The Ultimate Summer Salad Has a Surprisingly “Sneaky” Secret Ingredient

Cottage cheese is like Eugene Levy. For years, it was just a comedic punchline, a light-hearted villain. Then one day, you turn around and come to an abrupt stop. “Wait”, you ask yourself. “Are you really sweet like hell?”

I’m not sure exactly when we all fell in love with cottage cheese in our household, but I can confirm that the obsession was driven by the jingle earworm of one particular dairy brand. Cottage cheese you are versatile, super tasty and cheap as hell. I’d like to apologize for not realizing this when you were a sad sidekick in the 80s.

RELATED: Cottage Cheese Isn’t Tasteless – You Just Need to Buy the Right Stuff

With summer upon us, there’s no better time to enjoy the cottage cheese revival, especially in a salad that goes against all the sad “diet plate” specialties you’ve ever had. seen your mother pass when she was a child. Dense with vibrant flavor, Molly Baz’s “Sneaky Cottage Cheese Salad” from her amazing “Cook This Book” is exactly the kind of thing you want when you can’t bear to turn on the oven but don’t forget that you deserve to be well fed.

Baz calls it “sneaky” because the cottage cheese turns out to be the dish’s stealthy scene-stealer. She makes her salad out of little gems, but I, a tired person who’s currently back in evening classes, think the bagged stuff works great. Baz also adds garlic, which I omit to save you one less thing to slice. Toasting the nuts really amps up the flavor, but if you’re in a hurry, no one will stop you if you skip that part as well.

RELATED: Molly Baz’s Tuna Sandwich Ruined Us For All Other Tuna Sandwiches

However, be generous with the dill which brightens up the whole. It’s such a crunchy, so spicy, so tangy meal that I could eat it every day for the rest of the summer and be totally satisfied. I bet you could too.

You can alter this a hundred different ways, but served with cold smoked fish and some very crispy Riesling or maybe just some local fruit wine, I’d bet it would make a dinner worthy of Johnny and Moira themselves.


Recipe: The sneakiest summer salad
Inspired by Molly Baz’s “Cook This Book”


  • 1 lemon
  • 2 Persian cucumbers
  • 1 bag of pre-washed romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup fresh dill, coarsely chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup full-fat cottage cheese
  • 1⁄2 cup pecans, walnuts or almonds
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.

  2. Spread the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast them in the oven, about 8 to 10 minutes. Take out of the oven, turn the nuts and let them cool.

  3. While the nuts are toasting, prepare the dressing. In a large bowl, zest the zest from about a quarter of the lemon. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze all the juice into the bowl.

  4. Whisk cottage cheese, olive oil, salt and pepper.

  5. Cut the cucumber into small rings or slices. (The choice is yours.)

  6. Open the large bag of salad and add it to the bowl with the dressing. Mix well to cover each leaf.

  7. Add the cucumber, dill and walnuts before tossing the salad again. Taste a leaf and add more salt and pepper as needed.

Cook’s Notes

You can replace the Persian cucumbers with half an English cucumber. If romaine isn’t your trip, opt for your favorite salads instead.

If I hadn’t finished my current supply with breakfast earlier in the day, I wouldn’t have hesitated to throw in a bunch of pomegranate seeds.

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About Jermaine Chase

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