Memorial Day Salad Recipes You Can Enjoy All Summer

May 25, 2024
Dining & Wine
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The unofficial kickoff of cookout season — Memorial Day weekend — hurtles toward us like an errant Frisbee in an overcrowded park. Will you meet it with rec-league reflexes and roll up to the party with a parade of complementary pasta salads, or will you let it ding you in the temple?

I’m admittedly about to take a disk to the dome, to overextend the metaphor. Once again caught off guard by the steady drumbeat of time, I am wholly unprepared for three days of potential picnicking.

Thankfully, there are many ways to eat well this weekend. For the host with the most — i.e., the person in the family or group chat who owns a grill — a real feast may be in order, complete with Lidey Heuck’s grilled halloumi and zucchini with salsa verde, Ali Slagle’s buffalo grilled mushrooms and Kay Chun’s grilled tofu salad. Heck, grill a pizza!

Perhaps you’re but one guest at a 30-person potluck. Less pressure, more pasta and potato salad! Start with this cookout salad flowchart if you need ideas for an easy dish to contribute. But if you’re of the mind that the party — and maybe even the world — does not need another pasta or potato salad, a bean salad may bridge the gap. Hetty McKinnon’s new charred bok choy and cannellini bean salad (above) is tossed in a zingy ginger-maple dressing and is exactly what I would gravitate to among a spread of creamier dishes.

Or don’t go outside at all. If it’s rainy or chilly, or your social battery is just depleted, consider this permission to curl up inside with the new season of “Bridgerton,” Priya Krishna’s cucumber sandwiches and a comforting cup of tea. We’ve got all summer to party.

View this recipe.


Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian or simply vegetable-curious, we all started these journeys somewhere. Pivoting to a diet in which you eat less or no meat can often come with a few questions: What ingredients should I shop for? What nutrients should I be mindful of? Will I struggle to feel full?

The answers to those questions, and more, are outlined in this handy beginner’s guide to becoming a vegetarian, a collaboration between The Times’s Food and Well desks. Hetty Lui McKinnon — a talented recipe developer, a longtime vegetarian and a linchpin of this very newsletter — and Alice Callahan, a Times reporter with a Ph.D. in nutrition, teamed up to tackle the cooking and health basics.

Share it with your friends and family, and give it a read yourself. You may learn something new! Thanks for reading, and see you next week.


Email us at theveggie@nytimes.com. Newsletters will be archived here. Reach out to my colleagues at cookingcare@nytimes.com if you have questions about your account.

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