Good Eats: Easy Summer Salads


Eating fresh veggies and fruits is a must when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet. During the hot summer, I like to have salads for lunch and dinner. I pile my salads high with vegetables and fruit, which keeps me full and satisfied. The best salads are simple, usually consisting of only a few main ingredients accompanied by a light homemade dressing. You can imagine how happy I was when I stumbled upon Mark Bittman’s 101 Simple Salads for the Season article for The New York Times… 101 simple salads? Yes, please. I tried a few of them out and enjoyed them all (to the very last bite)!

One of my favorites from 101 Simple Salads for the Season is #7. This salad has grated carrots, blueberries, and toasted sunflower seeds in. It’s all mixed together with some olive oil, lemon juice and black pepper and the resulting salad is absolutely delicious. In Bittman’s article, he describes it as crunchy yet soft, sweet and a little bit sour.

Another salad I fell in love with from the 101 list is #49. This salad combines raspberries, herb greens, walnuts and blue cheese with balsamic vinaigrette. After you’ve put together this decadent mix, Bittman suggests: “Sell for $14 a serving.” I couldn’t agree more.

My favorite salad is #2. It’s described as “astonishing,” which it is. What’s in this salad? It’s probably the most unlikely mix of ingredients I’ve ever heard of. It’s a mix of tomatoes (I prefer heirloom), peaches, red onion, red-pepper flakes and cilantro. Then it’s drizzled with some lemon juice and olive oil. Let’s just say this salad will leave you speachless (sorry spelling fanatics, I had to).

After reading through all 101 of the salads I’ve been inspired to be more adventurous with my salad preparation by trying out new combinations. If I come up with any winners, I’ll be sure to let you know. In the mean time, give these a try.

For your ingredients, I suggest picking up them up from a local farmers market. Fresh produce is always better, especially if you buy locally. When you buy your produce at a farmers market, the flavor is fuller and you can usually score organics for less.

What’s your favorite (simple) summer salad? Post your recipes to your profile page and link the recipe in the comments below! I’ll feature my favorite salad idea in a Member Spotlight post. And I’ll add my other picks to the Dine Gallery.

Not sure how to upload and submit a recipe? Click here to learn how.

XO Lauren

Photo: nytimes, Francesco Tonelli for The New York Times


Categories: Good Eats
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  • ashley davis

    I love eating this salad, it by far my favorite salad creation I’ve tried. But I will definitely be try some of these new ones.

  • erin

    my favorite salad is Strawberry Poppyseed Salad: I found it in a magazine, not online. However, I went online to copy & paste and edit it to the way magazine suggested. I found this like 6 years ago.

    130g salad greens1 cup sliced strawberries1/2 cup sliced candied pecanscrumbs of goat cheeseStrawberry Poppy Seed Dressing

  • Amanda Lehrke

    My favorite salad is a cranberry apple salad with ballsamic vinaigrette dressing!

  • Lindsey Hager

    My favorite salad to make is a gorgonzola pear salad. I like to use kale and spinach for my greens, chopped tomatoes, onions, red and/or green peppers, a small small handful of sliced almonds, chopped (or sliced) half of a pear, and sprinkle gorgonzola cheese on top. I don’t even need dressing its so good!!!

  • Summer Lucari

    I love almost any salad with fruit incorporated in it! yum!

  • Rebecca Kelsey Sampson

    They all sound delicious! Especially #7, I’ll make sure to come back later to add my favorite salad.

  • Kailee Myers

    My favorite salad is a spring mix of lettuce, hazelnuts, craisens, feta and a raspberry vinaigrette. Delicious!

  • Elena Last name

    My favorite salad…. Its one I make (I dunno If it has a name, but anyway…) I tear lettuce in medium pieces, I clean it and then leave it in the freezer for about 3 minutes so It gets a little bit crunchy, I cut a cucumber (in big pieces cuz I hate searching for them latter, but its preferent if they are small) , so do carrots, then I add some pecan nuts in pieces, I cut cheese in little squares (Mozarella or Monterrey) and I put Italian balsam and a little bit of ranch, I put parmesan on top of it, come crunchy breads and …Im in heaven 😉 you should try it… In fact I put a picture once.. Here it is! I add some tomatoe in that one over there cuz I was having leg crambs and tomatoe is good to prevent them!

    😉 enjoy..

  • Anjel Abejuela

    You favorite Salad I’ve had before, I also enjoy the same thing, but instead of peaches I use chunks of watermelon, and instead of cilantro I use fresh mint leaves. It is very refreshing!

  • mara sofia

    I love this. I love spring and summer just because of this. I can do salads all the time, have a little break on my day and do a meal just mixing fruits, drinking natural juices a lot of water, feeling the ice on my teeths. It’s wonderful, makes me feel so soft, so fresh.

    Loved the article you’ve picked Lauren. 101 Simple Salads are great!

    I’ll try some of them :) And then i’ll put some photos in here just for sharing!


  • Kellie Norton

    I absolutely LOVE making my own salads! One of my favorite salads to make is one that I found in Seventeen Magazine and fell in love with! It’s called PIZZA salad… whoever thought you could have a “”pizza”” in a salad? I hope you try this one out lauren :)

  • iamchrysa

    Just made my favorite!

    Just add to a bowl: cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce,parmesan and radicchio…Finish it off with some croutons and a vinaigrette of mustard, olive oil, honey and a bit of vinegar.

    Mix it all together and you’re done!

  • Style07

    I love salad, this is one of my favorite meal. I like to put chicken in it, or eggs as proteins. Except that, tomatoes, grapes and things like that are really good to put in.

  • Alicia

    Here is my favorite summer salad! It is so colorful and refreshing :) It has berries and baby clementines, in a poppyseed dressing!

  • Katja Anni

    Wow, thanks for sharing this, Lauren! Love the vegan part :)

  • Tara Hughes

    I can’t wait to try these salads!!

    My favorite summer salad is simple! Just mix the following:

    Praline Pecans -the best part!! (Buy a bag so it’s easier to crunch them up to make smaller pieces)
    Parmesan Cheese
    Small chopped up strawberries
    & Tangering and Lime dressing

    I like to add a plain white chicken breast if I’m eating this for diner!

    Enjoy :-)

  • Janine Jones

    i love trying new salads and all of these sound amazing

  • Laura lou

    I love salads, I can’t get enough of them. A fun salad that I like to make is one with cucumber, tomato, green pepper, and onion. Sprinkle a bit of basil and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Works great for a meal or side, especially if you don’t have anymore lettuce but really want a salad!

  • LivingLou
  • Usha Ohwoisi

    So many to try…loving reading through these, thanks!

  • Karina Bullock

    My friends grandma told me this recipe and i am deffinately too scared to try it. it sounds very funny though haha,

    she says its delicious but i cant quite see it if you have a strong stomach maybe one of you could try it good luck!!

  • Cassie Hanson

    i am always looking for new summer salad ideas to serve – thanks for the wonderful recipes!

  • bballin129

    Thanks for posting. I could use a few more salad ideas to spice up my life!

  • Flavia Roque

    OMG, only you Lauren can make me want to eat a big salad in the middle of the winter… I just can’t belive it’s winter in Brazil because I can’t wait to make all of these salads… oh I SO want the summer to come!

  • vanessa

    My absolute favorite summer salad is tabouli. I’ve posted a blog on it just for Lauren & her readers! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


  • Hayley Jones

    So exciting I love new salad ideas! !

  • V

    My fave summer salad is the following.

    Two kinds of lettuce (the ones that you prefer) slices of fresh pear, slices of cold chicken (cut one little piece) cooked with a sauce of mustard and honey and nigella sativa and sesame seeds. Add oil, salt and balsamic vinaigrette….

  • V

    oh! I forgot the simplest and yummiest one…

    Cherry tomatoes, cheese cubes (the one you like best but not so strong) and basil. Add reduced balsamic vinegar….

  • Elyssa Jones

    All time fave has to be caprese salad!!!! :)

  • Joanna Concepcion

    yum! :)

  • mary1024

    My gosh these salads sound delicious especially in this Summer weather!

  • Lauren Taylor

    I like any salad with bleu cheese, spinach, and balsamic vinaigrette!

  • Mithra

    My Fresh Fruit Salad Recipe

    Check it out!


  • Jade Wright

    INCREDIBLE salad:

    4 cups of mixed lettuce2 cups quartered strawberries1/3 cup vertically sliced red onion12 ounces skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast, sliced2 tablespoons unsalted cashews, halved1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta
    A Tip: Cook Chicken strips with lemons squeezed over them, salted and black pepper corns.

  • saffy bt

    i love the green leaves vegies,chop with a mango @ pine apple,@ lots of yellow 2 red pepper(sweet),toss with grilled chicken(not too much),then seasoned with,tsp of mayo,Evoo,@ vinegar with tsp of sugar. hhmmmm,hhmmm,, im hugnry right now.

    try it @ ull gonna love it as i do. o wait, iwill do it now,see next time lauren…””;)


  • Kate Shaw

    A mix a dark green lettuces (I prefer the ones I’ve grown) & spinach, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, pink lady apples, dried cranberries, mango, toasted pecans, red onions and yellow peppers. Use more or less of each depending on your preference. Dressing: 2 parts honey, 1 part red wine vinegar, dash of fresh mint & some freshly cracked pepper. I make a giant bowl and we eat for days. I’ll add grilled chicken or salmon at dinner time; my husband like tuna on his; daughter like turkey cold cuts on hers. MAJOR YUM! A must have at all dinner parties/cook-outs or my guests are dissappointed.

  • Lyndsey Kneebone

    That peach salad sounds to die for! Farmer’s market here I come!

  • raul ortiz

    these salads r du bomb….thanx lauren!!!!

  • vanessa
  • jenna

    made this one yesturday, SO good!

    – spinach

    – pinapple

    – cucumber

    – tomato

    – black bean

    – toasted peanuts

    – italian vinagrette

  • Vanise Frazier

    I love salad! Thanks for posting a variety of them 😉

  • Becky Henderson

    my favourite salad is a spinach salad with raspberries, cucumbers, goat cheese and either sunflower seeds or walnuts with a raspberry vinagrette…yum!

  • SoJung Kim

    My favorite salad is grilled chicken salad with terragon and gorgozola! AMAZINGLY delicious 😉 give it a try.

  • Sarah Beth

    I totally agree with having a few simple ingredients! Thanks for the new ideas. Try this.

    In a bowl combine:

    Baby spinach

    grapes, cut in half

    grape tomatoes, cut in half

    thinly sliced shallot or red onion

    basil, julienned

    gorgonzola crumbles

    Then right on top add fresh cracked pepper and salt, drizzle with high quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar and toss. YUM!

  • Casey Lynn

    yum, I will definitely have to try some of these!!!


    Girl in the Poodle Shoes

    ^Follow the link to my personal blog!

  • tatjana love

    Thank You soooo much, Miss Lauren! i have a very restrictive diet (no red meat, no dairy, no gluten) and sometimes because of it meals can become somewhat boring. But i will be able to enjoy many of these salads. This is delightful!

  • vanessa

    A plant-based diet can help you lose weight, fight heart disease & even cancer! Make the switch to plant-based foods, no dairy products, and you will see a dramtic change in your health!

  • FIDM Fashion Club

    Salads are so great and can be so yummy if you make them out to be and it’s a great way to stay in shape and healthy for the summer so we can all look good in our summer outfits

  • Yesel Velazquez

    i LOVE this post! I’ve recently decided to change my eating habits and increase my workouts! Now I can’t say salads get boring, there is nearly one per day that I can try.

  • Megan Baird

    really excited to try these! i could have salads for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! my favorite. :) i love slivered almonds and strawberries added to anything! it gives it a sweet crunch!

  • V

    I have another great salad!

    Lettuce, argugula, peppers, orange and tuna fish =)


    I love this blog. I am a tall, thin woman, just turned 50 in April and never had to go on a diet or weight loss program, but things happen in your 40’s, lol. I lost 45 pounds on Jenny Craig between 8/08 to 4/09, then a year later gained 20 pounds back, in the Spring of 2010, lost what I re-gained and on my own, kept it off all last summer and decided to try to lose 5 more to the 50 pound mark and actually lost 6 pounds as of 11/10. Currently, I am at 52 1/2 pounds gone, working my way to the 55 pound mark. I never thought I could wear Lauren’s clothes (I thought at my age I was too old), but I am a HUGE fan of her slim boot jeans from her line at Kohl’s, my fave store. I go straight to the LC Collection when I go in the store; I have the boot jeans in blue and white denim and just yesterday, 7/16, bought them in black. Keep making more Lauren, you have a fan and buyer from me. Also, I look good and feel good and I drink a lot of water during the day, which helps to keep the weight down. :-)

  • Kimberly Reed

    Chilled Watermelon Slices with Lime Juice, Honey and Mint


    1 watermelon, chilled and sliced1/2 cup fresh lime juiceZest from one lime1/4 cup honey1/2 cup chopped mint

    Get Cookin’

    1. Place the watermelon slices on a decorative platter. 2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, zest and honey. 3. Drizzle over the slices of watermelon. Sprinkle the mint over the slices of dressed watermelon and serve immediately.
    Serves 10-12

  • Kimberly Reed

    Pear Salad

    Serves 12


    8-9 radishes, halved sliced thin
    6 Bosc pears, sliced thin
    2 whole jicama, peeled and grated (or cut into thin matchsticks)
    2 stalks celery, peeled and sliced thin
    Zest of 3 limes
    2 lemons, juiced

  • Tara Nicole

    Mixt greens, chopped apples, purple grapes, chevre goat cheese, walnuts, olive oil and rice vinegar. To. Die. For.

  • Alexandra Vavrdova

    I love salads!! I

  • Heather Brown

    Love all of these! So excited to try them all!

  • Kristin Baker

    Wow I’m really interested In eating more salads that aren’t boring esp since its for my boyfriend and I. Excited to try some of these!!! Thanks girls!

  • Martin M

    I love salads with correts. They are healty and you are not getting ungry that quick after eating!!

  • omgitzyazzi Yasmine

    I love mixed greens with roast pumpkin and sweet potato or avocado yum!

  • Cait Crawford

    I have a silly question…I went to the store to buy Olive Oil the other day…and realized there are a few different kinds-light, Extra Virgin, ect. What is the healthiest/best for these yummy salads? Thanks! :)

  • Heavenlee

    Extra Virgin olive oil has the lowest amount of cholesterol and is actually proven to help lower cholesterol!

  • Laura M George

    I’ve been eating a lot of: greens, kale, cucumber, bell peppers, strawberries recently. With a home made oil based dressing :-)



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