It’s August and if we blink summer will be gone. So I won’t keep you. I’ll just say that there is a perfect magical formula to creating absolutely amazing threeish ingredient summer side salads every single time. You will need one awesome hero vegetable. Not lettuce. Lettuce is not a hero. And not kale. Kale is not a vegetable. One fruit to go with it and cheese to balance the flavors. Pick something garden fresh. If it’s a hero it must be fresh. In season where you live fresh. So in spring sugar snap peas. In early summer, cucumbers. In late August when we all just want time to stop, to soak in the sun forever. When the grill is our only source of cooking because it’s hotter than hell in the kitchen. I want good old fashioned tomatoes and snap beans. And I want to taste them. Plain and simple.
My mom, who always had a big backyard garden, would send my sisters and me out to pick the tomatoes and beans. We probably did an insane amount of complaining but once we were kneeling in the dirt we’d fall in love once again with the wonder that is the fresh green bean and eat almost as many as we brought in the house. And that’s the magic of a three-ingredient salad. You fall in love with just a few fresh ingredients all over again.
The formula for three-ingredient summer side salads
- Hero vegetable
- Complimenting fruit
- Balancing Cheese
- Salt, pepper, olive oil- best dressing ever.
Fresh snap beans are crunchy and just slightly earthy, in contrast with juicy sweet-tart cherries and ricotta salata balances with tangy-saltiness. In our tomato salad, the acidity of the tomato is in contrast with earthy blackberries and sweet, sweet creamy burrata. Or you could try this cucumber peach salad.
Fresh Blackberries and tomato salad with burrata
Fresh fresh fresh and tangy-sweet, a perfect side salad
- 16 oz Multicolored cherry tomatoes
- 6 oz Blackberries
- 1 4 oz ball Fresh burrata
- 1-2 Tbsp Olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
Wash, dry, and quarter cherry tomatoes. Toss gently with blackberries. Add to a serving plate.
Open burrata or tear into 4 large pieces and add to the side of the salad.
Drizzle salad with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Snap beans with cherries and ricotta salata
Sweet, tangy, crunchy, fresh all the best things in a super simple salad.
- small handful multicolored fresh snap beans per person
- 6-7 Dark sweet cherries per person
- ½ oz ricotta salata
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
Wash, dry, and cut or tear beans into bite-sized pieces.
Wash and pit cherries. Cut them in half.
Slice ricotta Salata wafer-thin.
Toss beans, cherries, and ricotta salata on a medium-sized serving plate or bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.