10 Refreshing Summer Salads to Delight Your Warm-Weather Palate

Summer is here, and if your quarantine garden is nearing harvest, you probably can’t wait to dig into organic goodness. What better way to enjoy the taste of the season than in a salad? 

Refreshing summer salads make the ideal dishes for a sultry dinner alfresco. You can make them the star of the show as the main course, or serve them up next to your favorite grilled treat as a side. Here are 10 varieties that are sure to whet your appetite. 

1. Summer Asian Slaw 

Few things scream “picnic” like a creamy slaw, and this version is sure to delight. Blending red and green cabbage gets you cancer-fighting sulforaphane and a blend of phytonutrients, like anthocyanins. The mint and basil cool your tongue when temperatures soar, making this an ideal side dish for spicy tacos — there’s nothing wrong with a little east-west fusion on your plate. 

2. Refreshing Summertime Salad 

Summertime brings harvest favorites together — who said you have to separate fruits and vegetables? You can throw everything in one giant bowl of delight with this refreshing recipe featuring mango and baby greens. Pair it with a glass of sun-brewed green tea for the ultimate healthy meal. 

3. Cool, Refreshing Watermelon Salad

Watermelon is the quintessential summer fruit. When you marry the sweetness with cooling mint and tangy balsamic vinegar, you get a party in your mouth. The red onion adds crispness, and the feta lends a creamy texture. 

4. Wild Foraged Salad

If you didn’t plant a garden this year, why not forage in your yard and surrounding area? While you want to avoid any areas where people might spray pesticides, you can gather a meal in minutes when wandering the forest or roadside waste areas. You can combine clover, berries, dandelion and plantain for a genuinely paleo meal the way our cave-dwelling ancestors did. 

5. Wild Greens Salad 

Before you weed your garden, identify what you find. You might have a ton of nutrition growing for free. Amaranth and chickweed often invade garden plots, but both offer health benefits as well as flavor. If spring comes late to your parts, you might locate a few fiddleheads or watercress leaves to add. 

6. Harvest Wild Rice Salad

Who said that all of your salad ingredients need to feature a low glycemic index? Wild rice is gluten-free if you have a sensitivity, but it adds filling bulk after a hard day of hoeing the back 40. Although this salad is a summer dish, the apples make it an appropriate accompaniment to your Thanksgiving menu as well. 

7. Glowing Grilled Summer Detox Salad

If you thought that your grill was only made for steaks and chicken legs, think again. You’ll eat a rainbow with this sunny salad that features seafood as well as grilled veggies. Both the avocado and shrimp offer healthy fats to repair your skin and hair from sun, sand and chlorine. 

8. Grilled Summer Vegetable Salad

Eggplant, zucchini, squash and asparagus — oh, my! You’ll put your harvest to good use with this grilled salad. The red pepper and tomato add lycopene and vitamin C to keep your immune system healthy. The tangy basil adds a light minty finish. 

9. Summer Fruit Chopped Salad

Veggies and fruit join forces again with an antioxidant punch of a salad that’s sure to satisfy on steamy days. If you don’t eat meat or don’t want to run the oven, you can omit the bacon — or buy precooked strips. You can also leave the chicken out if you follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Otherwise, dig in and enjoy this meal on a plate. 

10. Perfect Summer Fruit Salad

Are you seeking a dessert that’s long on health? You can’t go wrong with this blend of berries and citrus fruits that packs a phytonutrient punch like no other. If you like, serve this with a dollop of frozen yogurt on the side — make it non-dairy if you follow a vegan lifestyle. Plate it attractively, and you have a dessert worthy of an exclusive restaurant at home. 

Get Light and Healthy With These 10 Refreshing Summer Salads

It’s the season for eating light and healthy meals, and salads fit the bill. Try the 10 refreshing summer salad recipes above to delight your taste buds and benefit your health.