15 Bright + Vibrant Seasonal Salad Recipes To Enjoy This Summer
Thankfully, summer has finally arrived and with it, salad season! Now all I want to eat is everything bright, vibrant and crunchy (or cooked over the coals, you can find my barbecue recipe section here!) I thought I’d put together a roundup of my favourite salads – both to enjoy as a meal or as something on the side – all in one place!
I love me a good tomato salad made with lots of mixed heirloom tomato varieties, and it does not get much better than this coriander and shallot-garnished number with the bite of jalapeno peppers, inspired by the classic fresh Mexican Pico de Gallo salsa. Serve it as a side dish anywhere Mexican salsas would be appropriate, or simply alongside grilled fish, meat or tofu with lots of crusty bread because the juices that end up left on the serving plate taste incredible.
Not quite a traditional Korean dish, this easy and delicious spicy cucumber salad combines quick cucumber kimchee and a more usual Chinese cucumber salad to make something light and bright to serve alongside any grilled meats with an Asian-inspired dressing. It is also delicious spooned over Jasmine rice for a light summer meal.
This is one of my favourite salad-as-a-meal recipes to make at any time of year, but I think it is particularly excellent during the summer because now is really when we just want a salad for dinner. FYI, leftover roast or barbecued chicken, and cubed avocado make excellent add ins.
Ever since landing on the ultimate barbecue lamb chop recipe (I’ll share it when I’m quite happy with it, don’t worry!) I’ve been obsessed with Greek food recently, and there is really only one Greek salad you need to master, a Greek salad! With aromatic oregano, salty olives, tangy feta, cooling cucumber, sharp onion and juicy tomatoes this is the salad I’ll promise you’ll have on repeat all summer.
Yes yes, another cucumber salad (I think if tomato salads did not exist they’d be my all time favourite summer side) but this Chinese-style number is cleaner, clearer, and spicier than the Korean-inspired number I just mentioned, making it perfect to serve alongside dishes where there is already a fair bit going on.
Speaking of tomato salads, yes I do love the Pico de Gallo Tomato Salad at the top of this post, and yes I just make a simple tomato salad finishing ripe tomatoes with just good sea salt and even better olive oil, but this really is the only tomato salad recipe you’ll ever need. With a herby onion dressing you can make ahead in a jam jar in the fridge it is the one dish on the table that everyone will ask for the recipe for.
Now for a little bit of Americana with the classic wedge salad. Another brilliant side dish for a barbecue that can be assembled while the grill is heating up these wedges are a great, hearty salad option that goes perfectly with bone in steaks, ribs, smoked chicken, and anything else that has a bit of heft to it!
This is another salad-for-dinner option that we first ate one night on our patio in France with a good bottle of white wine when it really was too hot to cook. Prepare the potatoes ahead and let them go cold in the fridge so you can just throw everything together when you’re ready to eat.
Watermelon and fresh mint is a match made in heaven, and when paired with baby mozzarella and toasted pine nuts before being finished with a good slug of your best extra virgin olive oil now this is what you call a special salad!
Now time for a salad with a lot going on, this one will be fantastic if you grow your own lettuces and radishes like I do. It’s good for a light dinner if you’ve been out for lunch, or to serve alongside barbecued meats (can you sense a theme in what I tend to eat for dinner during the summer, by any chance?)
Another from the big bowl of salad category, I love how wonderfully green this one looks when you bring it to the table, the creamy coolness of the avocado contrasts beautifully with the creamy saltiness of the feta – I like to serve this with grilled prawns and home grown peas.
Is slaw a salad? Well, I’m happy to eat this vibrant slaw as is right out the bowl so I say it counts. Make up a batch if you know it is going to be really hot and you’re going to be doing a lot of barbecuing, as it keeps really well for a couple of days in the fridge. Classic creamy coleslaw more your style? Find my recipe over at BBC Food.
This delicious salad of toasted pitta bread tossed with tomato, cucumber, onions, radishes and spices is fantastic if you grow all of the above like my family and I do, and is great for using up leftover pitta or pieces of flatbread that may be a bit past their best. If you’ve got the barbecue lit instead of frying them simply brush the pitta in olive oil and griddle them instead.
This salad is one of my favourite lunches, honestly because the skinny buttermilk ranch dressing is so amazing! Buttermilk has finally landed on Ocado (it took them long enough!) so you won’t even need to leave the house to make this.
Cucumber, Chilli & Poppy Seed Salad
Yes yes, another cucumber salad. This one is a bit different, however, better suited to be served as part of a spread rather than as one single side it really celebrates the flavour rather than the coolness of cucumber. It is one of those dishes that will fit well with all sorts of cuisines on all different sorts of table.