Simple Summer Salad
It's hot. It's humid.
The last thing we want to do in the middle of June is turn on a hot stove or oven to cook dinner at the end of a long day. Fortunately, summertime is the peak of Lancaster County's bounty. While there are countless (and fabulous) ways to prepare greens and veggies, sometimes we just don't feel like it. We would be remiss to pass over the simplest serving style on a sweltering summer day: a big green salad.
There are endless riffs and possibilities when it comes to this salad. We'll provide some additional suggestions below, but our best advice?
1). Don't overthink it or get stuck on the specifics of our salad. Use what is available, convenient, and seasonal to you in whatever quantities you desire.
2). Have a very big salad bowl.
This salad is simple. It's fuss free. It pleases picky eaters. It does not ask for the good vanilla or a very specific turnip. Make this salad yours and enjoy.
The (Big, Green) Simple Summer Salad
2-3 hearts of romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
1-2 cups spring mix or field greens
1-2 small carrots cut into thin coins
3 mixed baby bell peppers (or 1/2 one large red, yellow, or orange bell pepper), chopped
3 small radishes, very thinly sliced (we're currently obsessed with French breakfast radishes from Lemon Street Market).
1/2 pint cherry or sungold tomatoes, halved
1/3 c. green olives
1 small handful fresh dill*, very roughly chopped
1-2 green onions, light & dark greens thinly sliced
3-4 pieces hearty or grainy bread, torn
1 tbsp. ghee (we love the Heirloom Salt & Pepper Ghee from Simply Ghee)
Your favorite Christina Maser Co. Vinaigrette (we went with Strawberry Tarragon this time around)
1. Wash and dry greens. Prepare as directed above. Add to large salad bowl.
2. Wash and prepare veggies. Add to greens.
3. Add olives, dill, and green onions.
4. Make torn bread croutons. Melt ghee in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add torn bread pieces and toss to coat. Let your bread toast, keeping a close eye to make sure nothing burns.* If not using the Salt & Pepper Ghee, feel free to sprinkle on a pinch of sea salt and/or pepper. Allow to cool slightly.
5. Add croutons to salad. Toss everything.
6. Serve, dress*, and enjoy!
Notes, Variations, and Storage
- *We used dill from our herb bed, but any assortment of fresh herbs work. We've previously used thyme, basil, and/or fennel. If your carrots still have their greens, those would work beautifully, too
- *If you don't feel like turning on the stove, a toaster will do the trick here, too. If using a toaster, don't tear the bread ahead of time and add ghee after toasting but while still hot. Then break into pieces.
- *We prefer to let everyone dress their salad individually. Our family has a handful of folks who don't enjoy salad dressings at all! Dressing individually also helps keep the salad crips and fresh longer for leftover purposes.
- To store, we typically portion up leftover salad into lunch containers for the week. However, any tightly container with a tightly fitting lid will do.
- To extend the salad's freshness, place a dry paper towel in with the salad to soak up and excess moisture that accumulates. You can also pick out any soggy looking pieces of greens as the week goes on.
- Other ingredients we've loved in this salad: diced raw zucchini, chopped cucumber, sugar snap peas or any shelled spring pea, frisée, sliced strawberries, or blueberries.
- This salad is simply delicious on its own, but if you're craving something heartier grilled chicken or salmon would be delicious, too.
Simply put, this is our go-to weeknight meal in the spring and summer. Enjoy on its own or as a simple, fresh side to a larger meal.
Tried our Simple Summer Salad Recipe? Leave a comment below letting us know how it went or tag us in your photos on Instagram at @christina_maser_co.