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Try these delicious main dish salad recipes.

These light and delicious vinaigrette recipes will make your salad sing!



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Summer Salads
by Joyce Goldstein

I live in the city of San Francisco. Because the summer fog blankets our city a good part of the day, July and August can be rather cool. Hot days and especially warm nights are few and far between. However as soon as I get in my car and drive over the Golden Gate Bridge to visit friends in Marin, or head up to the Napa Valley, a minute past the fog belt and I suddenly remember what the days of summer are like for the rest of the country. HOT!

For those of you who swelter all summer long, it may be hard to believe that I actually long for hot weather. Ever optimistic, and dreaming of al fresco dining, I added a deck overlooking my garden. So, on weekends, or on the six or eight nights a year when it's warm enough to eat outdoors, I invite friends and family for dinner on the deck. I may serve marinated vegetable salads and some cool cooked chicken or fish drizzled with a full flavored vinaigrette. Or a large main dish salad, bread, and platters of fruit or home-made ice cream and sorbet.

When you're faced with scorching days where the thermometer hovers in the upper eighties or nineties, it's always wise to do the cooking in the cooler hours, after the sun goes down, if possible. Failing that you can buy a rotisserie chicken at your market or quickly poach some shrimp or sear some tuna. For that matter you can open a can of tuna if you are feeling really wiped out by the heat.

There are different styles of salads to consider. One is called a composed salad where all of the ingredients are dressed, then arranged on individual plates in an elegant presentation. Most of us are used to the casual tossed salad where all of the ingredients are mixed together in a salad bowl along with the vinaigrette. (Resist the urge to toss the ingredients, pile them on plates, then pass a dressing on the side. There is no way to coat all of the parts of the salad, some parts are swimming in dressing and others are dry. And it's hard to mix it once it's on a plate! A tossed, dressed salad actually requires less vinaigrette! )    

Finally, there is chopped salad where all of the components are cut into bite sized pieces, but large enough to be picked up on a fork. This salad is dressed and allowed to marinate for 15-20 minutes. Texture is crucial. You want a contrast of crunch and soft. Remember, whenever you place some leaves of lettuce on a plate, as a garnish or a bed, they should be very lightly dressed, even with just a few drops of oil.

When hunger strikes and the thought of tucking into a large hot meal is unappealing, try these delicious summer salads that will sate your appetite and leave you refreshed.

Try Joyce Goldstein's Recipes:

Chopped Summer Salad
Rice Salad with Shrimp

Also try these delicious FoodFit main dish salads:

Lobster, Mango and Corn Salad in Watermelon and Grapefruit Vinaigrette
Gregory Talmont, Opus, Naples, FL

Charlie Trotter's Smoked Turkey and Middle Eastern Couscous Salad with Artichokes and Lemon-Chive Vinaigrette
Charlie Trotter, Charlie Trotter's, Chicago, IL

Grilled Tuna Nicoise Salad

About Joyce Goldstein

Joyce Goldstein is a consultant to the restaurant and food industries. For 12 years she was chef/owner of the ground- breaking, award-winning Mediterranean restaurant SQUARE ONE in San Francisco. In addition, she taught cooking for 18 years. Joyce is the author of many cookbooks, including Back to Square One: Old World Food in a New World Kitchen, winner of both the Julia Child and James Beard Awards for Best General Cookbook of 1992 and Cucina Ebraica, Flavors of the Italian Jewish Kitchen. Two more books on Mediterranean Jewish cooking are in the works.


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