Co-op Blog

25 Side Salads for Summer Dinners

When you picture a summer picnic or BBQ, you probably envision a grill full of burgers and hot dogs, some fresh watermelon, and corn on the cob. And oftentimes, there’s a few large casserole dishes and bowls filled with all sorts of side salads. While those side salads aren’t usually the center of attention, they provide a cool and refreshing complement to all sorts of summer dinners. And they’re definitely the unsung hero of the BBQ.

In our humble opinion, side salads deserve more attention during summer dinners, and that’s why we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite summer side salads to enjoy alongside all those other BBQ staples.

Green Bean and Tomato Salad

green bean tomato salad

There’s something about fresh, local green beans that can’t be beat. Pair them with some heirloom tomatoes and a simple dressing and you have a salad that pairs well with any BBQ or picnic food.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound string beans or small haricots verts
  • 6 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped shallots or green onions
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons coarsely chopped basil

Directions

  1. Trim ends of beans and leave them whole.
  2. Drop beans into a saucepan with salted boiling water. Cook until crisp-tender, about 3 to 5 minutes according to the size of the beans. Do not overcook. Drain and let cool.
  3. Cut away the core of each tomato, and cut it into wedges.
  4. In a salad bowl, add mustard, vinegar, shallots, garlic, oil, salt and pepper and blend with a wire whisk. Add beans and tomatoes, toss well. Sprinkle with basil.

Recipe and photo adapted from NY Times Cooking

Mediterranean Cucumber Tomato Salad

mediterranean cucumber tomato salad

Here’s a simple and light side salad that will keep well in hot weather at your next picnic.

Add some fresh mozzarella to bring it all together.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 2 cups diced cucumber
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, gently toss together all of the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let sit 10-15 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

Recipe and photo adapted from Welcome to the Table

Caprese Pasta Salad

caprese pasta salad

Caprese, but with an easy-to-eat pasta salad twist.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces fusilli pasta
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella balls, small (or a large ball, sliced into bite-sized pieces)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup arugula leaves, torn

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the lemon juice, zest, olive oil, salt and pepper. Add the mozzarella, tomatoes and arugula and toss. Cook the rotini according to package directions until al dente; drain and rinse with cool water, then drain again. Add the pasta to the bowl and toss to mix. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to three days.

Recipe and photo adapted from Welcome to the Table

Chipotle-Corn Salad

corn chipotle salad

This sweet and spicy corn salad would be a wonderful topping to add to burgers.

But if you eat it straight from the bowl, we wouldn’t blame you.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 ears of corn
  • 1/2 medium Vidalia or Walla Walla onion, thickly sliced crosswise
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the corn and onion slices with the olive oil and grill over moderately high heat until charred in spots but still slightly crisp, about 7 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut the kernels from the cobs and coarsely chop the onion.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the sour cream with the lime juice, chopped chipotle chiles and sliced scallion and stir in the charred corn and onions. Season the corn salad with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Recipe and photo adapted from Food & Wine

Heirloom Tomato Lentil Tabouli

salad lentil mint

In the winter, lentils are perfect in a warm, cozy soup.

But in the summer, it’s all about lentil salad with fresh and delicious heirloom tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked lentils (black caviar, beluga, or French green)
  • 4 medium heirloom tomatoes, diced (about 4 cups)
  • 1 cup Italian parsley, chopped, packed, thin stems OK
  • 1/4 cup mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a medium bowl. Toss well. Taste, adjust salt. Serve on its own or over greens. Salad will keep 3–4 days in the fridge.

Recipe and photo adapted from Edible Seattle

Coconut Tangerine Salad

coconut tangerine summer side salad

Shredded coconut offers lots of flavor and texture to this simple summer side salad.

Ingredients

  • 3 tangerines
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 cups green leaf or romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup toasted, shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup toasted, sliced almonds

Directions

  1. Halve and juice one of the tangerines, and peel and segment the other two.
  2. For the dressing, stir together tangerine juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Toss dressing with lettuce, tangerine segments and cucumber in a large bowl.
  4. Top with shredded coconut and toasted almonds and serve immediately.

Recipe and photo adapted from Welcome to the Table

Greek Watermelon Feta Salad With Basil Vinaigrette

watermelon feta salad

Here’s a greek salad with a nice, summery twist.

Watermelons and basil balance each other perfectly, and feta cheese adds the perfect salty touch to the salad.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cubed watermelon
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, diced
  • 1 cup kalamata olives, pitted
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, cubed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
  • flaky salt and black pepper

Directions

  1. In a salad bowl, arrange the watermelon, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and feta cheese.
  2. To make the basil vinaigrette. In a glass jar, whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and honey. Add the basil and chives. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Recipe and photo adapted from Half Baked Harvest

Grilled Romaine Salad

grilled romaine salad

A romaine salad is always a good stand by because it’s simple, easy to customize, and a crowd-pleaser.

This recipe is also vegan and features grilled lettuce to add a nice charred flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1/2  cup unsalted raw cashews
  • 6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • 4 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 slices sprouted whole grain bread
  • 3 hearts of romaine lettuce, halved lengthwise
  • 1 head radicchio, halved
  • 1 15-oz. can no-salt-added cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups halved cherry or grape tomatoes

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. For dressing, in a blender or food processor combine cashews, vinegar, almond milk, mustard, and 4 of the garlic cloves. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. For croutons, halve the remaining 2 garlic cloves. Rub cut sides of garlic on bread slices. Cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes and spread on a baking sheet. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until crispy.
  3. Place romaine and radicchio, cut sides down, on grill rack. Grill, covered, over medium-high 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly charred. Coarsely chop grilled greens, discarding cores.
  4. In a large bowl combine greens, beans, and tomatoes. Toss with dressing; top with croutons.

Recipe and photo adapted from Forks Over Knives

Prosciutto and Grilled Nectarine Salad

prosciutto and grilled nectarine salad

This summer side salad checks all of the boxes.

Sweet? Yup! Salty? Check. Fresh and delicious? Definitely.

Ingredients

  • 6 nectarines, halved and pitted
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped

Directions

  1. Heat the grill to high. Brush the cut sides of the pitted nectarines with olive oil.
  2. When the grill grate is hot, use tongs and paper towels to rub vegetable oil on the grate.
  3. Place the nectarines, cut side down, on the grill. Cook until marked, about 2 minutes, then turn. Cook for 1 minute longer, just to soften. Remove to a plate to cool.
  4. In a cup, whisk the remaining olive oil, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Reserve.
  5. In a large salad bowl, place the arugula and basil and about half of the dressing and toss to mix. Top with prosciutto and grilled nectarines. Drizzle the remaining dressing over it all and serve immediately.

Recipe and photo adapted from Welcome to the Table

Cantaloupes Salad With Mint, Lime and Pepitas

cantaloupe salad recipe

While cantaloupe is a delicious treat just on its own, transforming it into a summer side salad makes it that much more special.

Fresh mint and lime add an herby, zesty element while pepitas provide a nice crunch to contrast with soft melon.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely sliced
  • a bowl of cold salted water ( 1 teaspoon salt per cup of water)
  • 1 medium cantaloupe (3-3.25lb) rind and seeds removed.
  • 1/2 a jalapeno chili, very finely diced ( 1–2 tablespoons)
  • zest from 1 small lime

For the Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon honey (or vegan alternative like agave)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander, or crushed, toasted wholes seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin, or crushed, toasted wholes seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2–1 teaspoon aleppo chili flakes ( optional)

For Garnish

  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/4 –½ cup raw or roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta (optional- ok to leave vegan)
  • light dusting of Aleppo Chili flakes

Directions

  1. Place sliced onions in a bowl of generously salted, cold water. Set aside.
  2. Cut cantaloupe in half, spoon out seeds, cut into large wedges, and remove rind with a paring knife. Slice each wedge into 1/2 inch thin slices.
  3. Then cut slices into 1-inch, bite-sized, triangular pieces and place in a big wide flat serving dish (or bowl). Add jalapeno, drain the onions and scatter over top, and add the lime zest.
  4. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Toss with the cantaloupe. Taste for acid and salt and honey. Every melon is different with various degrees of sweetness. If too sweet, add another squeeze of lime, if not sweet enough, perhaps more honey. Adjust to your taste.
  5. Scatter the fresh herbs over top, add the pumpkin seeds and optional feta. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. This salad likes to be cold! Can be made several hours ahead.

Recipe and photo adapted from Feasting at Home

Mojito Watermelon Salad

mojito watermelon salad

Here’s another watermelon salad that would be perfect served alongside flank steak or cod.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups seeded watermelon, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 large red heirloom tomato, cored and chopped
  • 1 large yellow heirloom tomato, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons tequila (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
  • Pinch each of salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Place the watermelon and tomato pieces on a paper towel to absorb excess moisture.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the lime juice, tequila, agave nectar, vinegar, mint, salt, pepper and olive oil. Add the watermelon and tomatoes, toss well to coat and serve immediately.

Recipe and photo adapted from Welcome to the Table

Tortellini Salad with Homemade Pesto

tortellini pasta salad

You can serve tortellini salad as the main course, but it’s also an easy to scoop and serve side dish.

This is a pretty traditional pesto recipe, but you could add in some mint for an extra refreshing element.

Ingredients

  • 9 oz vegan tortellini, dried & uncooked
  • 5 oz cherry tomatoes
  • 0.7 oz dried tomatoes, soaked in water
  • 3.5 oz artichokes (in oil or natural)
  • A handful of baby spinach ̈3.5 oz vegan feta or marinated tofu
  • 0.5 oz pine nuts

For the Pesto

  • 3 cups fresh basil
  • Juice of a small lemon
  • 1/3 cup roasted pine nuts
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3-1/2 tsp salt

Directions

  1. For the pesto, combine all ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor/blender.
  2. Pulse until evenly chopped, then add in the olive oil and blend until well combined.
  3. Cook tortellini according to package instructions.
  4. Cut tomatoes, dried and fresh ones, artichokes and feta/tofu into smaller pieces.
  5. Add spinach and sauté if you wish (but you don’t have to).
  6. Mix tortellini, pesto, veggies and tofu in a bowl and sprinkle with roasted pine nuts.

Recipe and photo adapted from Thrive Magazine

Turmeric Fruit Salad With Toasted Coconut

turmeric fruit salad

Not only does turmeric provide this salad with nutritional benefits, but it adds a bright pop of color to the dish as well!

This is a fruit salad that’s super easy to customize with whatever fruit is in season.

Ingredients

  • 2–3 cups fresh peeled, pineapple chunks
  • 2 cups melon chunks ( watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew)
  • 1 mango or papaya- peeled, cut into chunks
  • 2 kiwi -peeled, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh berries
  • 1 oranges (peeled, sliced)
  • Toasted flaked coconut (for garnish)

Dressing

  • 1 orange- juice and zest
  • 1 lime- juice and zest
  • 1–2 teaspoons fresh grated turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds

Directions

  1. Place all fruit in a bowl (leave the berries out until the end, if very tender ).
  2. Zest the lime and orange and add zest to the bowl.
  3. Squeeze the orange and ½ of the lime over the fruit.
  4. Peel the turmeric and finely grate over the salad.
  5. Sprinkle the poppy seeds.
  6. Gently mix. Add the berries, folding them in.
  7. Taste, add more turmeric to taste.
  8. Garnish with toasted coconut flakes.

Recipe and photo adapted from Feasting at Home

Balsamic Peach Salad

balsamic peach salad

Here’s an easy salad that you can toss together real quick for a weeknight dinner.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces mixed salad greens
  • 4 medium peaches
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, small balls
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, torn
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Directions

  1. Wash and dry the greens, and place in a large serving bowl. Slice the unpeeled peaches a half-inch thick and place on top of the greens.
  2. Scatter the mozzarella over the top.
  3. In a small bowl or jar, combine the balsamic vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt and pepper and mix well. Add the olive oil and whisk or shake to mix.
  4. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to mix. Serve immediately.

Recipe and photo adapted from Welcome to the Table

Moroccan Quinoa Salad

Moroccan quinoa salad

Quinoa is a great addition to salads because it provides the dish with a wonderful texture that you just can’t get from greens.

This salad also holds really well, making it a side salad that’s perfect for the beach, a picnic, or a summer BBQ.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa (3 cups cooked)
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 3 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the Dressing

  • 1/2  cup Just Mayo
  • 1 tsp curry
  • 4 tsp apricot preserves
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Directions

  1. Rinse quinoa in water and strain.
  2. Bring quinoa and 2 cups of water to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat, place lid on and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed. Set aside until cool.
  4. Once cool, toss all ingredients together with desired amount of dressing.
  5. Top with fresh cracked pepper to taste.

Recipe and photo adapted from Thrive Magazine

Summer Melon Salad with Mint and Prosciutto

summer melon salad

Melon, mint, prosciutto, and feta cheese come together wonderfully in this summer side salad.

Strawberries and blueberries would also be a tasty addition.

Ingredients

  • 1 small seedless watermelon, between 3-4 pounds
  • 1 pound cantaloupe (about 1/2 medium-sized melon)
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, minced
  • 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled or cut in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 6-8 ounces prosciutto or ham, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Cut each of the melons in half. Scoop the seeds out of the cantaloupe. Using a sharp knife, trim the rind off the melons and cut the flesh into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Gently mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Serve on crisp lettuce leaves and garnish with the prosciutto.

Recipe and photo adapted from Welcome to the Table

Herby Potato Salad

herby potato salad

Here’s a tasty potato salad recipe that’s a far cry from the stuff you’re used to at BBQs.

It doesn’t have mayo, it’s healthier, and it has an herby flavor that’s pretty incredible.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds mixed baby new potatoes, and or fingerling potatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, then drained
  • 1 tablespoon grainy dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 chives, chopped
  • flakey sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • juice of 1 lemon

Directions

  1. Place the potatoes, garlic and a tablespoon of salt in a large pot and fill with water. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce the to heat to medium, simmer 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are just fork tender. Drain.
  2. Place the potatoes back in the hot pot. Remove the garlic cloves. Cover the pot and let the potatoes steam for another 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the cooked garlic, drained cashews, mustard, and olive oil in a food processor. Pulse until smooth and creamy, adding water if needed to thin slightly.
  4. Cut the potatoes in half and add to a large serving bowl. Add the cashew sauce, basil, dill, chives, lemon juice, and a pinch each of salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Toss well to combine.
  5. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your liking. Serve warm or cover and place in the fridge. Can be served at room temp or cold.

Recipe and photo adapted from Half Baked Harvest

Just-Keeps-Getting-Better Lentil Salad

basically lentil salad

This is a lentil salad that was made to be stored for a few days.

The recipe was made with food prepping in mind, so if you don’t eat it all in one sitting, it will make for an awesome lunch the next day.

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch Tuscan kale (about 10 oz.)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 3 scallions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups black beluga or French green lentils
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 5 oz. feta
  • 1 cup Castelvetrano olives

Directions

  1. Strip leaves off stems from 1 large bunch Tuscan kale; discard stems or save for later! Stack leaves, then roll into fat cigars.
  2. Slice crosswise into 1/4″ strips to long, thin ribbons. Unfurl ribbons and run your knife through them just once or twice more to shorten any very long strips.
  3. Transfer to a large bowl, season with salt, and massage until kale is silkier, softer, and darker in color, 1–2 minutes.
  4. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. While you’re waiting, prep the spiced oil. Coarsely chop 1/2 cup raw almonds; set aside. Trim 3 scallions and separate white and green parts (save the green parts for later in the recipe); thinly slice white parts and transfer to a small skillet.
  5. Smash and peel 4 garlic cloves. Add those to same skillet, too. Using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, remove three 3″ strips of lemon peel (avoiding white pith); reserve rest of the lemon for your salad dressing. Add peels to skillet.
  6. Pour 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil into skillet and stir so that all of the elements are coated in oil.
  7. Add 1 1/2 cups black beluga or French green lentils to now-boiling water, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are tender but still al dente, 20–25 minutes (they’ll turn mushy if overcooked).
  8. While lentils cook, heat skillet with scallion mixture over medium.
  9. Cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic starts to brown and lemon peel starts to curl, about 3 minutes.
  10. Add almonds and cook, stirring frequently, until almonds are browned, about 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 Tbsp. cumin seeds and 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes—the residual heat from the oil will bloom those spices and bring out their flavors.
  11. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl, shaking to help oil drain; reserve oil (that’s the base of your salad dressing). Spread almond mixture (don’t forget those cumin seeds!) on a paper towel-lined plate or baking sheet.
  12. Season with salt and let cool (the nuts will get crunchier as they sit).
  13. Crumble 5 oz. feta into bowl with kale. Smash 1 cup Castelvetrano olives with the back of your knife; remove pits. Tear olives into large pieces and add to bowl.
  14. Thinly slice reserved scallion greens and add most to bowl (save some for serving). Add the juice of a reserved lemon and 1/2  tsp. salt.
  15. Drain lentils well, shaking to get rid of excess moisture, and add to bowl with kale; season with salt. Add infused oil and half of nuts and toss to combine.
  16. Divide salad among bowls. Garnish with remaining nuts and scallion greens.

Recipe and photo adapted from Bon Appetit

Summer Farro Salad

farro salad

Farro is a super nutritious grain that offers you Vitamin B3, protein, fiber, and zinc. It adds a fantastic texture to salads and goes well with a variety of different flavors.

That said, if you’re not a fan of farro you could sub in quinoa, cooled lentils, or pasta.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 small carrot, halved
  • 1 celery rib, halved
  • 12 ounces farro (1 3/4 cups)
  • 5 cups water Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small seedless cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the yellow onion, carrot and celery, cover and cook over moderately low heat until barely softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the farro and stir to coat with oil. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the farro is barely tender, about 10 minutes; season with salt.
  3. Cover and simmer until the farro is al dente, about 10 minutes longer. Drain the farro and discard the onion, carrot and celery. Let cool completely.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 1/3 cup of olive oil with the vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Fold in the farro, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes and basil, season with salt and pepper and serve.

Recipe and photo adapted from Food & Wine

Cumin-Scented Summer Squash Salad

summer squash salad

Celebrate the flavors of the season with this salad that features summer squash.

Cumin and lemon add a zesty flavor component to this salad, making it a good complement to tacos.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound zucchini or other summer squash, thinly sliced or cut in 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or puréed
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Directions

  1. Steam the squash for three to five minutes until just tender. Remove from the heat.
  2. Mix together the lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper and olive oil. Toss with the squash. You can serve this warm, in which case add the cilantro and serve. Alternately, refrigerate until shortly before serving.
  3. Toss with the cilantro and serve.

Recipe and photo adapted from NY Times Cooking

Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Pasta Salad

corn tomato avocado salad

Simple and flavorful, this pasta salad incorporates some of the best fresh produce of the season including tomatoes, corn, avocado, and basil.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound short cut pasta
  • 1 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup cubed sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan, manchego, or pecorino cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives
  • 1 pinch crushed red peppers flakes
  • 1 pinch (each) kosher salt and pepper
  • 4 ears grilled or steamed corn, kernels removed from the cobb
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 avocado, diced

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, add the basil, olive oil, cheddar, parmesan, lemon juice, chives, and a pinch each of crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to a large serving bowl.
  3. Add the hot pasta and toss vigorously to combine.
  4. Add the corn, and tomatoes, tossing to combine. Top the pasta with avocado. Season with freshly cracked pepper and salt.

Recipe and photo adapted from Half Baked Harvest

Broccoli Pasta Salad with Red Pepper Pesto

red pepper pesto pasta

Here’s a totally vegan pasta salad that’s full of flavor.

Nutritional yeast and bell peppers come together to make a pesto that’s surprisingly creamy.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces brown rice rotini pasta (4 cups dry)
  • 4 cups broccoli, cut into 1-inch florets (12 ounces)
  • 1 cup quartered artichoke hearts
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes (6 ounces)
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped (1 tablespoon)
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 6 to 8 fresh basil leaves, torn

For the Red Pepper Pesto

  • 3 large roasted bell peppers from the jar, rinsed and drained (1 1/2 packed cups)
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, rinse cooked pasta under cold water, and then transfer to a large bowl.
  2. In a covered pot fitted with a steamer basket over 1 to 2 inches of water, steam broccoli over medium-high heat until tender when pierced with a fork, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add to pasta.
  3. To make the Red Pepper Pesto, combine the bell peppers, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  4. Add the artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and shallots to the pasta mixture. Top with sauce, and mix gently to coat pasta and vegetables.
  5. Add salt and basil, mix well, and taste to adjust seasoning.

Recipe and photo adapted from Forks Over Knives

Nectarine Salad With Burrata and Basil

While this side salad might not be best for a pack and go picnic, it’s the perfect addition to any outdoor dinner at home.

Serve it alongside some grilled chicken and veggies.

Ingredients

  • 2 large ripe nectarines ( or sub peaches)
  • 2 medium, ripe heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 roasted beet- ( or steamed) optional but adds flavor and color.
  • 1/8 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 balls buratta cheese, cut in half
  • handful small basil leaves ( or try thai basil)
  • pinch salt
  • cracked pepper to taste

For the White Balsamic Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar (or sub 2 1/2 tablespoons red balsamic, or champagne vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • pinch salt, pepper

Directions

  1. Gently cut the Buratta Cheese in half and place open side down in the center of 4 plates.
  2. Cut nectarines into 1/2 inch wedges and divide among four plates in a crescent moon shape.
  3. Cut tomatoes into ½ in wedges and arrange between the nectarines, keeping the crescent shape.
  4. Cut the roasted beet into a small dice and scatter over the crescent.
  5. Scatter fresh torn basil leaves ( or cut into ribbons) over the crescent.
  6. Season the plates with sea salt and pepper.
  7. In a small pot or sauce pan, whisk the dressing ingredients together, just gently warming
  8. Spoon it over the salads.

Recipe and photo adapted from Feasting at Home

Lemon Potato Salad With Mint

lemon mint potato salad

Here’s another potato salad recipe that’s a departure from the norm.

Lemon and mint add a bright and unique flavor profile that will totally transform your perception of what potato salad should be.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds small waxy white or yellow potatoes, roughly about the same size
  • juice of 1 lemon, more for serving
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and light green parts, more for serving
  • 1/4 cup torn mint leaves, more for serving
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turkish pepper, more for serving

Directions

  1. Place whole unpeeled potatoes in a large pot with enough salted water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until potatoes are just tender, 15 to 25 minutes depending upon size. Drain and cut potatoes into 1 1/2-inch chunks as soon as you can handle them.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together lemon juice, salt and olive oil.
  3. Transfer hot potatoes to a large bowl and toss with dressing, scallions, mint and Turkish pepper. Let cool to room temperature, or refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Just before serving, top with additional lemon juice, scallions, mint and Turkish pepper.

Recipe and photo adapted from NY Times Cooking

Summer Succotash Salad

summer succotash

Succotash is a southern favorite that’s easy to toss together and serve alongside grilled chicken, steak, or a burger.

If you wanted to make this recipe a little more traditional, consider adding okra.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shelled fresh butter beans (1 1/2 pounds unshelled), frozen (thawed) butter beans or baby lima beans
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 cups corn kernels, fresh (from about 4 large ears; see Tip) or frozen (thawed)
  • 1 Vidalia or other sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 stalk celery, very finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup very thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Place beans in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until tender, about 30 minutes for fresh beans, about 25 minutes for frozen. Drain well. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add corn, onion, squash and zucchini and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Add the cooked vegetables to the bowl of beans. Transfer to the refrigerator to cool for at least 1 hour.
  3. When the beans and vegetables are cool, stir in tomatoes, celery and basil.
  4. Whisk vinegar and mustard in a bowl. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly, until the dressing is creamy and well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the succotash and toss to coat.

Recipe and photo adapted from EatingWell

By: Leigha

LeighaLeigha is the Marketing Assistant at the Skagit Valley Food Co-op.