By Carrie Hirsch
We tend to eat lighter lunches in the heat of the summer, but that does not mean less thought should go into the planning. From a practical point, lunch is what keeps up going until dinner and, unfairly, dinner is what usually gets more attention. Delicious salads can be assembled in just a few minutes if the ingredients are kept on hand. Romaine or red leaf lettuce are fine staples on which to build your salad, but by tossing in an assortment of other varieties of greens including peppery arugula, deep-red radicchio, mâche, dandelion or baby beet greens, the flavor intensifies, becomes more appetizing and is more dramatic in presentation. Nothing against croutons and sliced red onions, but combinations of roasted red-peppers, olives, capers, blueberries, strawberries, dried cranberries, hearts of palm, raw veggies, toasted hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds can dress up a salad in an instant. No need for those heavy, bottled dressings with an eternal shelf life. A sprinkling of fresh lemon juice, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt can transform a mundane salad into a delectable meal.