Our Favourite Summer Salads
When thinking up summer lunch ideas, there’s nothing nicer than crisp, refreshing summer salads throughout the warmer months.
But in a sea of summer salad ideas, how will you combine the best flavours to keep your meals interesting?
What are the best summer salads?
We think the best summer salads are those that use seasonal ingredients. This way, you can enjoy fruit and veg when they’re at their freshest and tastiest. So, if you’re looking for summer salad ideas, start with the foods you have in your box.
What’s in season in August?
August could be named the most bountiful month for harvesting fruits and veggies in the UK. Throughout late summer, there are too many foods in season to list.
Fruits in season include aubergines, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and courgettes. Berries like blackberries, raspberries and blueberries are in abundance. Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce are sprouting high. And the main harvest of potatoes has arrived, too.
Summer salad recipes
Here are five of our favourite summer salad recipes to make use of fresh veggies and fruits arriving in your box.
Raw broccoli salad
Make a pickle by finely slicing 1 red onion. Heat 80ml cider vinegar, 1 tbsp caster sugar and ¼ tsp sea salt in a pan. Boil for 1 min until the sugar dissolves, then add the onion and simmer for another 1 min. Take off the heat, cover and leave to completely cool.
Break 300g broccoli florets into smaller pieces and peel 2 carrots lengthways to make ribbons. Mix both in a large bowl with 50g dried cranberries (or other dried fruit) and 50g roughly chopped cashews. Add the pickled onion but reserve the pickling liquid.
Whisk together the pickling liquid with 50ml olive oil, 1 tbsp maple syrup, the juice and zest of 1 lemon and 2 tbsp cold water. Pour over the salad and mix, then serve.
(via BBC Good Food)
Potato salad with vinaigrette
Salt a pan of water and bring it to the boil. Steam 450g potatoes, covered with a lid, for about 20 mins, or until they’re tender.
Meanwhile, combine 1 tsp sea salt with 1 clove of garlic. Crush in a mortar and pestle, where it will quickly break down into a puree. Add 1 tsp mustard powder and mix for 20 secs, then add black pepper to taste. Add ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar and ½ tbsp sherry vinegar, mixing thoroughly. Add 75ml olive oil and whisk to complete your vinaigrette dressing.
Once the potatoes are cooked, cool them in a mixing bowl for 10 mins, until just warm. Stir in the vinaigrette and 3 finely chopped shallots or 4 spring onions. Add 2 tbsp snipped chives or spring onion greens, and toss everything to combine.
(via Delia Online)
Indian chopped carrot salad
Crumble 1 small handful of curry leaves into a small frying pan on medium heat. Add a large lug of rapeseed oil, 1 tsp fenugreek seeds and 1 tsp mustard seeds. Fry until the mustard seeds begin to pop, then stir in 1 heaped tsp mango chutney. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
Peel and grate 2 carrots on a large chopping board, then chop and add ½ a cucumber. Chop and mix in 4 spring onions, 1 bunch of radishes (or sub with more carrots), 2 little gem lettuce (or other salad leaves), 2 big handfuls of tomatoes and 1 red chilli. Sprinkle with 1 bunch fresh coriander and 1 bunch of mint leaves. Chop everything thoroughly for one last time.
Top with the toasted seeds and leaves, then add a squeeze of lemon juice, a pinch of sea salt and combine. If the salad is too dry, add extra oil and lemon juice. Serve with mango chutney.
(via Jamie Oliver)
Red pepper and chickpea salad
To make a dressing, mix together 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp cider vinegar, a pinch of sumac spice (substitute with za’atar or tamarind), the juice of ½ a lemon, 3 minced garlic cloves and 1 tsp paprika. Season to taste and put aside.
In a large bowl, add a 400g can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed), 200g feta (or vegan substitute), 1 or 2 sliced red peppers, ½ a large cucumber (sliced) and 5 finely chopped spring onions. Toss well. Sprinkle in a handful of finely chopped pistachios. Finely chop a handful each of mint leaves, parsley and dill, then add to the bowl and mix again.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss together thoroughly. Adjust seasoning to taste then transfer to a serving bowl.
Berry spinach salad
Halve 144g strawberries, thinly slice 1 red onion and roughly chop 25g pecans. Add them to a large mixing bowl, along with 180g spinach, 60g raspberries, 74g blueberries and 60g crumbled goat’s cheese (or a plant-based cheese). If you don’t have these exact quantities of berries, mix and match what’s in the fridge. Toss together.
To make the vinaigrette, dice ½ small shallot. Add to a blender along with 60g raspberries, 50g olive oil, 30g red wine vinegar, ½ tsp Dijon mustard and a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend for 30 secs. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and serve.