We’ve just celebrated our first official long weekend here in Canada – May 2-4, Victoria Day – which marks the start of “Summer”, although it’s technically still Spring. But after the year & a half we’ve all endured, bring on that warm, sunny joy! We spent most of it outside in the backyard with minimal cooking happening, but some of our favourite salads we enjoy the whole season through made an appearance. Here’s our round-up of Summer Salads that Don’t Suck – all easy to prepare, and some will give you lots of leftovers to love on through the week. Summer salad lovin’ has begun and we’re here for it!
1. 5 Bean Medley Salad
This 5 Bean Medley Salad is inspired by the one Nana always made for family BBQs through the years. We make a big batch of this one to have lots of leftovers for the week. You can use freshly picked green beans from the farm or the canned/frozen variety – use what you’ve got. This version has fresh red bell pepper but we’ve also made it with roasted red pepper which levels this one up nicely! Finally, you could dress the salad with a blend of red wine vinegar + olive oil + Dijon mustard & salt + pepper, or simply use your favourite bottled dressing/vinaigrette – Italian, Balsamic & Greek all taste great!
5 Bean Medley Salad | La Cucina di Kerrs
- 4 cups green beans washed, ends snipped & beans chopped into ¾-1 inch pieces or use a bag of ready-to-eat to simplify
- 1 can Bean Medley *blend of romano, chickpea, red kidney & white beans; rinse*
- 2-3 cloves garlic chopped
- ¾ cup red onion diced
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- Your family's favourite dressing *to taste; homemade or bottled - both taste great! We usually use the whole bottle if store-bought*
- In a large pot, boil your green beans until desired tenderness, but don't over cook. Pour into a strainer/colander & rinse with cold water. Add cooled beans to a large serving bowl.
- Add your garlic, red onion, red bell pepper & bean medley over top of the green beans, then add your dressing. Mix well & refrigerate at least 30 mins before serving. That's it! Buon appetito! Tag us @House_of_Kerrs if you try!
2. Burrata, Fig & Candied Pecan Salad
If you’re looking for a Summer salad leveled-up, this is it! I could go on about how insanely good this sweet + savoury wonder is…but really, you just need to try it!
Burrata + Fig Salad
- Family-style serving platter
- 4 handfuls Arugula + Spinach mix *if your party size is larger, use 1 extra handful per person*
- 1 large fresh Burrata ball rip into small parts
- 5 fresh figs cut in half
- ½ cup candied pecans chopped
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil to taste - enough to drizzle over salad and have a light coating
- Balsamic reduction glaze to taste, drizzle over salad
- coarse salt + ground black pepper to taste - a few pinches will do
- Place arugula + spinach mix on to the platter. Add ripped Burrata pieces and sliced figs.
- Drizzle with olive oil, then balsamic glaze (to taste, and enough to lightly coat your salad portion). Add chopped pecans then sprinkle a few pinches of salt + pepper. Toss before serving. Buon Appetito! Tag us @House_of_Kerrs on Instagram if you try!
3. Antipasto Misto Salad
All of my favourite Italian antipasti combined in one platter – thinly sliced prosciutto, juicy melon, fresh mozzarella on a bed of arugula! Delizioso! I add olive oil, balsamic glaze & salt + pepper after the kids pick at it!
Prosciutto Melon Bocconcini Antipasto Salad
- Melon baller scoop
- Large Serving Platter
- 6 handfuls fresh arugula *1 handful per person, so add more if needed*
- ½ cantaloupe ripened, scooped into balls or chopped into cubes
- ½ honeydew melon ripened, scooped into balls or chop into cubes
- 6 thin slices of prosciutto tear apart
- 4 leaves fresh basil chopped
- 8-10 small (*fresh mozzarella*) bocconcini balls or 6-8 bocconcini medallions *we use TreStelle*
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil *2-3 tbsp - drizzle*
- Coarse Salt + ground black pepper *to taste*
- Add arugula to platter & top with melon balls/chunks, torn prosciutto & bocconcini - space out evenly.
- Drizzle olive oil over the salad & sprinkle with salt + pepper. Garnish with the fresh, chopped basil. Drizzle balsamic glaze over top right before serving. Buon appetito!
5. Blueberry Delight Salad
A delicious way to enjoy fresh blueberries on a bed of mixed greens with diced avocado, goat cheese, dried apricots & slivered almonds. Drizzle with a blueberry vinaigrette (*we love the one by La Presserie*).
6. Mediterranean Chickpea Village Salad
Using our homemade Greek dressing, you can make this no fuss village salad including chickpeas to keep bellies full with a protein punch. For kids who don’t like the dressing, just set aside all the fixings for a veg & protein plate. Serve this one with pita as a meal, or make extra & pair it with BBQ meats when you feel like cooking things up again. We love putting this Mediterranean Chickpea Village Salad on lettuce wraps or turning it into a pasta salad!
Mediterranean Chickpea Village Salad
- large salad bowl
- 1 cucumber diced in large chunks
- 2 medium tomatoes diced in large chunks
- 1 red pepper chopped in chunks
- 1/2 red onion chopped in chunks
- 1 can Chick peas rinsed & drained
- fresh parsley or arugula chopped, to taste
- 3/4 cup feta cheese in brine or other
Greek Dressing - double up ingredients to have extra on-hand
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 clove fresh garlic minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 pinch each coarse salt & ground black pepper
- Dressing: add all ingredients to a small bowl & whisk or use a dressing emulsifier.
- Salad: throw all of your chopped veggies, feta in a large salad bowl. Add dressing, toss & finish with parsley/arugula. Refrigerate or serve immediately. Pairs nicely with fresh pita bread and/or BBQ meats! Enjoy!
7. Mango Salad
One of my favourites to pair with grilled seafood, simply slice up red bell pepper, ripe mango & red onion (*length-wise*), lay on a bed of mixed greens & dress with a balsamic vinaigrette, a pinch of salt + pepper & a squeeze of lime. *Optional: add sunflower seeds & chopped fresh cilantro*.
8. Easy Corn Salsa Salad
Not technically a “salad”, more of a salsa, but this one is such a great warm weather side we’re breaking the rules ;). I love making this one to nibble on with a platter of nachos. In a serving bowl, simply add a can of corn kernels, diced red onion (*to taste*), finely chopped jalapeno pepper, diced Spring onion, chopped fresh cilantro and the juice of 1 fresh lime. Drizzle with olive or avocado oil, and sprinkle with flake salt. Mix well & refrigerate about 30 mins before serving. Pairs well with a cold Cerveza 😉 Enjoy!
9. Peach Caprese Salad – Family Style
A fruity twist on the classic Caprese Salad (*yep…we eat A LOT of it!*), add the ripest peaches of your bunch sliced up & serve family-style – our favourite way to dine a la casual all Summer. *Serve with fresh bread, crostini, charcuterie and/or bread sticks & dipping oil for the perfect outdoor Summer grazing feast*
Peach Caprese Salad - Family Style
- Large Serving Platter
- 4-6 handfuls Spring Mix Salad *1 handful per person*
- 1 ball Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese tear into small pieces
- 2 medium ripe peaches sliced
- 2 medium tomatoes any, sliced *we used "Cocktail" tomatoes*
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil to taste, enough to drizzle over salad
- Balsamic Glaze to taste, enough to drizzle over salad
- Coarse salt & ground black pepper to taste
- 4-6 leaves fresh basil some chopped, some intact
- Layer platter with spring mix. Add tomatoes + peaches, then add ripped mozzarella. Sprinkle chopped basil evenly over salad. Drizzle olive oil - enough to generously coat ingredients- then add a few pinches of salt + pepper evenly over top.
- Just before serving, drizzle balsamic glaze in a swiping zig zag motion over salad. Garnish with fresh basil leaves & serve family style. Buon appetito! Tag us at @House_of_Kerrs on Instagram if you try!
10. Tuscan Panzanella Salad
Before we began our adventures in parenthood, DadChef and I did a whirl around Italy & learned to make this rustic Tuscan salad during a stop at a vineyard in Tuscany. There are many variations of this simple dish, but it starts with using up stale bread and building it with fresh tomatoes, olive oil, red wine vinegar & herbs like fresh basil. Fresh buffalo mozzarella is a bonus, but not essential.
Tuscan Panzanella Salad
- large salad bowl
- 1/2 loaf stale italian bread cut into chunks/cubes
- 2 medium tomatoes any you have on hand, diced or about 8-10 cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil enough to generously coat the ingredients
- 4 tbsp red wine vinegar half as much as the oil you've used
- 1 ball buffalo mozzarella tear into small chunks (*substitute with whatever fresh cheese you have on hand, like bocconcini)
- 4 leaves fresh basil chopped, to taste (or used dried basil)
- coarse salt and ground black pepper to taste
- freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese to taste
- Add stale bread chunks to a bowl filled with a bit of water. Swish around about 10 seconds then remove & add to your salad bowl.
- Grab your tomatoes, squeeze out juices into your salad bowl then add in.
- Add your red onion, buffalo mozzarella & basil.
- Drizzle olive oil and pinches of salt & pepper to taste. Toss well, cover & refrigerate about an hour to let flavours mix together a bit more. *Refrigeration is optional - we've also enjoyed this one immediately after prep* Sprinkle with freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese just before serving. Buon appetito! TAG: @House_of_Kerrs #LaCucinadiKerrs on IG if you try!
We hope one of these recipes make it to your outdoor family feasts! Share your Summer Salad Lovin’ with us if they do! Follow us on Pinterest & Instagram for more simple recipes we usually post under “Easy Meals” before they hit the blog!
Keep well, eat well,
Barbara Di Mambro says
Tuscan salad looks delicious. Have to try it.