Food & Home

3 Refreshing Salad Recipes for Peak Summer

Written by: Margaret Willes


Published on: June 20, 2024

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Darlene Schrijver’s salad videos may be all over the internet these days, but she originally intended them for a much smaller audience: her daughter, Athena. As a kid, Athena had grown to love her mom’s fresh, balanced meals, and she wanted a way to re-create them at college. Unfortunately, a wildfire had destroyed the family home—along with Schrijver’s recipe collection. And so, rather than writing them down again, Schrijver began documenting them on TikTok, as a way to engage with her daughter and her friends.

Today the Salad Lab has a community of over 2.7 million TikTok followers, where salad-appreciating cooks can learn to make everything from a Vietnamese-inspired vermicelli salad to a lox-and-bagel salad. And now, thanks to a new cookbook of the same name, Schrijver’s recipes have an even wider reach. Below, find three of them—all prime for summer.

  1. Darlene Schrijver
    The Salad Lab
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  • Summer Wedding Salad

    Summer Wedding Salad

    This salad is excellent for any celebration—and even ordinary moments. “There are crunchy cucumbers, soft roasted vegetables, and the smoothness of the blueberries to give it that little pop,” Schrijver says. It’s beautifully complemented by chicken or seafood if you want to bulk it up, though it’s hearty on its own because of the roasted carrots, asparagus, and squash.


  • Panzanella


    “I’m a Northern California girl, born and raised, and sourdough is, in my opinion, the way to go for a panzanella,” Schrijver says. While the dish calls for several varieties of tomatoes, it will still be a success even if all you can find is standard Roma tomatoes. (Use your nose to find the freshest ones, she advises: Ripe tomatoes will smell subtly sweet and earthy, whereas unripe tomatoes won’t have much of a scent.)


  • Roasted Vegetable Salad

    Roasted Vegetable Salad

    Schrijver calls this a vacation salad because of its transportive nature. “You’re on the Mediterranean somewhere at a café, hanging out,” she says. Equally great served hot or cold, it’s one of the most riffable salad options out there: Enjoy it on a bed of greens, top it with protein and add a piece of pita on the side, or put it in a sandwich with roasted portobellos.