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Ree Drummond has the perfect summer salad that’s a mashup of Nicoise and Caesar salads — with a salmon twist. The Pioneer Woman star’s healthy dish is served cold, so it’s perfect for a hot day.

The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond smiles standing a kitchen counter wearing a printed purple shirt on the set of 'Today'
Ree Drummond | Tyler Essary/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Ree Drummond has a summer salad recipe that’s perfect for hot days

Drummond demonstrated how to make her salad recipe on an episode of The Pioneer Woman dedicated to “chilled out” dishes for hot days.

Her “amazing salmon Nicoise Caesar salad mashup” comes together quickly. “I’m going to share some recipes that are all served cold,” she said on the show.

“In the heat of summer, sometimes you just don’t want to have a big, hot heavy meal,” Drummond explained.

Though she serves the salad cold, she did have to first cook the salmon, but it’s a very low effort process.

Ree Drummond’s easy salad is a Nicoise and Caesar combo

Drummond shared, “This is a beautiful salad and the star of the show is a beautiful piece of salmon.” She placed a salmon fillet on a sheet pan, drizzled on olive oil, and sprinkled it with salt and pepper. She cooked the salmon in a 425 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10 minutes, then let it cool.

“It’s just perfectly cooked,” she said. “There’s not too much color on the outside but that’s perfectly fine. It’s just barely cooked on the inside so it’ll be nice and tender.” Drummond squeezed lemon juice over the salmon for extra flavor.

Drummond made an easy salad dressing next by doctoring up a store-bought Caesar dressing. “Why not? It’s summertime, it’s hot outside,” she reasoned. “I don’t want to drag all the ingredients out and make my own Caesar dressing.”

She stirred together the bottled dressing with chopped capers, chopped chives, chopped parsley, and lemon zest.

“Nicoise salad is something that my British friends actually really turned me onto,” the Food Network host explained. “When they would come to America, they would make these beautiful Nicoise salads and basically, they usually have tuna but the ingredients are hard-boiled eggs, cold green beans, cold potatoes, tomatoes.”

She continued, “And it’s a little bit deconstructed so you can pick the elements that you like to put your salad together. And it’s just the perfect thing for summertime. It’s really cold and refreshing and marvelous.”

The Pioneer Woman star flaked the salmon using two forks. “I don’t want to get it too like, broken up and shredded,” she explained. “I like to have some really big pieces so you can see that surface area.”


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‘The Pioneer Woman’ star shared her easy approach to building the summer salad

Drummond said that building her salad is the “fun part.” She cut romaine salad hearts in two and placed them on a platter, then put the other salad elements in “little segments. Drummond placed groupings of halved boiled potatoes, green beans, halved grape tomatoes, halved hard-boiled eggs, olives, and salmon on the platter.

“Normally you’d have some kind of really good quality cooked tuna on this type of salad but the salmon is sort of the little curveball I threw you today,” she noted.

“This is kind of one of those salads where — like speaking of being in charge of your own destiny — you can pick what goes on your plate,” Drummond noted.

The Pioneer Woman star spooned the dressing over the top, sprinkled it with parmesan cheese, and squeezed lemon over everything, then garnished the dish with parsley.

“Talk about a stunner of a salad,” Drummond said. “This would be a beautiful centerpiece to any summer lunch or you can just make the elements, keep them in containers in the fridge, and just build your own over the course of a few days.”

The full recipe is available on the Food Network website.