3 Summer Salads I can't get enough of.
Summer salads are the best way to celebrate delicious seasonal produce!
This is my absolute favorite time of year. We had a really cold, rainy spring, but all of a sudden, summer is here! We’re seeing the sun, the days are heating up, and gorgeous summer produce is popping up at the farmers markets. We’re getting tomatoes, soft, sweet greens, strawberries, and fresh herbs, and corn is just around the corner.
At this time of year, produce is so good on its own that you don’t need to do much to it to make it into a delicious meal. On beautiful days when I’d rather be outside than in the kitchen, summer salads are the perfect solution: they’re simple to toss together, but they’re totally delicious nonetheless. Here are 3 of my favorite summer salad recipes to pass at potlucks, to enjoy as dinner sides, or to eat as full meals on their own.
Thai Watermelon Salad
Total Time: 10 minutes Fresh, bright and full of flavor, this salad is the perfect way to highlight fresh summer melon.
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
½ teaspoon chili garlic sauce or Sriracha
½ teaspoon freshly grated ginge
rsalt and pepper to taste
4 cups watermelon (rind and seeds removed and cut into 1-inch chunks)
1 cucumber (peeled and cut into ¼-inch slices)
½ cup lightly packed mint leaves, coarsely chopped
½ cup lightly packed basil leaves, torn
¼ cup roasted peanuts, chopped
In a large bowl, whisk the lime juice, orange juice, fish sauce, chili sauce and ginger. Season with salt and pepper. Add the watermelon, cucumber to the dressing. Fold in the mint and basil, season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with the chopped peanuts.
Total time: 30 minutes
Panzanella is a classic Tuscan tomato and bread salad that’s fresh, flavorful, and makes a healthy light meal or side salad. Perfect for easy summer entertaining!
1/2 regular-sized baguette or 1 small baguette (preferably ciabatta)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder Salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Dash of Italian seasoning
1 clove garlic minced
Salt & pepper to taste
12 ounces assorted tomatoes cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 English cucumber diced
1 bell pepper (I used orange)
diced Red onion chopped, to taste (start with 1/4 med. onion)
1 tablespoon capers
Handful fresh basil chopped
Parmesan shaved, to taste (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F. Cut bread into 1" pieces. Add to a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and garlic powder. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, prep the dressing by adding all the dressing ingredients to a jar. Shake well and set aside. Prepare the remaining ingredients.Allow the croutons to cool for about 5 minutes, then toss them with the rest of the salad ingredients and dressing (shake well before adding it). Let the salad sit for 30 minutes prior to serving. The croutons will soak in the dressing and tomato juices, and that's when the magic happens!
Serves 2 for an entree-sized salad and 4+ as an appetizer/side salad. I recommend using a whole baguette if you double the recipe.
Peach and Burrata Salad with Balsamic Reduction.
Total time: 15 minutes
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1 peach, sliced
1/3 cup toasted pecan halves
3 oz burrata cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
Begin by making the balsamic reduction by putting the vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce by half. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.Meanwhile, pile the spinach leaves on two plates and top with the peach slices, the pecans, and the cheese.Drizzle with some of the balsamic reduction and the olive oil.Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and serve.