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The other week, I shared pictures of our garden and we’re now starting to reap the benefits of it. Our tomatoes are producing handfuls a day and our shishito peppers are ready for frying. We have SO many blooms on all the plants so we wanted to find more things to do than just pop them in our mouths as soon as we pick them. Enter… summer salads!
I LOVE a good pasta salad because it can be lunch if you’re not overly hungry or a side dish to most meals. This one can be made into an Italian version or Greek (swap the feta for mozzarella and add some basil).
We were just reminiscing our our trip to both places (2016) and due to heat + morning sickness, I didn’t have the best culinary experience in Greece (give me all the pita and cold salads, please) but it’s still one of my top 3 favorite foods. If you’re in Chapel Hill, you have to go to Med Deli!
Watermelon is a summer staple for sure — and why wouldn’t you add it to salad? We love to toss in some mint, goat cheese and a little balsamic dressing over spinach and it makes the freshest, tastiest salad!
My last favorite is this Mexican inspired Corn and Avocado salad. Our toddler kept eating the corn as I made it. We served this as a side to our tacos and rice last night and today I plan on having a big helping over some spinach for lunch. I love when food can serve multiple purposes and makes for multiple meals!
Greek Pasta Salad Recipe:
- 1 box/bag of fusilli noodles (I mixed a whole wheat kind with one made from spinach)
- Cherry tomatoes (I probably used 20)
- Green pepper, diced
- Red onion, diced
- Kalamata olives, pitted
- Greek basil (column basil)
- Feta cheese
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Greek seasoning (I have a Greek Seasoning shaker that I grabbed at Harris Teeter)
Cook noodles as indicated. While noodles are cooking, chop veggies. Pro-tip: start with the onion and let it sit in the lemon juice while you’re chopping the others. Add to bowl as you finish chopping. Once noodles are done, rinse with cold water until they cool and then add to bowl. Mix veggies and noodles with oil and lemon and seasoning. Last step, add in basil and cheese. This is too delicious not to eat right away, but it gets better after sitting for a while in the fridge as the pasta and veggies soak up the oil and lemon.
Watermelon and Goat Cheese Salad
- 1 seedless watermelon, cut into chunks
- Goat cheese
- Fresh mint
- Balsamic Vinegar (1/6 cup)
- Sugar (3TBS)
Add watermelon to bowl. Top with cheese and mint. In a small pan, heat over low/medium 1/6 cup of balsamic with 3 tablespoons of sugar, stirring. When the mixture starts to thicken up, drizzle it over salad. If you’re impatient, you can also just drop some balsamic on your salad without making it into a glaze. But either way, only add this right before you get ready to eat it!
Corn and Avocado Salad
- 3 ears of sweet corn, cooked and cut from cob
- 2 avocados
- Cherry tomatoes
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 can of black beans, rinsed
- Juice of 2-3 limes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Juice the limes and mix with olive oil. Chop veggies and add into mixture (save avocado for last!). Mix in beans and corn to bowl. Add in salt and pepper. Just before serving add in avocado. You don’t want to let it sit and get brown.
Don’t worry — we eat plenty of donuts in this house too. It really balances out our salad eating. Next up, I’m looking forward to trying Fit Mitten Kitchen’s Thai Cashew Quinoa Salad!
Which salad sounds the best to you? Any fave summer salad recipes to share? Drop a link in the comments, if so!