If your definition of a salad is iceberg lettuce, a couple of cherry tomatoes and a few slices of cucumber topped with thousand island dressing, it’s time take your standard garden salad to the next level! Summertime salads are lighter, delightfully refreshing, more nourishing and filled with enough fruit and veggies to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
The best summer salads are improvised based upon what’s currently in season. Start with a quick trip to your local farmers market for some fresh greens, berries, peaches, apples and avocados. Try samples from your local cheese producers. Be bold. You might love some goat cheese in your salads! Most farmers markets feature local ranchers where you can find locally produced bacon and other meats if you like. Olive lovers thoroughly enjoy tasting the many different artisan oils and fruits now found at markets around the country.
Of course, it’s the dressing that often pulls the salad together. Brianna’s makes a fabulous line of salad dressings with delicious flavors. Their Organic Poppy Seed Dressing is a summertime favorite with a touch of sweetness perfect for more savory salads. Their Blush Wine Vinaigrette brings a simple fresh fruit salad to a new level of goodness. Of course, if you struggle with acid sensitivity, two caplets of PRELIEF® can help.
Here are some of our favorite summertime salads:
Mixed Berry Summer Salad
Early in the summer, you can’t go wrong with a simple Mixed Berry Summer Salad. Just combine rinsed Spring Mix with handfuls of blueberries, blackberries, raspberries with some crumbled feta cheese and, for a little crunch, almond slivers. Top with Brianna’s Blueberry Vinaigrette dressing.
Summer Peach Salad
Peaches work in fruit only salads but also combined with a variety of greens. For a Sunday brunch, try chopped fresh peaches with chunks of watermelon, blueberries and a handful of mint leaves. Top with Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette dressing.
Roasted Beet, Mango & Avocado Summer Salad
A favorite vegetable of the season, roasted beets have a mild, sweet flavor and are rich in vitamins A, B6 and C. When used in salad, they are light yet also filling, a perfect accompaniment to your favorite BBQ ribs. This salad might seem an unusual combination but it’s wonderful. Simply roast some yellow and red beets (or buy precooked), cool and cube into 1” squares. Thickly slice two fresh avocados. Cut a fresh, ripe mango into 1” cubes. Toss in a bowl with roasted pecans, a handful of feta cheese and your favorite vinaigrette. Our choice is Brianna’s Organic Poppy Seed Dressing.
Mediterranean Orzo Summer Salad
Not sure what to bring to a summer picnic or gathering? You can’t go wrong with an orzo salad, which brings a bit more sophistication to the table than an old-fashioned macaroni. It’s ideal for more savory salads.
- 1 cup orzo, cooked and cooled
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes (yellow and/or red) cut in half
- 1 cup feta cheese
- 4 small cucumbers, chopped into quarters
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted (optional)
- 1/2 tsp oregano
Combine and toss with your favorite olive oil and red wine vinegar.
Cold Pea Summer Salad
A favorite in our Scandinavian family, cold pea salad is refreshing, easy on the stomach and very healthy for the bowels. Just one serving of green peas can have more than thirteen grams of fiber. It couldn’t be easier to make.
- 2 cups of thawed or cooked and cooled frozen green peas
- 2 stalks of celery finely chopped
- 4 crisply cooked slices of bacon, crumbled (optional)
- 1/3 cup of cubed cheddar cheese
- 1 hard-boiled egg, chopped (optional)
- 1/2 cup olive oil mayonnaise or your favorite ranch dressing
Toss gently in a bowl, add salt & pepper to taste and enjoy!