Watermelon, feta, mint and basil salad is perfect (Credit: Marge Perry)

Watermelon, feta, mint and basil salad is perfect for summer.

Summer salad recipes

It's hot out, and the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven for long. These refreshing summer salads skip that step or happily keep it to a minimum. (App users, view the recipes at newsday.com/summersaladrecipes.)

Savory summer fruit salad

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 4 cups diced watermelon 3
(Credit: Marge Perry)

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
4 cups diced watermelon
3 peaches, diced
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
4 ounces crumbled blue cheese (about 1 cup)

HOW TO:

Combine watermelon, peaches, scallions, vinegar and blue cheese in a large bowl. Allow to stand 10 minutes; taste and add salt, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Lobster mango avocado salad

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 2 ripe avocados 1 lime,
(Credit: Marge Perry)

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
2 ripe avocados
1 lime, cut in half
1 1/3 cups (about 7 ounces) chopped cooked lobster meat
1 mango, diced
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

HOW TO:

1. Cut avocados in half and remove pits. Scoop out interior of each half, leaving a 1/4-inch- thick wall all the way around. Rub top of wall with a cut lime and set aside. Chop scooped out avocado into 1/4-inch pieces.

2. Toss the chopped avocado, lobster, mango, lime juice, oil and cilantro together in a bowl. Taste and add salt, if desired.

3. Serve in scooped-out avocado halves. Makes 4 servings.

Spinach salad with warm strawberry-rhubarb dressing

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 10 cups young, tender spinach
(Credit: Eve Bishop)

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
10 cups young, tender spinach leaves, washed and dried
6 strips bacon
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 cup strawberries, stemmed and chopped
1 cup chopped rhubarb
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 ounces crumbled feta or goat cheese (optional)

HOW TO:

1. Place spinach in a large bowl. Heat bacon in a skillet over medium-high until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to cool before crumbling.

2. Add shallot to skillet with bacon fat and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add strawberries, rhubarb, water and sugar, and bring to a boil. Stir in vinegar, lower heat and simmer until fruit is soft and falling apart, about five minutes. Puree in a blender or food processor and season with salt and pepper.

3. Toss about 1/2 cup of the warm dressing with spinach. Divide among serving plates and sprinkle with bacon and cheese, if desired. Serve immediately with extra dressing on the side. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Taco salad

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: Dressing: 1/2 cup reduced fat
(Credit: Marge Perry)

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

Dressing:
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon lime juice

Salad:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium (8 ounce) zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 cups salsa
6 cups shredded romaine lettuce
2 ounces baked tortilla chips

HOW TO:

1. Combine the sour cream, chipotle and lime juice.

2. Heat oil in large, nonstick skillet over medium high; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the turkey, cumin and salt; cook, breaking the turkey into crumbles, until it is no longer pink, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the zucchini, corn, tomatoes and salsa; cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is crisp-tender, another 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. To serve, make a bed of lettuce, top with turkey mixture and add dollop of dressing. Accompany with the chips. Makes 4 servings.

Black bean salad

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 1 (15-ounce) can lower-sodium black
(Credit: Marge Perry)

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1 (15-ounce) can lower-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
4 ribs celery, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 mango, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
2 teaspoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon roasted ground coriander
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

HOW TO:
1. Combine the black beans, celery, bell pepper, mango and tomatoes in a bowl.

2. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, cumin, paprika and coriander; whisk in the olive oil. Toss with the bean mixture.

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Orzo and shrimp salad

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: Salt 1 pound box orzo
(Credit: Doug Young)

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
Salt
1 pound box orzo
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds shelled and deveined cooked shrimp
1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch half-moons
4 scallions, white and light green parts, chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh oregano
8 ounces crumbled feta cheese

HOW TO:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add orzo and cook until just tender. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Let cool slightly, cover and refrigerate for up to a day.

2. Just before serving, stir in shrimp, cucumber, scallions, tomatoes, olives, oregano and feta cheese.

Grapefruit-avocado salad

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 2 large grapefruits 2 tablespoons
(Credit: Marge Perry)

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
2 large grapefruits
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 cups arugula
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 avocado, cut in thin slices

HOW TO:

1. Cut the peel off the grapefruits. Working over a bowl, cut toward the center of the grapefruit along both sides of each membrane that divides the sections, allowing the fruit to fall into the bowl. When all you have left in your hand is membrane, squeeze the juice from it into a second bowl. (You should get more than the 1 tablespoon you need for dressing.)

2. Whisk together 1 tablespoon of the grapefruit juice, olive oil, honey and salt until the honey is dissolved. Toss the dressing with the arugula and onion; gently fold the grapefruit and avocado slices into the salad. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Watermelon, feta, mint and basil salad

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 1 (3-pound) seedless watermelon, rind
(Credit: Marge Perry)

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1 (3-pound) seedless watermelon, rind removed, cut into 1-inch cubes (4 cups)
1/4 cup whole mint leaves
1/4 cup whole basil leaves
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces feta, diced (about 1 cup)

HOW TO:

1. Combine the watermelon, mint and basil in a large bowl.

2. Whisk together the parsley, lime juice, raspberry vinegar, salt and oil. Gently place in the feta; toss with the watermelon mixture. Makes 4 servings.

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