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6 Gluten-free salads even lettuce haters will love

Gigi Stewart

Labor Day weekend is just around the corner, and I don’t know about you, but as I plan my menu, I’m looking for anything but another lettuce-laden salad.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore massaged kale salads and I will happily devour a brimming bowl of mâche rosettes just about any day. But when I host a backyard barbecue or take a dish to a neighborhood potluck, green salads just won’t cut it with me. Special occasions call for something a little more snazzy and festive. You know, a head-turner of a salad that’s a bit heartier than plain old greens and vinaigrette.

Of course, in addition to knocking my guests’ socks off, I’d like my impressive side dish to be a no-cook (or at least a nearly no-cook) wonder, too! I suppose I’m after the best of both worlds. Luckily, for me, and for you, we can have it all, at least in the summer salad department.

Here are six naturally gluten-free salads for you to try at your upcoming Labor Day cookout, or any time you need a fast and super-simple to prepare dish with an extra wow factor. And because all these salads are gluten-free, you can feel confident about serving them to almost everyone.

So, add one (or more!) of these tasty sides to your Labor Day cookout menu, and leave your oven to suffer from neglect just a little longer as you while away these final weekends of summer.

1. Dijon-chevre stuffed peaches with bacon

Juicy, ripe peaches are a must-have at any summer get-together, and these stuffed halves make the perfect hearty side dish for grilled meats or veggies. And the bacon on top doesn’t hurt one bit. Put these on a bed of greens and call it a salad.

2. Tomato and watermelon salad with pesto and strawberry puree

Summer in a bowl is what pops into mind when you take a bite of this refreshing tomato and watermelon salad.

3. Zucchini and yellow tomatoes with chives and garlic oil

Two ingredients (plus oil and seasonings) and about five minutes, and you’re all done making this raw, marinated salad. It really makes your late-summer bounty of zucchini the star of the show.

4. Tomatoes with spring onions and herbed chevre

Sweet spring onion slices and herbed goat cheese make excellent toppers for a vine-ripened tomato salad. If you’re feeling indulgent, drizzle on a fruity extra-virgin olive oil.

5. Southern potato salad with fresh herbs

What’s a backyard barbecue without potato salad? This traditional Southern recipe gets kicked up a notch with an ample addition of fresh-cut herbs.

6. Blueberry, beet and feta salad with cassis vinaigrette

beet salad

Festive with natural red, white and blue, this beet salad is loaded with sweet, salty and tangy flavors that will have everyone going back for more.

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