13 Fantastic Lettuce-Free Salads

By Marla Walters on 15 August 2016 0 comments

Too hot to cook, but burned out on traditional lettuce-heavy salads? When the thermometer registers over 80ºF, I'm reluctant to fire up the oven. However, I want to eat all the delicious produce that summer brings, including fresh corn, berries, and tomatoes. There is a solution! Here are 13 ways to enjoy cool salads, without lettuce.

1. Guacamole Potato Salad

Anything involving avocados is totally on my radar. This guacamole potato salad caught my eye right away. I threw in a little leftover grilled salmon and it was a perfect cool, summer meal.

2. Warm Corn Salad With Bacon and Cider Vinegar

Did you overbuy on fresh corn? You'll be glad you did when you taste this warm corn salad. And did somebody mention bacon? That's in there, too.

3. Bread Salad (Panzanella)

Love carbs? Yeah, me, too, but garlic bread would involve heating up the oven. Fortunately, I had this perfect end-of-summer panzanella recipe bookmarked. It calls for fresh tomatoes, too, so this is a great way to use them up. I have a phobia about soggy bread, but don't worry, it doesn't get that way if your bread is dried out.

4. Cold Beet Salad

It is still amazing to me that, as a child, I wouldn't eat beets. Now, they are one of my favorite veggies. Check out this beet, walnut, and gorgonzola salad recipe. It's wonderful. I don't like to waste the beet tops, so instead of using baby greens, as called for in the recipe, I saute my beet greens and make a power bowl with the greens, the beet salad, and quinoa.

5. Zoodle Salad

I love the silly kitchen gadget that makes "noodles" out of zucchini, carrots, and squash. Do you have a bumper crop of zucchini? (It's kind of hard not to, right?) Here is a delicious zoodle salad solution. It also uses tomatoes, for those of us who overbought.

6. Asian Coleslaw

I planted way too much cabbage in the garden this year, but fortunately, had this Asian coleslaw recipe. Do not leave out the sesame oil, which totally makes the recipe. This is also really good with grilled chicken or shrimp.

7. Crunchy Pea Salad

My friend Debbie gave me this recipe years ago and it's one of my favorites.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup cooked, drained, and crumbled bacon
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 10oz bag of frozen peas (or 1 ¼ cups fresh peas, shelled)
  • 1 cup salted peanuts

Method

Combine all ingredients except for the peanuts. Chill for an hour. Just before serving, top with peanuts.

8. Sunomono (Japanese Cucumber Salad)

When it's hot, this cucumber salad is extremely refreshing. Use Japanese cucumbers, if you can find them. This is best served chilled. Toss some cooked, chilled shrimp in for a delicious entree.

9. Tofu Salad With Watercress

This pretty tofu salad is popular in Hawaii, and is frequently sold in the deli case. It's really easy to make at home, though. Make sure it's chilled before serving.

10. Strawberry Salad

I can't resist the bargain-level flats of strawberries cropping up in stores now. Who knew they'd be good with bacon as a main dish? Trust me, the flavors work together.

11. Cold Eggplant Salad

In last year's garden, I got carried away with eggplants. That lead me to discover caponata, which is a most wonderfully flavored Sicilian dish. It's really good alongside grilled fish, or just with bread.

12. Pasta Salad

Here is what I love about this pasta salad: It uses fresh veggies, and it's also economical. Between the jarred roasted red peppers and the vinaigrette, it has loads of flavor. If you want to add some cooked shrimp or chicken, it becomes a meal.

13. Rice Salad

This brown rice salad is not only delicious, but also healthy, due to the brown rice, chickpeas, and other veggies. It has feta cheese, too. It's also wonderful to pack as a leftover for lunch.

What other lettuce-free salad variations can you think of? Share with us!

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