Summer is that time of the year that brings freshness and lightness all around. You want to get outside and explore your surroundings. There’s so much to do and the air is buzzing with excitement. The last thing on your mind is having a heavy meal. I don’t know about you but I always crave lots of salads in the summer. They’re such a tasty and fresh addition to any meal or a fabulous dish all on their own. Today I’d like to share with you my 5 favorite and unique summer salads I guarantee you’ll salivate over.
5 Unique Summer Salads To Refresh And Delight You!
Chickpea and Pepper Salad
This is one of my favorite summer salads because it’s very crunchy and refreshing. The combination of chickpeas and peppers brings a bit of sweetness and heartiness to this salad. Chickpeas are an awesome addition to any meal because they provide many great health benefits. Some of these include: controlling blood sugar, containing high fiber (which improves digestion and make you feel fuller), helping weight loss, protecting against heart disease and cancer, great source of protein and essential minerals. So they really do pack a punch in such a tiny little legume. To read more about the benefits of chickpeas check out this article.
1 cup of chickpeas (canned or cooked)
1/4 of tsp of olive oil ( I really like the Terra Delyssa Organic Olive Oil)
1/4 of a red onion finely chopped
1 whole pepper (red, yellow or orange) chopped into cubes
1/4 cup of cilantro finely chopped
Sprinkle of cayenne pepper or to taste
1/4 cup of lime juice
1/4 of tsp of salt or to taste
Mix all the ingredients well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or longer to marinate and let the juices get absorbed. Once ready to serve sprinkle a bit more lime juice over the salad and mix well. Serve cold. This recipe yields 2 servings.
2. Watermelon, Cucumber, and Feta Salad
Here’s my second go-to summer salad. I absolutely love this unique flavor combination. Don’t be afraid to use watermelon in a salad. I know these might seem like unusual ingredients but once you try these flavors together you won’t be disappointed. I promise you. The sweetness of the watermelon combined with the freshness of the cucumber and the saltiness of the feta cheese complement each other beautifully. This is like a medley of awesome flavor in your mouth.
1-2 quarters of a whole watermelon (depending on how large it is) chopped into small cubes
1/4 of a cucumber chopped into small cubes
4 thick slices of feta cheese cut or crumbled into small cubes (I prefer the Krinos brand as I find it’s the most authentic)
Black pepper to taste
Mix all the ingredients and sprinkle with black pepper to taste. Refrigerate until served. This salad doesn’t require any dressing because once the natural juices of the watermelon are released they act as salad dressing. It’s basically all you need to flavor this salad. Serve cold. This yields 2 servings.
3. Cucumber Salad
This is another one of my favorite summer salads that is going to refresh you and make your mouth water with delight. This cucumber salad is perfect for a spicy meal because of the cooling effect of the cucumber. I’ve made this salad to accompany Indian food dishes to cool my mouth after a spicy bite of such delicious dishes as chicken tikka or chana masala. To find out what’s my favorite spice to use in cooking check out my article here. But I also love this salad as a side dish to a signature Polish minced meat patty called ‘mielone’. A recipe of this awesome Polish delight is coming up on the blog soon so stay tuned.
1/4 of a whole large cucumber grated
5 tbsp of yogurt or sour cream
1 tsp of sugar (I prefer all-natural Monk Fruit sweetener)
Citric acid in powder form to taste (if you never used this and can’t find it in your grocery store look for it in a Polish food store or simply substitute with a bit of lemon juice).
Mix all ingredients well and refrigerate until serving. Serve cold. This yields 2 servings.
4. Tuna, Tomatoes and Basil Salad
I have to admit I’ve never heard of this salad until my boyfriend made it for me. He’s Italian so this is a salad his mom used to make for him and since he’s a tuna lover it’s one of his favorite summer salads. I really dig this salad now. I love the fact that tuna packs a lot of protein (66%) and also a very healthy dose of Omega 3.
Omega 3 may help lower the risk of heart disease, relieve arthritis, and reduce asthma. They also have the ability to regulate and lower blood cholesterol levels, and improve the ratio of good and bad cholesterol. Just make sure that you don’t eat too much tuna as there is a risk of high mercury levels. Also, try to find sustainable products and opt to buy Skipjack tuna to lower your risk of mercury exposure. To read more about what’s the best tuna to buy check out this article. If you’re not a fan of canned tuna this salad is delicious enough that you can just have it on its own.
2 cans of tuna
2 fresh tomatoes sliced
8-10 leaves of fresh basil chopped
1/4 of red onion finely sliced
Black pepper to taste
1/4 cup of red vinegar
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp olive oil
Mix all ingredients well and refrigerate until serving. Pour dressing over salad when serving. Serve cold. This yields 2 servings.
5. Simple Mixed Veggies Salad with Avocado
This last salad is a simple mixed veggie salad with avocado. The reason why this salad is so great is because you should have all or most of the ingredients in your fridge. This is a refreshing and crunchy salad that accompanies any meal very well. This salad goes great with a zesty homemade salad dressing and I’m sharing our favorite home recipe with you.
4-5 large leaves of your favorite lettuce (I prefer green leaf or Boston lettuce)
1/4 of cucumber thinly sliced or cubed
1 tomato chopped
1/2 of green pepper sliced
1/4 of red onion finely chopped
1 avocado sliced
Homemade Salad Dressing
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1/4 cup of rice vinegar
1 tsp of fresh oregano
1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp of grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients well and refrigerate until serving. Pour dressing over salad. Serve cold. This yields 2 servings.
So here you have my 5 favorite summer salads that are super easy to make and very light and refreshing. What’s your favorite summer salad? Share with me in the comments below. If you’re looking for nice bowls to serve these salads, here is one of my favorite glass bowls that you can get on Amazon. They’re see-through so you can stare at all the pretty colors in those salads.
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