Build salads with new flavors, extra crunch and protein-packed ingredients all summer long.
Here is our guide to making satisfying summer salads for lunch, dinner or a crowd:
Start with a bowl full of fresh, crisp, leafy greens. From crunchy romaine and mesclun mix to baby arugula and kale, the options for greens in the produce department are many. Change up your usual salad with local, hydroponic greens from FreshBox Farms in Millis or organic microgreens from 2 Friends Farm in Attleboro. Instead of — or in addition to — greens, use grains for your salad base. Consider farro, quinoa or barley as choices.
Veggies in many colors
A salad is only as great as the variety of flavors and textures of the vegetables you include! Along with usual standbys such as cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, add sugar snap peas, shaved Brussels sprouts, wild mushrooms or cauliflower. Toss in fresh herbs for a hint of earthy flavor, such as thyme, basil or tarragon, or blend a mix of several.
Add texture and nutty crunch with nuts and seeds. The menu of nut options is nearly endless: walnuts, pecans, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts and more. Toast lightly in a pan for deeper flavor. For seeds, consider pepitas, sunflower or sesame. For sweet, juice and crunch all in one, top your salad with pomegranate seeds.
Something smooth and creamy
Balance out the crunch with something smooth and creamy. For veggies, roasted beets, squash or potatoes fit the bill. Mix in slices or chunks of avocado, and mash slightly to coat the whole bowl with a creamy feel.
You can’t go wrong with cheese in your summer salad, from salty feta to our Cheese Shop’s own homemade mozzarella to fresh, shaved Parmesan.
Complete with proteins
Warm protein quickly turns a big salad into a complete meal. Select from grilled chicken, marinated steak tips, sautéed shrimp, pan-seared salmon and more.
Or keep it cool and vegetarian with beans, such as black beans, cannellini beans or chickpeas, or edamame for a protein boost.
A hint of sweetness
A little sweet addition goes a long way in a big, hearty salad. Berries, peaches, apples and pears all add natural fruit flavor to salads. Caramelizing onions bring out their sweetness and matches well with all sorts of greens and cheeses. Try dried cranberries, blueberries or figs for a quick and easy add-on.
Dressing it up
Making your own dressing is easier than you might think. For homemade red wine vinaigrette, combine ¼ cup red wine vinegar, ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and a little sugar, plus salt and pepper to taste.
And if you don’t have time to make your own, we have plenty of salad dressing options in the grocery department, from simple vinaigrettes to chef-inspired dressings from Cindy’s Kitchen of Brockton.