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All You Can Eat

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July 7, 2010 at 6:30 AM

Easy summer salad ideas: What’s on your table?

When I was rummaging around in the fridge last night looking for salad makings, the sight of a seedless watermelon gave me an idea. OK, so it wasn’t a novel idea, but it was a salad I’d never made for my family. I diced the melon, added a little crumbled feta, some fresh mint from the pot out back, and some sumac I’d bought the other day (I knew I’d use it for something!). Cool salad for a warm evening, right? Right.

I sprinkled mine with a little salt. Mac said the feta was “salt” enough for him. Nate said, “Huh? Watermelon and feta?” But he ate it anyway.

This time of year there’s so much good produce around, putting together a great summer salad is easy. Last summer I went crazy for a simple raw-corn and tomato salad served at Delancey, and reproduced it many times thereafter by cutting fresh corn kernels from the cob, strewing the kernels over slices of tomato and topping it off with fresh basil. A little vinaigrette, a hit of salt and pepper: Perfect. Then, last week, when we celebrated Nate’s birthday at Delancey I got another great idea, ripe for ripping off: fresh burrata with fava beans and peas.

Meyer lemon and some quality olive oil put this Delancey delicacy over the top. And it didn’t hurt that the burrata (some of the creamiest I’ve ever tasted) had been made the day before and shipped — overnight — from a specialty cheese purveyor in L.A.

But, hey: you don’t need fancy ingredients to make a quick, easy and delicious summer salad. You could always grill a head of romaine or (even better) escarole. Wash and shake the water from the greens and cut the head in half lengthwise keeping the stem intact. Pour a little olive oil over it, grill and serve, squeezing some lemon juice just before you put it on the table (and do pass the salt and pepper).

So, what do you say? Have you got any simple summer salad ideas to share with me and the Eatership?

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