Ina Garten’s 4 Best Salads That Are Perfect for Hot Summer Days

Ina Garten has a number of easy salads that are perfect for hot summer days. The Barefoot Contessa star’s recipes are healthy, refreshing, and don’t require turning on an oven.

Ina Garten smiles holding up a glass while wearing a blue shirt
Ina Garten | Mike Smith/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Cape Cod Chopped Salad is topped with a simple vinaigrette

While demonstrating how to make her Cape Cod chopped salad on an episode of Barefoot Contessa, Garten noted, “I actually love composed salads like this because you can really throw anything in that you like.”

The recipe is a simple combination of delicious ingredients. She tosses together arugula, dried cranberries, toasted walnuts, chopped Granny Smith apple, crumbled blue cheese, and bacon with a simple vinaigrette (apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, orange zest, orange juice, and olive oil).

“The peppery arugula, the vinaigrette’s really good — it’s sort of sweet and tart,” she said. “This is definitely one of my favorite salads.”

You can find the full recipe on the Food Network website.

Ina Garten’s Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Salad is summer perfection

Nothing says summer like a fresh tomato-based salad and Garten’s takes 5 minutes to put together. The Barefoot Contessa star shared the spin she puts on it to make the salad more interesting. “Tomato and basil salad can be really good but it can be really boring,” she explained. “So I’m going to do it in a totally different way.”

Garten mixes it up by using a variety of ripe heirloom tomatoes for color and flavor and incorporates good mozzarella cheese. “Since this recipe only basically has three ingredients — tomatoes, mozzarella, basil — you want to make sure they’re all really good,” she said. “So don’t buy the stuff that tastes like plastic. Buy the stuff that tastes like good mozzarella.”

The Food Network host places slices of tomato and cheese on a platter and tucks basil in between them. Then she drizzles olive oil over the top and sprinkles on salt and pepper. “Now that’s not a boring tomato mozzarella and basil salad — it’s gorgeous,” she said.

The full recipe is available on the Food Network website.

The ‘Barefoot Contessa’ star switches it up with Tomatoes and Burrata

Garten’s easy tomatoes and burrata dish is a delicious no-cook summer dream. “You know what I like best about tomatoes and burrata?” she said on an episode of Barefoot Contessa. “It’s so elegant.”

She cuts burrata cheese in half and places it, creamy side down, on two plates. “You’re not going to believe how easy this dish is to make,” she said. Then she places cut heirloom tomatoes around the cheese.

Garten drizzles olive oil over the dish, sprinkles salt and pepper over it, then adds sliced basil to the top. “It’ll look gorgeous, going to be delicious,” she said. “It’s a really nice lunch or a first course before dinner.”

She added, “This is a real summer dish — you don’t want to turn on the stove, you’ve got something on the grill. A perfect first course.”

The Barefoot Contessa star drizzles “really good syrupy balsamic vinegar” over the top to finish the dish.

You can find the full recipe on the Food Network website.

Garten’s Guacamole Salad is a unique summer recipe

Garten said she was inspired to make a guacamole salad recipe after making the avocado-based dip at her Barefoot Contessa store.

“I used to make so much guacamole at Barefoot Contessa — I mean, we’re talking so much,” Garten said. “And I thought, why not deconstruct it?”

She added, “And just take all of the ingredients — the avocados, the tomatoes, the onions — and make a salad out of it? And that’s what I did.”

The Barefoot Contessa star combines grape tomatoes, yellow pepper, diced red onion, black beans, lime zest, and jalapeno pepper in a bowl. Then she tops it all with a simple vinaigrette of lime juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic, and cayenne pepper.

She tosses the ingredients together and adds more cubed avocado right before serving the salad.

The full recipe is available on the Food Network website.

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