What to CookSaladsSummer

32 Salads That Shed Their Leaves to Make Room for the Good Stuff

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Raise your hand if you've been left with a wooden bowl full of soppy leaves, all the good bits of the salad—the cheese cubes, the toasted nuts, the roasted veg—excavated long ago by the smart, selective dinner guests. Now raise your hand if the same is the case on your personal plate.

Well, whoops. Why'd you buy (and wash, and dry) those leaves in the first place?

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Do you really want to lose these tomatoes in a dense forest of leaves?
Do you really want to lose these tomatoes in a dense forest of leaves? Photo by Bobbi Lin

There's a time for bowls of green, yes—but the time's not high summer, when you want raw something but you know a plate of kale—even massaged kale—is not going to get the dinner job done, and when the best-tasting produce of all is at its very best-tasting (on the East Coast, at least).

At times like these, we don't want to be hacking through a leaf forest, fork as machete; we want the good stuff—the stuff that'll fill us up and makes it okay that it's 400° F outside—to be the only stuff. We want the ratio of lettuce to stuff to be 0 : 1 (or 1/5 : 1 at most).

These 32 salads have shed their leaves (or most of them, at least) and are more delicious for it.

Half Roasted Tomato Salad with Salsa Verde
Half Roasted Tomato Salad with Salsa Verde
Grilled Peach and Apricot Salad
Grilled Peach and Apricot Salad
Grilled Bread Salad with Broccoli Rabe and Summer Squash
Grilled Bread Salad with Broccoli Rabe and Summer Squash
Grilled Corn & Barley Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette

Grilled Corn & Barley Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette by Jen Balletto

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad by MollyandBrandon

Avocado with Pomegranate Molasses, Tomatoes, Citrus, and Basil
Avocado with Pomegranate Molasses, Tomatoes, Citrus, and Basil
It's Hot to Be Cool Thai-Inspired Cucumber Salad
It's Hot to Be Cool Thai-Inspired Cucumber Salad
Fattoush
Fattoush
Tomato Salad with Grilled Corn, Feta, and Hazelnuts
Tomato Salad with Grilled Corn, Feta, and Hazelnuts
Summer Cold Noodle Salad
Summer Cold Noodle Salad
Bloody Mary Steak Salad
Bloody Mary Steak Salad
Citrus Ginger Tofu Salad with Buckwheat Soba Noodles
Citrus Ginger Tofu Salad with Buckwheat Soba Noodles
Tomato Salad with Corn, Summer Squash and Roasted Onions
Tomato Salad with Corn, Summer Squash and Roasted Onions
Chopped Kitchen Sink Salad with Yogurt Dressing & Bottarga
Chopped Kitchen Sink Salad with Yogurt Dressing & Bottarga
Roasted Potato Salad with Mustard-Walnut Vinaigrette
Roasted Potato Salad with Mustard-Walnut Vinaigrette
Warm Chicken Salad
Warm Chicken Salad
Watermelon Tomato Salad with Cumin and Fennel
Watermelon Tomato Salad with Cumin and Fennel
Maricel E. Presilla's Cuban Avocado, Watercress, and Pineapple Salad

Maricel E. Presilla's Cuban Avocado, Watercress, and Pine... by Genius Recipes

Quinoa and Mango Salad with Lemony-Ginger Dressing

Quinoa and Mango Salad with Lemony-Ginger Dressing by jenniebgood

Torn Pita Panzanella/Fattoush with Salad Greens, Sumac & Feta Cheese
Torn Pita Panzanella/Fattoush with Salad Greens, Sumac & Feta Cheese
Heirloom Tomato and Cornbread Panzanella
Heirloom Tomato and Cornbread Panzanella
Grilled Peach, Halloumi, and Mint "Caprese"
Grilled Peach, Halloumi, and Mint "Caprese"
Summer Farro Salad

Summer Farro Salad by Jennifer Perillo

Charred Corn and Avocado Salad with Lime, Chili, and Tomato

Charred Corn and Avocado Salad with Lime, Chili, and Tomato by EmilyC

Plums with Burrata and Crunchy Roasted Lentils
Plums with Burrata and Crunchy Roasted Lentils
Mediterranean Octopus Salad
Mediterranean Octopus Salad
Charred Corn Salad with Quick Pickles and Lime Dressing

Charred Corn Salad with Quick Pickles and Lime Dressing by Elizabeth Stark

Dilled, Crunchy Sweet-Corn Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Dilled, Crunchy Sweet-Corn Salad with Buttermilk Dressing by creamtea

Mango Cucumber Chile Salad
Mango Cucumber Chile Salad
Grilled Salad with Romaine, Peaches, Garlic Scapes, and Steak
Grilled Salad with Romaine, Peaches, Garlic Scapes, and Steak
Carrot and Radicchio Salad with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette
Carrot and Radicchio Salad with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette
Puttanesca Panzanella
Puttanesca Panzanella