Burgers, hot dogs, skewers and steak are great and everything, but to me summer food is all about the side dishes! I can’t imagine a barbecue without potato salad, a cottage weekend without corn on the cob, or an al fresco lunch without a simple yet beautiful salad made with in-season vegetables.
My new blog is officially five months old, so I figured I have enough posts by this point to feature my first recipe round-up – 11 summer salads to try this month. Ok, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, which is why I included recipes from other food blogs I can’t get enough of right now. I hope you enjoy!
1. Watermelon salad with feta, pumpkin seeds and mint
Juicy watermelon is good for more than just casual snacking! It really shines in this fresh, savoury watermelon salad made with salty feta cheese and crunchy pumpkin seeds. Try it as a side alongside grilled chicken or steak.
2. Spinach and strawberry salad with balsamic vinaigrette
Spinach usually isn’t my salad green of choice (even though I know how nutritious it is!), but when paired with sweet strawberries and a punchy vinaigrette, as in this spinach and strawberry salad with balsamic vinaigrette from Family Feedbag, the spinach really sings. Add grilled chicken to make it a filling main dish.
3. Barbecued balsamic beets
This one isn’t exactly a salad, but these barbecued balsamic beets from Strawberries for Supper are an inventive way to cook nutrient-rich beets on the grill. I can’t wait to try them!
4. Fingerling potato salad with peas and Greek yogurt-lime dressing
Potato salad isn’t known for its health attributes, but this fingerling potato salad version is made with light, protein-packed Greek yogurt instead of caloric full-fat mayo. The potatoes (skin-on, of course) contain essential nutrients as well as belly-filling fibre.
5. Mango cucumber salsa
Fruity mango paired with subdued cucumber is an unexpected but supremely delicious and satisfying pairing. Serve this mango cucumber salsa with grilled fish or chicken, or as an appetizer with tortilla chips.
6. Green beans with garlic scapes aioli
You can’t go through summer without having beautiful green beans at least once! This green beans with garlic scapes aioli side dish from the Endless Meal strikes the right balance between fresh/healthy and creamy/decadent.
7. Thai cucumber salad
This Thai cucumber salad could go with just about any main dish, but one pairing that would be amazing with a capital ‘A’ is grilled salmon seasoned with Asian flavours like soy sauce, sesame oil and ginger. It’s also light and refreshing for lunch with canned tuna.
8. Classic Greek salad
It’s no secret that tomatoes are in season right now – they’re practically overflowing at grocery stores and farmer’s markets alike! This simple Greek salad from a Couple Cooks is just what I’m craving in August when the weather’s too hot to turn on the stove, and you have more tomatoes than you know what to do with.
9. Herbed quinoa garden veggie salad
This herbed quinoa garden veggie salad from Pinch of Yum is essentially summer in a bowl! The combination of tomatoes, carrots, herbs and lettuce is simple to make yet fresh and crowd-pleasing. The quinoa ties it all together to form one well balanced summery salad.
10. Red quinoa tabbouleh
This Middle Eastern inspired red quinoa tabbouleh is the perfect thing to serve when you’re getting tired of classic pasta salad but still want a picnic- or barbecue-friendly dish. It’s fresh, tasty and goes well with a wide variety of mains – think meat, seafood or poultry.
11. Watermelon tomato salsa
Watermelon and tomato marry so well together in this watermelon tomato salsa that I think they were meant to be! Serve it as a snack with tortilla chips or baked pita crisps, or top grilled seafood with a spoonful or two. (I personally eat it straight out of the bowl…shh!)