Bring me your summer salads, yearning to be eaten

Last week, I moved to a warm part of the world.  Hint:

cowgirl-5-1-3.jpg image by cowgirloncoffee

Granted it has not been as hot here (this week) as it has been in my former home (hint):

But I still find myself craving COLD FOOD.  Ice box peaches. Watermelon. And the Summer Salad. Problem is, I only have about three summer salads in my repertoire — Including this white bean and tomato gem. I make a mean homemade salad dressing for a green salad (balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, lemon juice, and olive oil), but I’m bored and need some new tastes in my life. That, and I am hosting a dinner party on Monday — and because nothing says UNPACK THOSE BOXES like a dinner party on the calendar.

Help me avoid the 3,000,000 recipes online and share or link to your favorite summer salad recipe.


Deborah is K-12 educator who nurtures a healthy interest in reading, writing, running, ethics, mystics, and interfaith dialogue.

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18 Responses

  1. Kristin says:

    Mark Bittman’s 101 Simple Salads. Having sampled several, I can vouch for his good taste:

    I live on the gulf of Texas, so cold salads are a must from April to October.

  2. Corktree says:

    My absolute favorite lately is based on a couscous salad, but I use quinoa. I’ve tried a bunch of variations, but I think this is my favorite.
    And I’m not a recipe follower, so amounts can be adjusted to your taste. It’s hard to ruin though.

    Quinoa (2 cups cooked) – or couscous if you prefer the taste
    Chick peas (1 can)
    Cherry tomatoes (I use a variety of colors)
    Bell peppers – red, orange and yellow (no green)
    Cucumber – chopped small (without skin if it is bitter)
    Basil – chopped well (can also use parsley or mint, but choose only one)
    Feta – crumbled small
    Fresh lemon juice
    Olive oil
    (do the last three to taste and preferred wetness)

    Chill for best flavor (it’s AWEsome the next day)
    I just can’t get enough of this salad if I get a good combo going.

  3. Deborah says:

    Kristin — what a list! Thanks.
    Corktree — that’s now on the menu for the weekend.

  4. Tani says:

    Corktree, I love quinoa! Here’s my favorite summer salad.

    Cook 1/2c quinoa in 1c water
    Whisk 2T olive oil, 2T fresh lemon juice, 1t or so kosher salt
    Add oil mixture, diced tomatoes, and about 1/2c fresh spinach, cut in strips, to cooked quinoa.
    Spoon quinoa mixture on top of fresh spinach leaves.
    Add avocado slices and feta cheese on top.


  5. Some of my favorites (and thanks for giving me the impetus to remind myself about some of these; some are more side salads and some are definitely main dish):

    Curried rice salad with cauliflower and cashews:

    Salmon-asparagus salad:

    Barbecue Chicken Chopped Salad:

    Orange, Avocado & Watercress Salad with Ginger-Lime Dressing:

    French Potato-Veggie Salad:

    Couscous Salad (I also recently made it with quinoa, which was great):

  6. I just posted a bunch of links, and I think my comment may be in moderation.

  7. Mraynes says:

    I rescued it, jane. Thanks for letting us know.

  8. Emily U says:

    Corktree’s salad sounds really good.

    I’ll tell you the potato salad recipe I’m going to make tonight. It might not sound that summery, but it’s really fast and easy, and good cold. I like it with sandwiches.

    “German” Potato Salad

    Boil 2-3 lbs small red potatoes, and while they’re still hot, roughly chop them in quarters with a fork.

    Whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp mustard, 1/2 tsp celery seeds, and some salt & freshly ground pepper.

    Pour over the potatoes and mix until just combined. It’s good at room temp, and just as good cold.

  9. Azucar says:

    Dear Deborah, try this couscous salad.

  10. Erin says:

    I served this salad at my daughter’s blessing on Sunday, and three different people asked for the recipe. It is so good.

    Rotini Salad

    1 cup distilled white vinegar
    1 cup oil (canola or vegetable)
    1 cup sugar
    1 Tsbp garlic powder
    1 Tbsp salt
    2 Tbsp parsley

    Mix this all together and let it sit overnight. The next day add in two 16 oz boxes cooked rotini, cucumber, green pepper, and tomato. Serve cold.

  11. EmilyCC says:

    Oh, just when I’m in a summer salad rut! I can’t wait to try some of these listed above. Great post idea, Deborah!

    Here’s our rut:
    Corn, Arugula and Tomato Salad

    Wild Rice Chicken Salad (we’ve since dropped the chicken and still find it filling with the advocado and walnuts)

    Spinach Chicken Salad

  12. Erin says:

    This one:

    I leave out the green grapes since my husband isn’t usually a fan of fruit in pasta salad. Pretty much, anything you do with grape tomatoes and feta cheese will be delicious.

    Oh, and I’ve got another delicious one with grilled eggplant (or zucchini) and toasted pine nuts and spinach and feta. Here:

  13. Dora says:

    A good caprese salad always feels summery to me.
    Fresh mozzarella cheese (either the large buffalo mounds sliced, or the small little balls).
    Ripe tomatoes. Either large and sliced, or plum tomatoes with the little balls
    Basil leaves. Lots of them. Either layered with the slices, or chopped up with the little pieces.
    Drizzle with thick balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
    Salt and pepper if you so desire.

    Buon appetito!

  14. Erin says:

    Hm, my comment appears to be stuck in moderation as well…

  15. Deborah says:

    I rescued Erin and Emily from moderation. Thanks for these! Can’t wait to try some.

  16. Chandelle says:

    I’m late in replying, but I posted this salad last week. It’s my favorite right now; I’m having it almost every day.

    I also quite like this one: though I usually pair it with a homemade mustard vinaigrette instead.

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