Simple Summer Salads – Local Style!

Simple Summer Salads – Local Style!

Simple Summer Salads – Local Style!

Salads offer a quick and easy option for summer nights when it’s too hot to cook or you just want to spend more of your time outside enjoying yourself rather than laboring over getting a meal prepped. Lettuce, tomato, carrots, and some dressing makes it easy. But you don’t have to stick with the tried-and-true traditional salad to keep things simple. Raw salad is a stress-free summertime meal that requires minimal effort for maximum flavor. And local fruits and veggies are easy to find right now, so you can make your salad local style!

What’s fresh and local now? Salad greens, kale, garlic scapes, green onions, sugar snap peas, and strawberries. Just starting? Cucumbers, tomatoes, kohlrabi, and broccoli.

The Formula

The key to a successful salad lies in the mixture of ingredients you use. To make it easy, try this formula the next time you want to pull together a salad quickly:

  • The base: This is the star of the salad. It can be greens like lettuce or spinach, but you can also mix it up by choosing chunks of cucumbers or tomatoes. Want some extra protein and fiber? Use beans as your base.
  • The supporters: These are the accent notes to the melody. Veggies like cucumbers, carrots, celery, and onions work well in the supporting role. If you want something with a hint of spiciness, try kohlrabi or radishes. Fruits like apples, berries, citrus, and pears add sweetness.
  • The protein: Leftover cooked beans, tofu, chicken, or ham help boost the nutritional value of your salad. Cheese also works well, whether you use chunks of hard cheese, shredded parmesan, or soft, fresh mozzarella balls.
  • The toppings: Seeds, nuts, croutons, and dried fruit top off a salad perfectly. Chopped fresh herbs also add tons of flavor sprinkled over your salad.
  • The dressing: Premade dressings keep things quick and easy, but making your own doesn’t take that long. Most dressings have a two-to-one oil and vinegar base. Plus, they last up to a week in the fridge, so you can make a batch and use it all week long.

Change up your ingredients to make a simple salad more exciting. Here are some fun and unusual combos for you to try for quick and easy summer salads:

  • Spinach + strawberries + red onions + toasted walnuts + feta or blue cheese + balsamic vinaigrette
  • Mixed greens + blueberries + green onions + sunflower seeds + fresh mozzarella + lemon poppy seed dressing
  • Kohlrabi (cut into matchsticks) + cilantro + jalapeno + scallions + orange zest + fresh orange juice + lime zest + fresh lime juice + honey + olive oil + salt
  • Arugula + pickled beets + shallots + feta + Italian dressing
  • Mixed greens + artichoke hearts (drained) + olive oil + fresh lemon juice
  • Black beans (canned) + corn (fresh or canned, cooked and cooled) + green onions + jalapeno + plum or grape tomatoes + avocado + lime juice + olive oil + cilantro + salt + pepper
  • Fresh green beans + spinach + grape tomatoes + red onion + hearts of palm (sliced)
  • Beefsteak tomatoes (cut into wedges) + peaches (cut into wedges) + red onion + cider vinegar + olive oil + honey