By Ann Martin
Turn those side salads into the main entree with theses fresh summer salad recipes! Summer salads are great for a variety of reasons. First, there is ample fresh produce available throughout the entire season. Second, many recipes can be adjusted to what you have on hand. Third, leftover meats and veggies make for wonderful recyclables in many salads.
By making a wonderful and delicious salad, you get to squeeze in those fruit and vegetable servings, which is important for your overall health. Also, by eating more fresh produce, which is typically packed with fiber, you are keeping your body full longer.
Here are some delicious summer salad recipes that will turn any meal into fresh and healthy one.
Red, White, and Green Salad
- 4 scallions (dark green tops only), thinly sliced
- 1 jalape?o pepper (seeds removed), chopped
- 1/4 cup(s) (loosely packed) cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoon(s) fresh lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon(s) kosher salt
- 1/4 cup(s) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 avocado, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 head(s) (12-ounce) butter or Boston lettuce
- 12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/4 cup(s) (loosely packed) cilantro leaves
- 3 ounce(s) ricotta salata
- 4 scallions (white parts only), thinly sliced
- To make dressing: In a mini food processor or blender, add scallions, 1 teaspoon jalapeño pepper, cilantro, lime juice and salt; pulse to combine. Continue to process while adding olive oil. Once dressing is well blended, taste and adjust spice/heat level with additional jalapeño, being careful not to add too much at one time.
- In a small bowl, mix avocado with about half the dressing and set aside. This will prevent the avocado from browning.
- Assemble salad by arranging lettuce leaves in bottom of a large serving bowl. Add tomatoes, then cilantro leaves; crumble ricotta salata over the top and sprinkle with scallions. Place avocado in center; serve remaining dressing on the side.
Chickpea, Carrot and Olive Salad with Vinaigrette
- 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) cumin seeds
- 3 tablespoon(s) sherry vinegar
- 1/2 cup(s) extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 can(s) (15-ounce) chickpeas, rinsed well and drained
- 2 cup(s) julienned carrot
- 1/2 cup(s) finely chopped celery
- 3/4 cup(s) pitted black olives, halved
- 1/2 cup(s) raisins
- 2 tablespoon(s) finely chopped fresh chives
- 1/2 cup(s) cilantro leaves
- To make vinaigrette: In a small pan, toast cumin seeds over medium heat for about 1 minute, shaking pan so seeds do not burn. Transfer to a cutting board and coarsely chop seeds, then place in a small bowl. Add vinegar and then oil in a slow stream, whisking until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To make salad: Combine chickpeas, carrot, celery, olives, raisins, chives, and cilantro in a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup vinaigrette and mix well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Cha-Cha Chicken Salad
- 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 cups chopped cooked chicken
- 1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple
- 2/3 cup orange-flavored sweetened dried cranberries
- 1 cup chopped roasted, salted almonds
- Garnishes: fresh herbs, blackberries, raspberries, sliced peaches
- Whisk together cream cheese and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl.
- Stir in chicken, pineapple, and cranberries just until blended.
- If desired, spoon mixture into a plastic wrap-lined 8-inch round cake pan; cover and chill at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Invert chicken salad onto a cake stand, and remove plastic wrap.
- Gently press chopped almonds onto sides of chicken salad. Garnish, if desired. Serve with crackers, carrot sticks, celery, pita chips or chunks of fresh crusty bread.
Potato Cobb Salad
- 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 (16-ounce) bottle olive oil-and-vinegar dressing, divided
- 8 cups mixed salad greens
- 2 large avocados
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 12 small green onions, sliced
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
- 6 to 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Cook potatoes in boiling salted water to cover 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool slightly. Peel and cut into cubes.
- Sprinkle potatoes evenly with 3/4 teaspoon salt. Pour 1 cup dressing over potatoes; gently toss. Set aside remaining dressing. Cover potato mixture; chill at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Arrange salad greens evenly on a large serving platter. Peel and chop avocados; toss with lemon juice.
- Arrange potatoes, avocados, tomatoes, and next 4 ingredients in rows over salad greens. Sprinkle with pepper. Serve with remaining dressing.
Ann Martin is a freelance writer for Dinnerware Center, which carries an extensive line of dinnerware and tableware sets, such as the Noritake and the Oneida Flatware. Ann is a contributing writer for other home and cooking websites. When Ann is not writing, she enjoys spending her time traveling.
Photo courtesy: MinimalistPhotography101.com
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