Really, what time of the year is more perfect for a light, refreshing salad than the summer months? Some days, you just need to cool off — or take a break from all the grilled and smoked meats from all the barbecues and backyard parties you attend — and the right salad can do just that for you.
Don't get it twisted, though: We aren't talking about chewing down a mouthful of watery iceberg and generic low-cal dressing. Nah, we've pulled together a list of truly inspired — and mouth-watering — salads. If you need an easy lunch recipe or a side dish for barbecues, picnics or potlucks you have coming up, choose from any of the 18 salad recipes we can't wait to try for ourselves.
From roasted veggies and grilled corn to zippy vinaigrettes and sweet-and-savory pairings to fresh, creamy dressings, these salads aren't ordinary — they're extraordinary.
A version of this article was originally published in August 2015.