A lot of people turn to salad in order to lose, thinking that it is a healthy and easy way to do so. A lot of people also think that dieting means strictly eating salad. Both of these preconceived ideas are wrong.

A lot of times, salad may contain dressing that is high in calory, fat, and cholesterol and therefore unhealthy. A salad is not only grass but can be a lot of healthy ingredients put together to make a healthy, full course meal.

If you really want to eat healthily, the best salads are the ones that use olive oil-based dressings rather than mayonnaise. This article will provide you with three very simple recipes for healthy yet delicious Italian salads.

Beware! These recipes are so easy to make that even people with zero cooking experience can complete them!

Italian summer lentil salad

This salad is a very healthy meal that is rich in fiber and with a lot of added texture, giving it a nice crunch.

Ingredients (Serves: 8 to 12)

For the salad:

  • 3 cups dried lentils
  • 2/3 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2/3 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 small fennel bulbs, cut into half-inch cubes
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into half-inch cubes
  • 2 small red onions, peeled and cut into half-inch cubes
  • 2 medium-sized zucchini, cut into half-inch cubes

For the dressing:

  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • table salt and pepper to taste


  1. Sort the lentils and rinse with water.
  2. Place the lentils in a saucepan and cover by three inches with water and cook on high heat until boiling.
  3. While waiting to boil, peel the onions and cut into half-inch cubes. Set aside. Rinse the bell peppers, slice them in half and remove the cores, and cut into half-inch cubes again. Set aside. Cut the fennel bulbs and the zucchini into half-inch cubes as well and set aside. Rinse the parsley leaves and basil leaves thoroughly and chop them finely. Set them aside.
  4. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for roughly 20 to 25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender all the way through but are not soggy. If needed, you can add more water.
  5. Once the lentils are done, drain them thoroughly and allow to cool to room temperature.
  6. Once cooled, transfer the lentils to a very large bowl and add into the bowl the chopped herbs and vegetables, and combine them well.
  7. In another large bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste to make the dressing. Whisk them together until well combined.
  8. Use half of the dressing for the lentil salad you have prepared in another bowl, toss them together, and do a taste test. Add more dressing to suit your preference.
  9. This recipe makes 8 to 12 servings.

Tomato and grilled eggplant salad

Ingredients (Serves: 8)

  • 12 small eggplants (roughly four to five inches long)
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 4 tablespoons chopped capers
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • table salt, to taste


  1. Rinse cherry tomatoes thoroughly and drain well. Slice in half. Set aside.
  2. Rinse green onions well and drain. Trim the ends and discard. Chop finely and set aside 4 tablespoons of the chopped green onions.
  3. Chop the capers and set aside.
  4. Peel the garlic cloves and crush. Mince finely then set aside.
  5. Rinse the eggplants thoroughly, slice off the stem and discard. Slice into half-inch thick rounds.
  6. Turn on the grill and spray or brush the surface lightly with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.
  7. Arrange the sliced eggplants on the grill and lightly brush the tops with extra virgin olive oil.
  8. Grill all of the sliced eggplants for about two minutes on each side, or until they have achieved a golden brown color and are tender.
  9. In a clean chopping board, slice the grilled eggplants in half.
  10. Transfer the halved grilled eggplants to a large serving platter or a large salad bowl. Spread the chopped capers, chopped parsley leaves, minced garlic, chopped green onions, and the halved cherry tomatoes over the grilled eggplants.
  11. In a separate bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar with the remaining extra virgin olive oil and mix well.
  12. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss lightly, vegetables and cherry tomatoes.
  13. Add freshly ground black pepper and table salt to taste. Toss the salad again to distribute the seasonings evenly. Do this carefully because the eggplants are tender and might break up.
  14. Serve warm.
  15. This recipe makes 8 servings.

Italian zucchini salad

Ingredients (Serves: 8)

  • 8 to 12 medium-sized zucchini
  • 2 oz pecorino cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Rinse a bunch of fresh parsley leave thoroughly and drain well. Chop the leaves up and set aside 1/2 cup of the chopped parsley leaves.
  2. Peel and crush the garlic cloves. Then, mince the cloves finely and set aside.
  3. Trim the ends of the zucchini and discard. Cut the zucchini in half crosswise.
  4. Then, cut each half lengthwise into six to eight slices.
  5. Heat just enough extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet and cook the zucchini slices until both sides have achieved a light brown color but they are still tender crisp.
  6. Once done cooking all the zucchini, transfer the cooked zucchini slices to a large serving plate or salad bowl.
  7. Transfer the minced garlic in the same skillet and add the remaining extra virgin olive oil right away. Stir continuously until the garlic starts to color.
  8. Remove the cooked garlic from the skillet and transfer to the serving plate or salad bowl containing the zucchini. Toss them together until well combined.
  9. Pour the red wine vinegar slowly and evenly across the zucchini and garlic mixture. Add the chopped fresh parsley leaves, sea salt, and lots of freshly ground black pepper to taste. Mix well.
  10. Do a taste test. Add more extra virgin olive oil or red wine vinegar if desired, depending on your preference.
  11. Let the salad and dressing mixture cool to room temperature before serving.
  12. Before serving, top with freshly grated pecorino cheese.
  13. This recipe makes 8 servings.

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