Favorite Summer Salads

I find myself looking forward to summertime - not the heat (I could do without that), but the salads my body begins to crave!

Living in southern California means we have pretty much year 'round access to lots of decent fresh veggies and fruit (and some really horrible ones, too). But when summer arrives, the bounty becomes almost overwhelming and I want to enjoy it all.

I’ve been making a lot of bean salads: basically a variety of fresh beans (steamed), with diced red onion and red bell pepper, then some Italian salad dressing and into the fridge to marinate for a bit. It’s at its peak about 24-hours after being made.

Of course, there’s always caprese, too: sliced tomatoes (juicy, straight from the plant!), with a chiffonade of fresh basil, some finely minced shallots, drizzle of California Extra Virgin and a good balsamic, then grindings of sea salt and black pepper.

I default to my favorite curried potato salad, too, and often roast veggies for a thrown together warm salad.

Your favorite summertime salads?


Cucumber, sweet onion, bell pepper (red, orange, &/or yellow), melon or apple, sweetened rice vinegar. It needs to chill for a few hours while the juices mix with the vinegar, and keeps indefinitely, though the produce gets soggy over time. Sometimes I add cooked navy beans too.

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I’ve made Niçoise twice in the last month. Greens, steamed new potatoes, tomato, olives, asparagus, and white tuna, drizzled with a garlicky dijon vinaigrette. I don’t really like green beans so I use asparagus instead.


Red potatoes cooked & sliced, green beans trimmed & blanched, red onion thinly sliced. Put it all together hot & add Italian Dressing (not the creamy kind) or your homemade equivalent.

Baby spinach, sliced strawberries & poppyseed dressing.

Cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, feta cheese, fresh basil, olive oil & red wine vinegar. Good with Gorgonzola too.


Classic Greek choriatiki (or “village” salad): cukes, FM tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, green peppers, a few kalamata olives and, of course, Greek feta. Tossed last minute with a splash of rwv and a very generous glug of Greek olive oil. Sprinkled with s&p and oregano.

Burrata or mozzarella di bufala Caprese (I’m sure you meant to include mozzarella of some sort in your own Caprese description, yes?).

Tomatoes, avocado & celery in a balsamic-soy-vinaigrette.

Great topic, @ElsieDee! Looking forward to reading other peeps’ suggestions, too!


Love this charred corn and basil salad:

Also like this watermelon one:



I have salads at least once a day, summer produce makes me so happy!
I probably make smacked cucumbers the most often, but I usually use two peeled regular cucumbers since they are cheaper and look better at my market. I always add the sesame oil and i like to add in edamame and sunflower seeds too. I am a wimp so i follow the SE version

Savory watermelon salads have been a recent favorite. I always add fresh cilantro, some good olives chopped, and a bit of green onion with a dribble of olive oil. I like it over salad greens or arugala since the juices make a nice dressing.

Raw corn salad with black beans, sweet bell pepper, green onion, radishes and a simple vinegrette

Israeli salad, david lebovitz 's carrot salad, and lentil salad with lots of veggies are on regular rotation as well.

More often than not i make kitchen sink salads with whatever looks good at the market and i add in beans or tofu or tempeh and some nuts/seeds with the dressing i have on hand (i’m having a miso tahini dressing phase right now)


For some really great, and innovative, salad recipes I find the books by Yotam Ottolenghi to be really good. He has a great knack of taking everyday ingredients and mixing them up for really d.ifferent flavours. I love his grilled eggplant saffron yoghurt, basil and pomegranate salad

He also writes a weekly column in the The Guardian newspaper that has lots of great recipes - here is an example of his tomato salads: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jun/26/tomato-salad-recipes-yotam-ottolenghi


Bean salad: don’t be put off by this, but start with 3 types of canned beans (I like to include black-eyed peas as one, plus others of contrasting color), thinly sliced sweet onion, lots of flat-leaf parsley, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Optional: tomatoes, cucumbers, tabouli, tuna…

Better after overnight in refrigerator. All suggestions welcome.


I make a chickpea salad that’s similar: chickpeas, red onion, red pepper, quartered cherry tomatoes, parsley, lemon juice & olive oil. also a pinch of zaatar because it is lebanese :slight_smile:


I’ll have to try za’atar – thanks for that!

I bet your salad might be good with fava beans also.

sure it would, if I liked them! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

I get the mango slices from Costco and I cut them up with green onions, chili flake, sesame oil, jicama, halved cherry tomt’s, red onions…sometimes, I’ll use Kens Poppy Seed Dressing …

I’ll add grilled shrimp, cooked shrimp or blackened chicken breast.

Totally refreshing and addicting…


Similar I like black beans, onion, fresh corn, olive oil, acv, cumin and coriander. Red pepper optional. The colder the better.


I add sliced black olives (the not really good ones) for some reason I like them in this

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I use that as a dip for tortilla chips- I mash about a quarter of the beans so it isn’t too loose.


Interesting. I’ve had those Sichuan cucumbers forever, both in Asia and the US. Never thought that they were ‘smashed’. It just seemed as if they’d been softened by the pickling method.

This recipe uses English cuke. Is it ‘better’ using the long, slender variety I see in Asian markets?

I know what kind of cucumber salad you’re talking about and this one is slightly different, not like a quick pickle.
Honestly i just use whatever cucumbers look best and are cheapest. With the “regular” cucumbers i just leave on a few stripes of peel after giving a good scrub.
If you’re picky about seeds then yes probably is “better” with the long slender cucs that seem to have smaller and fewer seeds

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I make a riff on panzanella salad – lightly toasted or dried ciabatta or rustic sourdough croutons, cubed persian cucumbers, halved cherry tomatoes (or large dice regular), diced red onion, flat leaf parsley, and basil (chiffonade), all tossed with a vinaigrette of 1/3c EVOO, 2T lemon juice, 2T red wine vineger, 1 clove minced garlic, s&p, and just a dab of dijon.


That sounds so good! Last time i made panzanella it was a mess, the bread got soggy and kinda gross- i had cubed and toasted well some hearty bread. But it instaysoaked up dressing like a sponge.
Any pointers? Am I supposed to just add the bread on the top just before serving instead of mixing together?

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