Summer salads

Summer Salads Prep

Publish Date May 29, 2024

There are many types of salads, so varied that you have many options for salads to go with every meal. Most salads are cool, but there are a few warm salads, like German Potato Salad, just to buck the trend. The only thing that many salads share is a dressing, often one with an acid like vinegar or lemon. Of course, sweet gelatin salads are the exception to the rule.

Eight Types of Salads for Summer

Green Salads

When we think of a salad, chances are, we think of a green salad, with some kind of lettuce or other leafy vegetable in the mix. A green salad can be as simple as a wedge of iceberg with a drizzle of Thousand Island, or as elaborate as you want to be, piling on veggies, fruit, meats, cheese, nuts, you name it. A Caesar salad is a classic green salad, or a Greek salad with a base of spinach. Try a Lemon Arugala Salad to enjoy the nutty flavor of arugala. If you love Japanese flavors, try a Sushi Spinach Salad, with all the sushi fillings in a bowl. For a light meal, use vine-ripened tomatoes for a Summer Shrimp Salad. The Massaged Kale Salad has appeared on menus more recently, giving us a green salad that can actually be made a day ahead of time.

Wilted Salads are a subgroup of the green salad. In a wilted salad, a hot topping is poured over a green salad and tossed. The heat of the hot dressing causes the greens to wilt slightly, softening them and warming the salad.

Potato and Vegetable Salads

Everybody loves a potato salad, and there are endless variations, from the mayonnaise dressed to those with a vinaigrette or other dressing. Try a Smoked Potato Salad for a barbecue-friendly flavor. Sweet potatoes and other root vegetables can be cooked and dressed the same way. Uncooked vegetable salads, like a Caprese made of tomatoes, basil and mozzarella, or a Panzanella, using stale bread to sop up tomato and vinaigrette, make the most of summer tomatoes. Cucumbers make a refreshing salad, in a rice vinegar dressing, or with sour cream and dill.

Pasta or Grain Salads

Always a big hit at a picnic, the pasta or grain salad delivers a side starch, and can be a filling meal, too. Pasta Salads make the most of smaller pasta shapes, like shells, macaroni, or bowties. Always remember that pasta salads should be served within a day of preparation, because pasta will soak up the dressing and get soggy. Popular pasta salads like Pesto Pasta Salad or Garden Pasta Salad celebrate the flavors of summer. If you want to make your salad ahead of time, consider a grain salad, with sturdy farro, wheat berries, or brown rice.

Bean Salads

The Three Bean Salad is a classic, familiar to anyone who goes to a picnic. But don’t stop there, beans of all kinds make hearty salads, from a Mediterranean White Bean Salad to a more Tropical Black Bean and Mango Salad. Save time by using frozen, crunchy green soybeans in this Edamame Salad.

Fruit Salads

From a Waldorf, full of crisp apples and walnuts, to a bowl of the fresh fruit you have on hand, fruit salad is a light and colorful addition to any menu. Summer is the time to make a Stone Fruit Salad, or even Fruit Salad on a Stick for a party.

Bound Meat and Fish Salads

If “bound” sounds unfamiliar, it’s just a term for the kind of salads you spread on a sandwich or cracker. Tuna salad, Deviled Ham, or Shrimp Salad are good in a sandwich, or in a lettuce leaf or cucumber boat. These are your main course on a hot day.

Composed Salads

A composed salad is just a summer salad that has been arranged for maximum curb appeal. A Cobb Salad is a popular composed salad, with orderly rows of vegetables, cheeses and meats atop a layer of greens. Just about any salad can be “composed” if you take the time to arrange the ingredients in a pattern around or across the base of greens, grains, or whatever you’re using.

Gelatin Salads

There are sweet, fruity gelatin salads, Like an Orange Creamsicle Gelatin Salad, and there are also savory ones, like aspic, or this Deviled Egg Salad Ring. These are popular summer salads with a retro vibe.

Summer Salad Ideas Galore

Get out your salad bowl, because you’ll be giving it a workout with all these summer salad recipes. Don’t limit yourself to the same old salad. The eight types of salad listed here are just a starting point for adding more vegetables, and new flavors to your summer meals.