Summer Salad: A Palette of Colorful, Fresh Ingredients
Magic in a Salad Bowl
Preparing a summer salad is a creative outlet that allows me to experiment and play with my food. Colorful and fresh ingredients are readily available in the stores, farmer’s markets, CSA boxes and, if you are lucky, your own garden. Magic happens in a salad bowl when fresh, seasonal vegetables and fruits combine with a light dressing. A mix of crunchy and soft textures with sweet and tangy flavors delight the taste buds.
Inspiration for this summer salad came from a nectarine, my first of the season. This nectarine was surprisingly sweet and juicy. Resisting a nectarine with its gorgeous red-orange skin and luring sweet smell is nearly impossible. They just might be my favorite fruit. Hence, my decision to use the nectarine in my newest summer salad creation.
A Palette of Vegetables
Creating a brilliant summer salad isn’t difficult. There are so many tasty, fresh ingredients to inspire a multitude of delicious results. With my guys out-of-town for the weekend, I only had my own taste buds to please. As a result, I could experiment with whatever I had on hand. The refrigerator yielded fresh ginger, lacinato kale, red cabbage, a red pepper and the remaining quinoa from a previous meal. From my pantry came an avocado, orange cherry tomatoes, a lemon, olive oil, and almonds. Pink Himalayan salt and toasted sesame seeds were in my spice drawer. Finally, the pièce de resistance, that gorgeous nectarine was waiting in the fruit bowl just for me.
Simple Steps to a Summer Salad Masterpiece
- Whisk the juice from half a lemon, ginger, olive oil and salt together in the salad bowl.
2. Rip the dark green kale leaves from their center stem and slice them up into thin ribbons. Toss them with the lemon juice mixture.
3. Chop some red cabbage and add it into the bowl with the kale.
4. Make thin slices from the red pepper, cut them into bite sized pieces and toss them in with the kale and cabbage.
5. Add quinoa to the bowl and mix it all together. I had some radish slices mixed in with my leftover quinoa (just in case you are wondering about the little white circles). They could be added, but aren’t necessary for this salad.
6. Chop up the nectarine, tomatoes, avocado and almonds.
7. Toss everything together in the bowl and top with the almonds and sesame seeds.
8. Serve it up on a plate and enjoy. Alternatively, you can it eat it straight from the bowl. It’s so good you’ll devour the entire salad. At least I did.
9. Finally, enjoy outside with a beautiful view.
What are your favorite summer salad combinations?
Thérèse Buckingham for Vitality in Focus
- Juice from 1/2 a lemon
- 1 inch chunk of fresh ginger; peeled
- 1 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Pink Himalayan salt to taste (about 1/4 tsp)
- 3 Lacinato Kale stalks; center ribs removed and sliced into ribbons
- 1/2 Cup chopped red cabbage
- 1/4 Cup chopped red pepper
- 1/2 Cup cooked quinoa
- 1 small avocado; sliced into bite sized pieces
- 1 ripe, but firm, nectarine; sliced in to bite sized pieces
- 1/4 Cup sliced orange cherry tomatoes
- 2 TBS chopped raw or lightly toasted almonds
- 1/2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- Press the ginger with a garlic press into a salad bowl and whisk in the lemon juice, olive oil and salt.
- Add the ribbons of kale and coat with the dressing.
- Add the chopped cabbage and mix in with the kale and dressing.
- Stir in the red pepper and quinoa
- Add the tomatoes, avocado and nectarine.
- Stir to mix it all together.
- Top with the almonds and sesame seeds.