I grew up in a household where dinner every night included at least one vegetable side dish, plus a salad. As an adult, I definitely go for a one-pot meal more than my mom ever did, but the salad habit (and the guilt I feel after a salad-free meal) dies hard.
But green salads can grow tiresome, and especially when I often only get to the store once a week, it can be hard to keep greens as fresh as I would like. So I have developed a fondness for single-vegetable salads, dressed in simple vinaigrettes. They are hard to classify- somewhere between “vegetable side dish,” “salad,” and “slaw” - but they’re fresh tasting, fast, and don’t require you to turn on the stove- perfect for summer. Some of my favorite combinations:
- Grated carrots with lemon, olive oil, salt, and a pinch of sugar (throw some sunflower seeds in there too, if you’re feeling fancy;
- Fresh fennel bulbs, sliced paper thin, with a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil;
- Cucumbers (my favorite right now are these small persian ones, whose skin is so thin and mild it doesn’t need to be peeled) sliced very thin and marinated in Brianna’s blush wine vinaigrette;
- Mushrooms, tossed with oil, a pinch of salt, and a few shakes of cumin, cooked in a grill basket, then cooled and sprinkled with red wine vinegar (crumble some goat cheese on top to make it extra delicious);
- Shredded cabbage tossed in Smitten Kitchen’s buttermilk dressing;
- Fresh corn, cut off the cob (uncooked) tossed with lime juice, olive oil, and a minced jalapeno. Optional: add walnuts. (okay, fine, with the addition of a jalapeno that’s a TWO vegetable salad. Sue me).
What are some of your favorite no-cook ways to prepare vegetables?