6 Healthy Spanish Salads to Beat the Heat

Beautiful salads for the summer months!

Summer temperatures in Spain vary throughout the country but many cities experience severe heatwaves, with temperatures reaching 45°C (110°F) in many areas. If that's not a good reason to leave the stove and oven turned off, I don't know what is. Add in the fact that many Spanish homes don't have air conditioning installed, and you will immediately understand why people opt to eat a lighter diet of cold soups, fresh salads, seasonal fruits, cheese and cold cuts during the summer...MORE months. 

The necessity to eat light has enhanced Spanish cuisine with a wide array of cold salads, each featuring local produce from different parts of the country. Here are ten of the healthiest and most delicious Spanish salads you can make at home.

  • 01 of 06
    Delicious roasted pepper salad tapa. Lauren Aloise/Spanish Sabores

    Let's start with a simple classic. This popular salad is a must when the summer months roll around. Spaniards often top these delicious marinated peppers with high quality tuna or hard boiled egg for a more complete meal. 

  • 02 of 06
    Ensaladilla rusa
    Delicious Spanish potato salad.

    Another classic Spanish tapa is ensaladilla rusa, "Russian Potato Salad". The story behind the dish is fascinating, and its variations are endless. My favorite version mixes in plump Spanish shrimp, or delicious canned tuna belly (ventresca de atún).

  • 03 of 06
    Cucumber-Pomegranate Salad - Ensalada de Pepino y Granada
    Cucumber-Pomegranate Salad - Ensalada de Pepino y Granada (c) 2007 Lisa Sierra Licensed to About.com. Lisa Sierra

    This unlikely pair of ingredients works extremely well in this crunchy salad. By adding chickpeas to the mix, you have a healthy and hearty summer lunch! 

  • 04 of 06
    Green Salad with Manchego Cheese and Walnuts
    Green Salad with Manchego Cheese and Walnuts. Lisa Sierra (c) 2010 Licensed to About.com Inc.

    When you're craving a big plate of green salad, this is the perfect solution. Buy some of your favorite lettuce, good quality walnuts and cured Manchego cheese, and soon you'll be rewarded with a satisfying meal or side dish.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06
    Delicious Spanish Salads for summer
    Blood orange and avocado with tuna belly. Lauren Aloise/Spanish Sabores

    Possibly one of Spain's prettiest salads, this combination includes creamy avocado, tart blood oranges, melt in your mouth tuna belly and crumbled pistachios. It's as delicious as it is pretty!

  • 06 of 06
    Spanish Fruit salad
    Spanish fruit salad is a delicious dessert. User 46137 on flickr CC

    There's no better way to conclude a summer meal than with this Spanish fruit salad. Here we combine tropical fruits like papaya and pineapple to create a naturally sweet blend that is perfect with an extra squeeze of honey on top. There's even an alcoholic modification for those who indulge!