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18 Must-Try Summer Salad Recipes: Fresh Flavors for Sunny Days

Summer-Fruit-Salad
Summer Fruit Salad

Summer is the perfect season to enjoy fresh, vibrant salads loaded with seasonal ingredients.

This collection of 18 summer salad recipes offers a delightful array of flavors and textures, each recipe designed to be a standout dish at your table. These salads are not only refreshing but also beautifully crafted to enhance any meal with color, nutrition, and taste.

Crab, Corn, and Tomato Salad

Crab, Corn, and Tomato Salad

When crab is in season, we eat it as much as possible. This salad presents fresh Dungeness crab beautifully. A glass of chilled Pinot Gris would be perfect alongside it.

Serves: 4
Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Lemon zest from one whole lemon
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound fresh crab meat
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced basil

Directions:

  1. To prepare the dressing, combine lemon zest and 3 tablespoons lemon juice, olive oil, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid. Mix well, and then pour 1½ tablespoons of the dressing into a small bowl and set aside, separate from the jar of dressing.
  2. Thirty minutes before serving, combine the crab meat with 2 tablespoons lemon juice in a large bowl. Mix well to coat all of the crab with the lemon juice. Add the corn kernels, red pepper, and red onion to the crab. Pour in all of the salad dressing, except for the small bowl containing 1½ tablespoons that was set aside. Fold together, cover the bowl, and refrigerate.
  3. When ready to serve, place ½ cup shredded lettuce on each of 4 plates. Divide the crab mixture evenly over the lettuce. Distribute chopped tomatoes over the crab.
  4. Drizzle a bit of the reserved salad dressing over all and garnish with sliced basil.

Bread Salad

Bread Salad

When you allow the bread to thoroughly absorb the dressing, Bread Salad is a great use for day-old French bread and leftover vegetables. I serve it with grilled chicken breasts for a simple, yet filling dinner.

Serves: 4
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf firm textured bread, such as Como Italian bread
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ripe tomatoes
  • ½ yellow pepper, diced
  • ½ red pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • ½ English cucumber, diced
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, kept whole if small, torn into pieces if large
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Directions:

  1. Cut the tomatoes into pieces about the same size as the bread cubes. Place the pieces on a paper towel to drain.
  2. Remove the crusts from the bread. Cut the bread into ¾ inch slices. Arrange bread slices on cookie sheets so that slices don’t overlap, and toast lightly. While slices are still warm, rub the large whole garlic clove over one side of each bread slice, then brush both sides of bread with olive oil. Cool, and cut or tear the slices into cubes approximately ¾ inch square. You should have around 4 cups of bread cubes.
  3. If the basil leaves are small, leave them whole. If they are large, tear the leaves into bite-size pieces.
  4. Mix tomatoes, bread, peppers, onions, cucumber, and basil in a large bowl.
  5. Add the red wine vinegar to the olive oil, whisking continually until the ingredients have emulsified.
  6. Around 20 minutes before serving, pour two-thirds of the vinaigrette over the salad. Toss and let stand at room temperature until juices have penetrated the bread. Don’t oversoak the bread.
  7. Just before serving, pour the remaining dressing over the salad. Toss and enjoy!

Grilled Steak Salad with Fresh Herbs

Grilled Steak Salad with Fresh Herbs

Perfect for those summer days when it’s too hot to be in the kitchen. That’s a glass of dry, chilled rosé in the glass. It’s a perfect accompaniment.

Serves: 4
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound flank steak
  • ¼ cup slices red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped marinated artichoke hearts
  • 3 cups loosely packed arugula leaves
  • 1 cup loosely packed romaine lettuce pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 avocado
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Prepare the dressing. Combine ½ cup lemon juice, ⅓ cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and ⅛ teaspoon salt in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well and set aside.
  2. To make the marinade, combine ½ teaspoon thyme, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Blend well. Pour in 1 tablespoon olive oil and stir to mix. Spread the marinade on all sides of the steak. Cover the meat with a sheet of wax paper and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat the grill to medium-high heat.
  4. Grill the meat for approximately 4 minutes on each side. This will depend on the thickness of the meat and how well you want it done. Cook the steak to 130°F for medium-rare. Remove the steak from the grill, cover with foil, and allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Combine the arugula and romaine, basil, mint, and cilantro on a large platter, or on individual salad plates. Spread the red onion slices over the lettuce. Arrange the artichoke hearts in the center of the greens.
  6. Thinly slice the flank steak across the grain.
  7. Halve, pit, and peel the avocado. Cut it into 8 slices.
  8. Arrange the avocado slices around the artichoke hearts and the steak slices around the edge of the platter.
  9. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over all.
  10. Drizzle a bit of dressing over the salad, and pass the remaining dressing at the table.

Asparagus Salad

Asparagus Salad

I prepare all of the ingredients early in the day while my kitchen is cool, refrigerate them in separate zip-lock plastic bags, and then combine them just before serving. This salad is the perfect accompaniment to barbecued steak, chicken, or fish.

Serves: 6
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup pine nuts
  • 2 pounds thick asparagus stalks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup each chopped fresh chives and chopped basil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 cup torn lettuce pieces
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat a frying pan on the stove top over medium-high heat. Add the pine nuts. Allow them to cook for 30 seconds. Shake the pan and allow them to cook another 30 seconds and shake again. Continue the process until the pine nuts are the color of toast and have a slight crunch to the bite.
  2. Cut the thick ends from the asparagus stems and peel the stalks if they are thick. (Hold the asparagus stalk at the top and peel the stem with a vegetable peeler). Cut the stalks into 2-inch pieces.
  3. Bring a large pan of water to a boil. Add the asparagus pieces to the water and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the asparagus is bright and slightly soft. Drain the asparagus and immediately rinse it with very cold water. Continue rinsing with cold water or immerse the pieces in a bowl of ice water. Drain when the asparagus is cool to touch and spread the pieces on a tea towel to dry.
  4. In a large bowl, combine and whisk the lemon juice, mustard, oil, and herbs. Add toasted pine nuts, asparagus, chives, basil, onion, lettuce pieces, feta, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and serve immediately.

Blooming Garden Salad

Blooming Garden Salad

I love it when the garden is in bloom and I can pick edibles to brighten up my salads or tie into sweet little bouquets to use as garnishes. We are careful not to spray pesticides, or any chemicals, in the garden so the edible plants are safe to eat.

Serves: 6
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2½ tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups red lettuce pieces
  • 2 cups arugula leaves
  • 12 slices English cucumber
  • ½ cup fresh peas
  • 4 radishes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon fresh tarragon
  • 1 cup organic petals and blooms (nasturtiums, bachelor buttons, borage, calendulas, carnations, violas, pansies, or herb flowers)

Directions:

  1. Pick the blooms you wish to use. Some ideas might be: nasturtiums, bachelor buttons, borage, calendulas, carnations, violas, pansies, or herb flowers such as basil, chives, or rosemary.
  2. Immerse the blooms in a sink full of cool water. Drain and transfer to paper towels or a tea towel. Pat dry.
  3. Make the dressing by mixing the canola oil, rice vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  4. Place the lettuce, arugula, cucumber, peas, and radish halves in a large bowl. Mix the tarragon with the blooms and add to the salad bowl.
  5. Sprinkle the dressing sparingly over the salad.

Cantaloupe with Prosciutto, Arugula, and Gorgonzola

Cantaloupe with Prosciutto, Arugula, and Gorgonzola

Wow your guests! This salad is an exceptional starter to a special meal or a fabulous luncheon salad on its own.

Serves: 4
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cantaloupe (approximately 3 pounds)
  • 2 cups loosely packed arugula
  • 4 slices prosciutto
  • ½ cup crumbled Gorgonzola

Directions:

  1. Combine 1½ tablespoons oil and 2 teaspoons vinegar in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add the honey, salt, and pepper, stirring constantly until all of the ingredients are well blended.
  2. Halve the cantaloupe. Remove the seeds and peel the fruit. Slice each half cantaloupe into 8 pieces. Arrange 4 cantaloupe wedges on each of 4 individual salad plates.
  3. Arrange ½ cup loosely packed arugula over the cantaloupe.
  4. Roll each slice of prosciutto into a loose rose shape and place it in the middle of the arugula.
  5. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese over each serving, and drizzle dressing over all.

Grilled Vegetable Salad

Grilled Vegetable Salad

This Grilled Vegetable Salad features a mix of aromatic vegetables like asparagus, mushrooms, zucchini, and bell peppers, all grilled to perfection. It’s a vibrant dish that’s perfect for any gathering.

Serves: 6
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ pound asparagus
  • 6 large white mushrooms
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium yellow squash
  • ½ red onion
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • ½ yellow bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups mixed lettuce greens
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 12 Greek pitted olives

Directions:

  1. Prepare the salad dressing in a medium-size jar. Combine the vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Clean and prepare the vegetables. Trim the tough asparagus ends. Cut each mushroom to ¼ inch slices. Cut the zucchini, yellow squash, red onion, and peppers lengthwise into ¼ inch slices.
  3. In a large bowl, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil and minced garlic. Stir well. Add the prepared vegetables to the bowl and turn with your hands to coat all of the pieces.
  4. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  5. Place the vegetables on a grilling rack and grill 4 to 6 minutes on each side, until they are slightly blackened. Remove vegetables from the grill and allow to cool slightly.
  6. Spread the lettuce greens on a large serving platter. Distribute the vegetables over the greens. Lightly drizzle the dressing over all.
  7. Sprinkle the basil, thyme, parsley, and cheese over the vegetables.
  8. Arrange the olives around the tray.
  9. Serve immediately.

Sister Pasta Salad with Tomato, Mozzarella, and Avocado

Sister Pasta Salad with Tomato, Mozzarella, and Avocado

Because my youngest daughter claims this salad as her own, her siblings refer to it as “Sister Salad”. A mingling of her (and our!) favorite fresh flavors.

Serves: 6
Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces pasta
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon minced fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 16 small mozzarella balls
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 3 avocados
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 bunch fresh basil

Directions:

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain, and cool.
  2. In a large jar, combine garlic, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, oregano, vinegars, oil, and pesto. Shake well and set aside.
  3. In a large salad bowl, combine the mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes, and the cooked and cooled pasta.
  4. Halve, pit, and peel the avocados. Cut them into ½ inch cubes and place the cubes in a bowl. Pour the lemon juice over and stir carefully to cover each cube. Gently add the avocado to the salad bowl.
  5. Thinly slice 8 to 10 large leaves of basil and sprinkle them over the salad.
  6. Pour the desired amount of dressing over all and mix carefully to blend.
  7. Garnish the salad with basil sprigs and serve.

Greek Salad

Greek Salad

Intense Mediterranean flavors make this summer salad a favorite.

Serves: 6
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 head romaine
  • 3 Roma tomatoes
  • ½ green pepper
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • 1 cucumber
  • 12 radishes
  • ½ red onion
  • 3 green onions
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Greek olives, pitted
  • 4 ounces feta cheese

Directions:

  1. Clean and pat dry the romaine leaves. Cut or tear to bite-size pieces and place on a large serving tray. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. Chop the tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumber to ½ inch square pieces. Thinly slice the radishes and the red onion. Chop the green onions. Place all of the vegetables over the romaine on the tray. Cover and chill.
  3. Prepare the dressing by combining the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, mint, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well to blend the ingredients.
  4. Drizzle the desired amount of dressing over the vegetables and romaine.
  5. Sprinkle the olives and feta cheese over all.

Berry and Herb Salad with Gorgonzola Cheese

Berry and Herb Salad with Gorgonzola Cheese

Fresh blueberries are a lively, summery accent in this vibrant salad.

Serves: 4
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1½ teaspoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 4 cups of mixed salad greens
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh tarragon leaves
  • ½ cup chopped green onion
  • ¾ cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

Directions:

  1. Prepare the dressing by combining the vinegar, oil, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well to blend flavors and set aside.
  2. Heat a frying pan on the stove top over medium-high heat. Add the pine nuts. Allow them to cook for 30 seconds. Shake the pan and allow them to cook another 30 seconds and shake again. Continue the process until the pine nuts are the color of toast and have a slight crunch to the bite.
  3. Place the salad greens in a large salad bowl. Add the blueberries to the bowl.
  4. Chop the parsley, basil, and tarragon to approximately ½ inch pieces. Add to the salad bowl along with the cooled pine nuts, chopped green onion, and cheese.
  5. Just before serving pour the dressing over and gently blend with your hands.

Southwestern Shrimp and Corn Salad

Southwestern Shrimp and Corn Salad

I love to serve this salad when I am entertaining because, in addition to being delicious, most of the work can be done well in advance. Serve it with frosty bottles of beer.

Serves: 4
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon minced seeded jalapeño chili
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon curry
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • ¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ large red onion
  • 2 ears corn, husked
  • 24 large shrimp (approximately 1½ pounds)
  • 2 avocados
  • 24 large tortilla chips
  • Chopped cilantro

Directions:

  1. To prepare the dressing, slowly pour the oil into the lime juice in a medium bowl, stirring constantly to blend. Add the cilantro, chili, cumin, chili powder, and curry powder. Stir well to blend the flavors, add salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.
  2. Rinse and drain the black beans. Chop the tomatoes to ½ inch cubes and place them on paper towels to drain a bit. Shred the iceberg lettuce.
  3. Combine the tomatoes, beans, green onions, and cilantro in a bowl and chill. Place the shredded lettuce in the fridge in a zip-lock plastic bag to chill.
  4. Cut the red onion in slices about ¼ inch thick. Remove the husk from the corn. Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails intact. Rinse and pat dry.
  5. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  6. Pour ¼ cup of the dressing in a small bowl. Reserve the rest for the salad.
  7. Brush the corn, shrimp, and red onion slices with the dressing from the bowl.
  8. Place the onion, corn, and shrimp on a grilling sheet and grill over medium heat for 5 minutes. Flip the onion halfway through the cooking. Turn the corn ears often allowing them to brown on all sides. Grill the shrimp, turning occasionally, until it is opaque in the center.
  9. Peel, pit, halve, and cube the avocados.
  10. Cut the kernels from the ears of corn and add to the bowl containing the tomato mixture. Toss the salad with enough dressing to coat.
  11. Spoon the salad onto a large platter. Top with the shrimp, avocado cubes, and red onion slices. Garnish with tortilla chips and cilantro leaves.

Salad Niçoise

Salad Niçoise

Traditionally Salad Niçoise calls for tuna. I use high-quality canned tuna, grilled tuna steaks, or as is evidenced by the photo…moist smoked salmon. My husband loves anchovies, so I include them on his salad but not mine, and we always have a French rosé to revive our memories of lazy lunches on the Côte d’Azur. If you can’t find Niçoise olives at your market, any Greek-style olive will work.

Serves: 4
Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon minced fresh oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon minced fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ½ pound thin green beans
  • 12 small red potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • ½ medium red onion
  • 12 radishes
  • ¾ pound small ripe Roma tomatoes
  • 4 hardboiled eggs
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 2 cups red leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 pound fresh, seared tuna steaks or smoked salmon, or 2 cans (7 ounces) high-quality albacore tuna
  • 16 to 20 black Niçoise olives
  • 8 small anchovies, optional

Directions:

  1. Make the dressing by first combining the garlic, salt, pepper, mustard, oregano, and basil in a small bowl. In another bowl slowly pour the vinegar into the oil, whisking constantly. Add the garlic mixture to the vinegar and oil. Stir in the mayonnaise. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Immerse the green beans in the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Immediately drain the beans and plunge them into a bowl of icy cold water. Drain again. Spread the cooled green beans on a tea towel and pat to dry.
  3. Place the potatoes in a large pot. Cover with cold water by about 1 inch. Add 2 tablespoons salt. Bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the potatoes are just fork-tender. Drain the potatoes and cut into quarters.
  4. Cut the red onion to approximately ¼ inch slices. Slice the radishes into thin pieces. Slice the tomatoes into quarters. Peel and quarter the boiled eggs.
  5. When you are ready to serve, combine the arugula and red leaf lettuce in a bowl. Toss with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette dressing.
  6. To assemble, set 4 dinner plates on your counter. Spoon 1 cup of the lettuce mixture onto the right side of each plate. Divide the green beans evenly among the 4 plates, making a little mound on the upper left side of the plate. Put 12 potato quarters just below the green beans, and the tomato quarters along the bottom of the plate. The onion and radish slices will lay over the lettuce. Tuck the hard-cooked eggs and the olives in between the other ingredients. Mound the tuna in the center of the plate. If you choose to include anchovies, lay 2 anchovies in an X across the tuna.
  7. Drizzle the remaining salad dressing over all and serve immediately.

Grilled Chicken and Raspberry Salad

Grilled Chicken and Raspberry Salad

Bursting with flavor, I love this salad with a glass of fruity Merlot. When we’re grilling chicken breasts, I usually throw on a few extra. They come in very handy on the days when a salad is all we need for dinner.

Serves: 4
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breast fillets
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 3 cups mixed salad greens
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon each chopped fresh parsley, chives, and cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Directions:

  1. Grill the chicken breasts over medium-high heat until they are cooked through and browned. Allow them to cool, and slice each breast into ¼ inch strips.
  2. Combine the raspberries, greens, green onions, and chicken pieces together in a large bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl combine the zest of lemon and lime, garlic, shallot, chopped fresh herbs, lemon juice, mustard, and olive oil. Stir gently to blend all of the flavors.
  4. Just before serving, pour the dressing lightly over the chicken salad. Serve immediately.

Summer Pasta Salad

Summer Pasta Salad

Colorfully appealing and flavorful, this versatile salad travels well and lasts for several days in the fridge.

Serves: 4
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 8 asparagus spears
  • ½ red onion
  • 4 mushrooms
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • ½ yellow bell pepper
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 8 ounces pasta
  • 1 cup peas, blanched
  • ⅓ cup white wine vinegar
  • ⅔ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 stems fresh basil leaves

Directions:

  1. Prepare all of the vegetables. Clean the vegetables. Dice the zucchini and squash into 1-inch chunks. Slice the asparagus stalks into 1-inch pieces. Peel and slice the red onion to ¼ inch slices. Slice the mushrooms into ¼ inch slices. Slice the peppers to ¼ inch strips. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Place all the vegetables into a large bowl.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain. Set the pasta aside to cool.
  3. Bring another pot of water to a boil. Add the peas. Cook for 2 minutes and then drain. Rinse with cold water until peas are no longer hot. Drain. Add peas to the other vegetables.
  4. Combine the vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, dry mustard, and minced garlic. Stir to blend well. Remove ⅓ cup of the dressing to another bowl and set aside.
  5. Add the pasta to the bowl of vegetables. Thirty minutes before serving, pour the dressing over the salad and stir to coat all the vegetables and pasta. Sprinkle the cheese over the dressing. Refrigerate the salad until time to serve.
  6. Just before serving, pour the remaining ⅓ cup of dressing over the salad. Stir once again, and garnish with basil stems.

Strawberry, Almond and Arugula Salad

Strawberry, Almond and Arugula Salad

It tastes as good as it looks!

Serves: 4
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup chopped almonds
  • 1 cup shelled fresh peas or frozen peas
  • 1½ cup arugula
  • 1½ cup baby spinach
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ⅛ cup flaked Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Combine the almonds, peas, arugula, and spinach in a large bowl. Clean, stem, and slice the strawberries.
  2. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the vinegar, mustard, poppy seeds, sugar, and oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set the dressing aside.
  3. When you are ready to serve, add the strawberries to the arugula mixture. Pour the dressing over the salad a little at a time, careful to not overdress. Add cheese flakes and stir gently to coat all ingredients.
  4. Serve immediately.

Salad with Nectarines and Blackberries

Salad with Nectarines and Blackberries on a Parmesan Plate

This elegant salad, of varied colors, textures, and aromas, is the perfect starter for a special meal.

Serves: 4
Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon champagne vinegar
  • 2 nectarines, halved
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 cup baby lettuce leaves in bite-size pieces
  • ½ cup fresh blackberries

Directions:

  1. To make the plates, combine the Parmesan cheese with the flour and stir well to blend.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone liner.
  3. Spoon the flour onto the lined baking sheet, making 4 mounds approximately 2 inches apart. With your hand, or the back of a spoon, pat the mound to flatten a bit. Each mound should be about 4 inches in diameter. Bake the Parmesan plates for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and slip each plate onto a wire rack. Allow them to cool for at least 1 hour, although these can be made hours before you will be serving.
  4. Add the vinegar to the olive oil in a small bowl stirring constantly to emulsify.
  5. Peel, pit, and halve the nectarines. Cut each half into thin slices. Place the slices in a bowl and pour the fresh lime juice over the slices. Stir to coat all of the slices.
  6. Place one Parmesan plate on each of 4 salad plates. Arrange ¼ cup lettuce pieces on each plate. Distribute the nectarine slices and blackberries between the four plates.
  7. Drizzle the salad dressing lightly over each salad and serve immediately.

Grilled Romaine Salad

Grilled Romaine Salad

An ideal summertime salad, these vegetables can be prepared next to the steak on the grill.

Serves: 4
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • ¼ teaspoon mixed salad herbs
  • ½ teaspoon garlic
  • Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce
  • Cooking spray
  • 16 roasted cherry tomatoes

Directions:

  1. Combine the blue cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, buttermilk, salad herbs, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk the ingredients to blend well. Cover and chill.
  2. Remove the tough outer leaves from the romaine heads. Cut the romaine heads in half lengthwise.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium heat. Spray the lettuce on all sides with the cooking spray. Sprinkle the cut side with salt and pepper. Spray the cut side of the tomato halves with the cooking spray.
  4. Place the cherry tomatoes and the lettuce cut side down on a grilling pan. Grill for 2 minutes. Remove the cherry tomatoes from the grill. Turn the romaine heads and grill on the other side for 30 seconds. Remove from the grill.
  5. Allow the lettuce and tomatoes to rest for 5 minutes and then transfer one of the half lettuce heads and 6 cherry halves to each of 4 chilled salad plates. Drizzle all with 1 to 2 tablespoons blue cheese salad dressing, and serve immediately.

Summer Fruit Salad

Simple and satisfying, fresh Summer Fruit Salad never disappoints.

Serves: 4
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 pinch ginger powder
  • 6 fresh mint leaves
  • 4 cups of assorted fresh summer vegetables (cantaloupe, watermelon, nectarines, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries)

Directions:

  1. Combine the oil, lemon juice, lime juice and zest, honey, vinegar, and ginger in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well to blend all of the ingredients.
  2. Clean all of the fruit and pat dry. Remove the stems from the berries. Peel melons, nectarines, and peaches and cut them into 1-inch chunks. Place the fruit pieces in a large bowl.
  3. Pour the dressing over the fruit and stir gently to coat all of the fruit pieces. Garnish with mint leaves and serve immediately.

I’m Jennifer Schlette, a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I love cooking, reading, and my kids! Here you’ll find the healthiest recipes & substitutions for your cooking. Enjoy, and be well, friends!

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