Super Summer Salads You Absolutely Have to Try

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It’s hot and muggy and the last thing you want is to work up a sweat in the kitchen. What to do? Opt for easy to prepare summer salads. Make them light and refreshing, toss in colors and texture and enjoy the light fare without a whole lot of culinary fanfare. Cash in on summer produce—they are plentiful and come in all shades of vibrancy from pearly ears of corn to the green crunch of zucchinis. Just dice, shred or chop and add your favorite dressings. Or make your own dressings. Play it up or tone it down—let your whim dictate how you want it to turn out. After all, summer is made for lounging around and enjoying family, friends and good food.

Here are some simple summer salads you can easily whip up in no time:

Corn and Black Bean Medley

Having fresh corn in the summer is like eating chocolate in Belgium. Can’t get better than that. Summer corn promises juice, crunch, sweetness and lots of fiber and nutrients. Pair that with beans, a group of superfoods that are mighty in fiber power and high in folate and B vitamins, and you’ve have a serious bowl of health-preserving goodness. You can soak your beans and cook them the old-fashioned way but why bother, it’s summer after all—pop open a can and cut yourself some slack in this super easy to prepare salad. This salad goes well with any entrée. I like mine with lightly pan-fried curry tilapia.

Basic Ingredients for Corn and Black Bean Salad

Playing off the complementary colors of the color wheel--yellow with purple, red with green. Color your salad beautiful.
Playing off the complementary colors of the color wheel--yellow with purple, red with green. Color your salad beautiful. | Source

Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh ear of corn, remove kernels from corn and microwave for 1 min.
  • 1 can of black bean (or whatever bean you like), drained and rinsed
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 sprig of green onion, diced

Put them all in a large bowl and toss with your favorite dressing or try this:

Dressing:

  • 1 tsp pomegranate infused with red wine vinegar
  • 3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all the above ingredients and toss with vegetables. Serve chilled.

Colors and texture make this delightfully light salad a taste teaser.
Colors and texture make this delightfully light salad a taste teaser. | Source


Is it better to eat fruits and vegetables when they're in season? Read on...

Cucumber and Nectarine Ensemble

Summer offers lots of fresh fruits. Take advantage of that and toss some into the salad. Go to the farmer’s market for tree-ripened fruits—they’re just the best. Adding a little fruit to the salad gives it color appeal—a pop of color here and there to please the eyes and seduce t the appetite. On top of that..it gives the salad a little natural sweetness. When cool cucumber meets the soft fragrance of nectarine, the result is one kaleidoscope of gastronomical delight.

Cucumber and Nectarine Salad

Adding fruit gives salad a natural sweetness that's totally satisfying.
Adding fruit gives salad a natural sweetness that's totally satisfying. | Source

Ingredients

  • 1 firm nectarine, diced
  • 1 large cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1/ 2 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/ 2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese

Put all the above into a large bowl and toss with the suggested dressing below.

Dressing:

  • 1 tbs of red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A sprinkling of Italian seasonings


Don't le the blue glaze over the picture fool you (my mistake) .Let your palette be the judge.
Don't le the blue glaze over the picture fool you (my mistake) .Let your palette be the judge. | Source


Wakame-Cucumber Sealight

Summer is also a time for experimentation, especially with unusual ingredients or ingredients you’re not quite familiar with—like seaweed (or sea vegetables) for instance. Most people are familiar with nori, the kind of seaweed used in sushi. But there are lots of varieties out there, after, seaweed is a staple ingredient in many Japanese and Chinese cuisines. Take wakame, for instance. This seaweed can be added to soup, used in dishes or in salad. The seaweed in the miso soup is probably wakame. Then there is Kombu and hijiki and arame seaweed. It will take a whole hub just to differentiate them but it’s summer, remember? We’ll leave that reading to some other time and get on with our salad. For this salad, I use wakame in the dried form. I brought the package of wakame seaweed, conveniently paired with dried shitake mushroom and green onion. Usually, you’ve to soak wakame in water but I skip this step and allow the wakame trio to steep in the natural juices of cucumber--minus one step and one step closer to indulging in this Asian-inspired salad.


Wakame-Cucumber Sealight

Ginger, scallion and sesame oil help to tone down the grass-like taste of seaweed.
Ginger, scallion and sesame oil help to tone down the grass-like taste of seaweed. | Source
I bought this wakame combination from the Asian market--dried wakame, shitake mushroom and scallion.
I bought this wakame combination from the Asian market--dried wakame, shitake mushroom and scallion. | Source


Is seaweed good for detoxifying the body and encouraging hair growth? Read on..

Health benefits of eating seaweed. Read on...


Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber, seeded and cut in thin strips (julienne)
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienne
  • 1 stalk green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 thumb of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 small bowl of wakame seaweed
  • A handful of toasted sesame seeds

Put all above ingredients in a large bowl and toss with dressing below:

Dressing:

  • 2 tsp of brown sugar
  • 2 tsp of soya sauce
  • 2 tbs of sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tbs of rice vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Top with roasted sesame seeds and dig in.
Top with roasted sesame seeds and dig in. | Source

Even though these are summer salads, who is to say you can't make them all year round? Enjoy them anytime of the year, anytime you feel like something light and refreshing. Anytime, life gives you a vision of summer bliss....even in the dead of winter.

Copyright @ Angeline Oppenheimer

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Comments 18 comments

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Nice recipes, Anginwu, right when we need a summertime boost.


slmorgan profile image

slmorgan 5 years ago from San Francisco

These sound very appetizing...


Debra McVay profile image

Debra McVay 5 years ago from Troy, Alabama

These look fantastic. I especially want to try the black bean and corn salad. I love black beans, and corn, and when you put them together, you get a complete protein.


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 5 years ago from London, UK

Very lovely and healthy Recipe's. I enjoy salads only in the hot summer, so this is great for me. I don't think we have wakame seed in London though. I will improvise. :) Thanks for sharing.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

Thanks, Rtalloni, love your choice of words--summertime boost--that's what we need.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

Simorgan, appreciate your comment.

Debra McVay, you're right--complete protein and you can snack on it as well. Thanks for commenting.


carcro profile image

carcro 5 years ago from Winnipeg

Your salad recipes look yummy, my daughter has turned vegetarian a few months ago and needless to say our whole family has drifted that way. Can't wait to try some of your salad recipes. Thanks!


penlady profile image

penlady 5 years ago from Sacramento, CA

I love salads and will try these. Thanks for these recipes.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

Thanks, Lady E, glad you enjoy eating salads. You can always find wakame on the internet but then again, improvisation can be fun.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

Carco, thanks for commenting. These are delicious vegetarian dishes. You can add tofu for protein.

Penlady, thanks for dropping by.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

Goodness gracious, these look delicious! I love the recipes and I love your photos- I can't wait to make them! The black bean salad looks especially delicious :D


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

Angeline, do you know that you're kind of mean? You like to make me feel hungry but you never send me any food. Well, despite my unfulfilled hunger, I'll rate this up, beautiful and awesome anyway! hehehe =D


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

Thanks, Simone, the black bean salad is delicious as well.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

Hehe, Om, who's talking? You've tempted me on numerous occasions with your "page-out-of-magazine-looking" food. How about food swap? Always good to hear from you:)


katrinasui profile image

katrinasui 5 years ago

It Looks Yummy. anglnwu, I will definitely try this.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

Thanks, Katrina, good to see you.


skye 5 years ago

anginwu sister what a beautiful hub of love. I am encouraged, hungry and blessed. Your pix are beautiful and your writing superb. Where have I been? I missed ya. It is hard to get all over the hubs. I have bookmarked and linked out. up & awesome I am hungry and so grateful for these salad fixins. Hugs Galore girl. Love ya.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

Miss you too, Skype. Thanks for dropping by with your lovely words. They made my day and lots of hugs and yes...happy fixing of these salads.

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