This is a roundup of summer salads for you to browse and make something that sounds appealing to you. My hope is that you find one new salad to try and hopefully like enough to repeat year after year.
This single idea, of collecting seasonal recipes that you will definitely repeat, simplifies cooking. Everyone needs tips that make life in the kitchen easier but for people on a restricted diet they are lifesaving!
Why Summer Salads
If you follow me you know I love variety and a beautiful presentation. Enter salads!
We all need to eat less carbs, less sugar and probably less meat too. Salads are one fabulous way of ticking off all those boxes.
If you're looking for the meat I've got some of those too, just a slightly smaller portion.
Big Bowl Salads
What do you like to take to a potluck?
I like to make those salads where the recipe is just a little too big that I never make it for myself. That way it's a treat for me too so I don't mind the extra effort required. These are some of them.
- Harvest Jewelled Salad is one I made for my Gourmet Dinner Club when I wanted to use these beautiful candy cane beets from my garden.
- For those of you who love canned tuna this Summer Rice Salad is greater than the sum of its’ parts. I'm not sure how that happens but when it does it's a keeper.
- California Roll Salad has all the elements of sushi served in a big bowl.
- If you've mastered gluten free noodles this is a great one to try, Spicy Sesame Noodle Salad.
I make these salads year round but if you've never tried them they're perfect for picnics, family barbecues and lunches. They all last in the fridge for more than a week and everyone loves that too!
- Easy Bean Salad, recipe from my mom. In the summer I use fresh green beans and in the winter I add more canned beans or just skip them altogether.
- A traditional Canadian Potato Salad, according to my husbands memory. or your grandmothers’ version of potato salad is essential at every family barbecue.
- Asian Coleslaw with peanut dressing is easy enough to scale down for everyday meals.
- Apple Quinoa Salad with Feta, greater than the sum of it's parts and a reason to always have feta cheese in the fridge!
- Southwestern Quinoa Salad, squirt some homemade chipotle mayo on it for some extra zip!
Leafy Green Salads with Homemade Salad Dressing
These are anything but ordinary and that's exactly why they got on this list.
- Deconstructed Grilled Caesar Salad just because you really can grill anything!
- Warm Spinach Basil Salad is not to be missed. All the ingredients of basil pesto in a warm salad.
- Salad with Beets, Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts for late in the season when beets are ready.
- Garden Greens with Asian Dressing, not your everyday salad!
- That classic Spinach Salad with Hard Boiled Eggs and Bacon.
Homemade Salad Dressing
Green salads do not need to be boring so if that's your problem I've got a lot of ideas to fix that.
You need to start with a great salad dressing and use just the right amount. To read more about how to make a basic vinaigrette dressing, check out this post, Homemade Salad Dressing.
There are plenty of gluten free store bought salad dressings but if you stock up your pantry with the right ingredients you'll have way more variety. I'd say this is the secret to serving amazing salads that everyone wants to eat.
You can still keep a collection of dressings in the fridge for quick and easy access every day. Almost all of the dressings keep in the fridge for weeks or even months.
Ethnic and Main Course Salads
Every culture around the world eats salad but these are a few that I make every summer without fail.
- I make this Greek Summer Salad all year long but when tomatoes are at their peak it's a must.
- Right from France with a simple delicious dressing from Julia Child is a Mediterranean Salad Nicoise.
- Santa Fe Salad is a local interpretation with blackened chicken and flavours from the American South West.
- Vietnamese Cabbage Chicken Salad has the same dressing that you dip salad rolls in, nuoc cham. Check out my post on Salad Rolls to find a few recipes that use that same dressing.
- Sesame Salmon on Greens is an early summer salad with asparagus and becomes a late summer salad by substituting green beans.
- Blackened Steak Salad is for those who must have some meat.
- The premiere salad of Indonesia, Gado Gado.
Presentation for Special Summer Salads
You don't need anything fancy to create a stunning presentation. What you need a is well equipped kitchen that should include these items:
- An awesome knife, I like my 10-inch Chef’s knife that I can grip with my hand and my knuckles don't hit the cutting board as I chop.
- A sturdy extra large cutting board, the extra space makes cutting easier.
- For salad dressings I use a whisk or an immersion blender depending on the recipe.
- I have a few salad dressing bottles but most often use 1-cup and 2-cup Mason jars.
- Focus on colourful produce and variety for the look. A gorgeous wooden salad bowl or a nice glass platter will get plenty of use and you probably already have them.
That's a wrap! My Recipe Roundup of Summer Salads, 21 in all.
I'd love to hear in the comments below about one of your favourite summer salads.
Originally posted in 2018, updated July 2022.