My good friend Jessica often says that she doesn’t cook, but she always makes the most delicious and artistic food. Many people draw the line between cooking (using heat from a stove or oven in making a dish) and making or preparing (chopping fresh items, using a microwave, or mixing prepared items).
Though I have always been a big cook myself, shunning microwaves and premade items, the heat wave this summer has sent me searching for simple, no-cook preparations. I thought that a variety of vegetable salads would be colorful, nutritious, and a great way to use my farm share veggies, but I was surprised by how many such salads still required cooking!
What began as a simple search turned into a long slog through many recipes, but I was triumphant in the end, and found a host of great “cook” free salads to share with you and my dinner guests. Seasonal corn, tomatoes, cucumber, and carrots make these salads a perfect way to take advantage of summer’s bounty!
Start with the three bean and corn salad so the flavors can blend. Slice the cucumbers and keep them in the fridge so they stay crisp, then mix the dressing and set aside. Assemble the carrot salad and the tomato mozzarella salad, making sure to drain the extra tomato liquid before dressing. Lastly, toss the cucumbers and dressing right before serving so the cucumbers don’t become too soggy.
I like to serve these salads with simple white plates. Tan, purple, yellow, red, white, green, orange – they just explode with so many colors! It would be overkill for guests to have their plates exploding with color in the background as well, *and* hard to see where one salad ends and another begins.
To hold the salad, use a matching set of bowls – again, simply decorated, if not white. If you don’t own a set of four nesting bowls (and how many people need things like that these days?), glass is perfect. Between mixing bowls and various microwavable pyrex implements, you can probably scrape together four glass serving containers. Don’t worry if they don’t seem glamorous on their own! The salads are beautiful and will do all the work.