Awesome Summer Salads — Hold the Lettuce

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Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

At this point in the summer, you might be experiencing salad fatigue. But before you abandon your go-to no-cook meal entirely, try a new spin on it. Lettuce-free salads can be a refreshing, crunchy change — and you can dress them and pack them for lunch without any worry about wilting. Unlike their leafy friends, these salads taste even better after a few hours of marinating in vinaigrette.

The classic Italian bread salad, panzanella, uses stale or toasted bread in place of lettuce. In this Latin-accented version, the cubes of bread mingle with tomatoes, charred corn, serrano chiles and cilantro.

Here’s a great use for leftover grilled vegetables. Chop grilled peppers, zucchini, eggplant or whatever extras you have from the cookout into small pieces, then toss with fresh tomatoes and a tangy vinaigrette. Top with feta and you’ve got a filling and healthy lunch, no lettuce leaves necessary.

Food Network Kitchenâ  s Peach Plum Beefsteak Tomatoes and Basil as seen on Food Network.

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Food Network Kitchen’s Peach Plum Beefsteak Tomatoes and Basil as seen on Food Network.,Food Network Kitchen’s Peach Plum Beefsteak Tomatoes and Basil as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stephen Johnson, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Forget what you’ve heard about keeping fruits and vegetables separate. Follow our equation for endless refreshing fruit salads, like this beautiful in-season combination of peaches, plums, beefsteak tomatoes (a fruit, technically!) and basil.

Ina uses all of the ingredients in a traditional guacamole — plus black beans for protein — and instead of mashing them, she chops them up and tosses them together for this super-colorful, satisfying salad.

Food Network's Carrot, Date and Feta Salad

Food Network's Carrot, Date and Feta Salad

Photo by: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Tara Donne, FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

For the base of this antioxidant-rich salad, thinly slice carrots into ribbons using a vegetable peeler or mandoline, or break out the spiralizer! Loaded with crunch and natural sweetness, this salad definitely gets better as it sits.

cold greek pasta salad made with zoodles

Photo by: Jackie Alpers ©2015,Television FoodNetwork, G.P.All Rights Reserved

Jackie Alpers, 2015,Television FoodNetwork, G.P.All Rights Reserved

Use that bounty of zucchini and spiralize your way to better “pasta” salads, like this Greek salad-inspired one with feta, onions and tomatoes.

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