When the weather turns warm, the last thing on your mind is using your stove or oven to prepare a hot meal. What better way to stay cool and enjoy the harvests of the season than by enjoying filling, colorful and flavorful salads for lunch or dinner? Try out these ideas for making sweet and savory summer salads for your family today.
Berries typically come into season in mid to late spring and early summer. From the end of March or early April all the way through August, you can typically find a wide variety of ripe, juicy berries at your local farmer’s market or grocery store.
Along with using them in your favorite desserts, berries provide the ideal foundation for delicious summer salads. Their mild flavor and juiciness pair well with ingredients like goat cheese and grilled chicken.
With that, try some of these ideas for berry salads this summer:
Parrothead salad, made with strawberries and blueberries tossed with iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes, mango, raisins, red onions, and almond slices. Refrigerate the salad for an hour or more immediately after combining these ingredients and then top with chopped bacon before serving.
Strawberry and spinach salad, which is made not only from fresh strawberries and chopped spinach but also vegetable oil, white wine vinegar, white sugar, paprika and sesame and poppy seeds. Toss the spinach and strawberries together, and then make a dressing out of the remaining ingredients. Coat the salad well with the dressing and then serve chilled.
Maple, nut, seed, blueberry, and goat cheese salad, made from romaine lettuce, blueberries, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, walnuts, feta and goat cheeses, white balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, grapeseed oil and salt. Make a dressing from the vinegar, syrup, and oil. Toss the remaining ingredients together and then top with the dressing.
These berry salads are easy to make and filling enough to be served as a main entree at lunch or dinner.
Cucumbers are so versatile and robust in texture and flavor that they serve well as a foundation for salad.
Some simple cucumber salad ideas to try including:
Pacific Rim cucumber salad, which is made from sliced and peeled Japanese cucumbers, rice vinegar, white sugar, bay leaf, salt and pepper, daikon radishes, sweet onion, grape tomatoes, chives, cilantro, garlic, and white pepper. Make a dressing by boiling together the bay leaf, vinegar, and sugar. Then season the cucumbers with salt before tossing them with the other ingredients. Remove the bay leaf from the dressing and then pour it over the salad.
Tiger salad, mad with chopped and peeled cucumber, salt, green onions, green peppers, red bell pepper, rice vinegar, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and cilantro. Whisk together the vinegar, oil, and pepper flakes to make a dressing. Combine the rest of the ingredients to make a salad and then top with the dressing.
Cucumbers come into season as early as mid-May and are harvested all the way through September or October.
These sweet and savory salad ideas can be the perfect meal for your family this summer. They are simple to make, are full of flavor and color and let you enjoy some of the best fruits and vegetables of the season.