I like to have at least one big salad meal a day whenever possible. The recommended amount of vegetables we should all consume a day is 2 1/2 – 3 cups. If you plan one meal each day that is based on a salad you can get all of that (and more) in one meal!
It is sometimes difficult to think of interesting salad ideas besides the typical lettuce and tomato version. It’s a good idea to base your salad on whatever vegetables are fresh and local at the markets. Also try to think about color when constructing your salads – the more colors you eat, the better!
Below are some good salad combinations that might be of help when you run out of ideas. These particular salads are made with summer produce – but many of the vegetables will still be readily available at the farm stands and markets throughout September. Don’t be afraid to try new and different lettuces like endive, radicchio or arugula, as well as other interesting local vegetables. Fruits, nuts, seeds, olives and salty flavorful bits of cheese can add interest and texture.
This salad combines two summer favorites; blueberries and fresh corn. First blanch the corn quickly and then cut it off the cob and chill it. The base of the salad is mixed local greens, topped with tomato wedges, sliced red onions, sweet red peppers strips, and sliced avocado, and then the corn and blueberries. A light vinaigrette (olive oil and white wine vinegar), crumbled feta cheese and fresh ground salt & pepper add the perfect touch.
The salad below starts with a bed of chopped endive, radicchio and pea shoots. It is topped with tomato wedges, thinly sliced radishes, sliced hard boiled eggs, feta & black olives. It is all drizzled with olive oil and a splash of vinegar, plus fresh ground salt & pepper.
A great combination for a delicious salad is burrata cheese and figs on arugula. The peppery arugula is the perfect lettuce for this salad. Sliced white nectarines and red plums add a refreshing tangy taste. Toasted pine nuts and a light vinaigrette, plus a twist of pepper & sea salt round it all out. It’s delicious!
I based this salad on some ripe heirloom tomatoes I had gotten from the local farm stand. Add fresh fragrant basil leaves to the greens to bring out the flavor of the tomatoes. Crisp sliced cucumbers and some shredded red cabbage add the perfect crunch. All you need is a good olive olive drizzled on top with a little balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper.
Avocado is one of my favorite ingredients in a salad. This one has avocado slices, sliced hard boiled eggs, heirloom cherry tomatoes and red cabbage strips on a bed of leafy green lettuce. An olive oil and lemon vinaigrette works perfectly with the avocado. A dash of smoked paprika brings out the flavor of the eggs.
I based this salad below on color! Beautiful purple radicchio was the base along with green pea shoots. Top with cucumber strips, colorful sliced heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced purple onions, sweet red pepper slices & feta crumbles. All it needs is a light vinaigrette, plus fresh ground salt & pepper.