(c) Francesco Tonelli for The New York Times
Bittman is back with his infamous 101 lists. This time it's 101 Simple Summer Salads - and they look amazing. I read through the whole list (twice) and copied the ones I'm most likely to try. There are about 89 others I'd love to try as well, but these are the ones with ingredients we often have on hand or combinations that I just couldn't resist trying.
Seriously. You need to see his 101 list. It's totally inspirationful.
Here's my to-make list:
Trim crusts if necessary from day-or-two-old bread (or even three-day-old bread), cube and marinate in black olive tapenade thinned with more olive oil. Add chopped capers and toss with tomatoes, basil and mozzarella.
Chop or slice radishes (or jicama, or the ever-surprising kohlrabi) and combine with chopped or sliced unripe (i.e., still crunchy) mango, lime juice and mint or cilantro.
Combine sliced green tomatoes and sliced fresh mozzarella; top with roughly chopped basil, olive oil, black pepper and crumbled bacon.
Slice fresh figs — many, if you live where they grow — and top with crumbled bacon, balsamic vinegar (the best you have) and crumbled blue cheese.
Toss cooked bulgur with cooked chickpeas, quartered cherry or grape tomatoes, a little cumin, lots of chopped parsley, and lemon juice.
Toss cooked quinoa with fresh sliced apricots, cherries, pecans, and enough lemon and black pepper to make the whole thing savory.
Cube watermelon and combine with tomato chunks, basil and basic vinaigrette. You can substitute peach for the watermelon or the tomato (but not both, O.K.?). You can also add bacon or feta, but there goes the vegan-ness.
Mix wedges of tomatoes and peaches, add slivers of red onion, a few red-pepper flakes and cilantro. Dress with olive oil and lime or lemon juice. Astonishing.
Roughly chop cooked or canned chickpeas (you can pulse them, carefully, in a food processor) and toss with olive oil, lemon juice, lots of chopped fresh parsley and mint, and a few chopped tomatoes. Call this chickpea tabbouleh.
Cook whole, unpeeled eggplant in a dry, hot skillet or on a grill, turning occasionally, until completely collapsed and soft. Chop and toss with toasted pita, toasted pine nuts, cooked white beans and halved cherry tomatoes. Dress with olive oil, lemon juice and lots of black pepper. Or a (non-vegan) yogurt dressing is good, especially one laced with tahini.
Roast beets whole (or buy them precooked), then slice or cube and toss with a little chopped garlic (or a lot of roasted garlic), toasted walnuts, orange juice and olive oil.
Mix cooked or canned chickpeas with toasted coconut, shredded carrots, chopped celery, curry powder, olive oil, lime juice and cilantro.