Hearty Summer Salads

18 July 2023

Salads are synonymous with summer. Instead of a hot meal that just increases the discomfort of the heat and humidity, you get to enjoy a crisp, light meal. With all the fresh produce available, it makes perfect sense to include it as a main course or as a hearty side to your grilling adventures.

Berry Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is a good source of vegan protein that is high in calcium. Combine it with fresh fruit and spinach, you have a powerful superfood meal.


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 or 2 limes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup sliced peaches
  • 6 cups raw spinach


  • Drizzle cooked quinoa with olive oil and lime juice. Toss to separate grains and season with salt and pepper.
  • Add fruit and toss lightly.
  • Serve over fresh spinach leaves

Tiger Salad

This hails from Northern China. Include nuts, chicken, shrimp, or tofu to amp the protein.


  • ½ cucumber
  • salt
  • 3 green onions, tender portions only
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 2 cups chopped fresh cilantro or parsley


  • Cut cucumber in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Cut each half into thin strips about 2 inches long. Salt and allow to rest in a sieve 15 minutes. Rinse and drain well.
  • Cut green onions and bell peppers in thin strips about 2 inches long.
  • Whisk vinegar, oil, red pepper, salt (if desired) to make vinaigrette.
  • Combine cucumber, onions, peppers, and cilantro or parsley and toss well with vinaigrette.

Mediterranean Zucchini and Chickpea Salad

This is best if chilled to allow the flavors to blend and makes a nice accompaniment to a meal or a special lunch.


  • 2 cups diced zucchini
  • 1 can (15 ounce) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¾ cup chopped bell pepper
  • ½ chopped sweet onion
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup chopped Kalamata olives
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained and chopped, optional
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • ½ teaspoon dried Greek oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Combine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes to form the dressing.
  • Mix zucchini, chickpeas, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, feta, olives, basil, rosemary, and capers in a large bowl.
  • Add dressing. Salt and pepper as necessary.

Corn Salad

This is a nice stand alone or you can add grilled chicken, steak, or whatever to turn it into a full fledged meal.


  • 6 ears of corn, shucked
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup diced cucumber
  • 1/3 finely chopped red onion
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey, warmed
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook the corn either by placing it on a grill until it chars, rotating it periodically, or by boiling in water. Cool to the touch and cut kernels from the cobs.
  • Combine lime juice, olive oil, and honey and emulsify to create the dressing.
  • Combine all the vegetables and basil. Apply the dressing. Adjust for salt and pepper.
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