and pepper.
  4. Assemble the salad by making a layer of greens and pouring about half the dressing on. Place the other ingredients on and drizzle a little bit more dressing on over everything.

Summer means light, fresh meals like these 4 easy salads

Brussels sprout and apple "Caesar" salad recipe

Ingredients:

For the salad

  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts
  • 1 apple

For the dressing

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon Juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 clove garlic, pressed
  • Salt and fresh pepper to taste

Summer means light, fresh meals like these 4 easy salads

Directions:

  1. Shred the Brussels sprouts by thinly slicing them.
  2. Thinly slice the apple.
  3. Make the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients or shaking them together in a jar.
  4. Combine the ingredients, making sure the dressing coats the Brussels sprout leaves.

Originally published July 2015. Updated June 2017.

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