Summer Salads

Creative Summer Salads and Salad Dressings

With summer in full swing, we are excited to mix it up with our summer salads and try something new! What makes a perfect, refreshing and nutritious summer salad? We are looking to create vibrant bowls of goodness that are not only a feast for the eyes but also offer a delightful explosion of flavors. But what truly elevates a salad to greatness? The answer lies in the selection of creative (and fresh!)  ingredients and the perfect dressing. We’ll explore some inventive salad combinations and the best dressings to accompany them, helping you create memorable culinary experiences ideal for summer entertaining and backyard cookout menus. 

Creative Salad Ingredients:

  1. Grilled Peaches and Burrata: Pair juicy grilled peaches with creamy burrata cheese, arugula, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze for a sweet and savory explosion in every bite. Add some candied or roasted walnuts for an extra crunch.
  2. Watermelon and Feta: Combine the crispness of watermelon with tangy feta cheese, fresh mint leaves, and a sprinkling of black olives (or cherry tomatoes) for a Mediterranean-inspired salad that captures the essence of summer.
  3. Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese: Roasting beets brings out their natural sweetness. Combine them with creamy goat cheese, baby spinach, toasted pecans, and a tangy citrus vinaigrette for a colorful and nutritious salad.
  4. Grilled Vegetable Salad: We love using summer vegetables in a salad. Grilled zucchini and summer squash with chopped basil and fresh tomatoes with a light citrus vinaigrette is a bright and fresh salad that pairs perfectly any protein. 

Creative Salad Dressings:

  1. Honey-Lime Vinaigrette: Combine the zing of lime juice with the sweetness of honey and a touch of Dijon mustard. This dressing complements fruit-based salads, such as watermelon and feta, or mixed greens with berries.
  2. Creamy Avocado Cilantro Dressing: Blend ripe avocados, fresh cilantro, lime juice, Greek yogurt, and a hint of jalapeño for a smooth and creamy dressing that pairs beautifully with salads containing grilled chicken, corn, black beans, and cherry tomatoes.
  3. Asian Sesame Dressing: Whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, honey, ginger, and garlic for a flavorful dressing that adds an umami kick to salads or slaws.  
  4. Green Goddess Dressing: It is retro but the flavors couldn’t be more current or delicious. Blending sour cream (or yogurt), mayo, basil, green onions, lemon, garlic and anchovy paste together will result in a bright and tangy veggie dip and salad dressing. 
  5. Chocolate Balsamic Dressing: Grated dark chocolate mixed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and mustard is surprisingly fresh and complex in flavor. You’ll be amazed how well chocolate complements your choice of greens. To learn how to make this delectable dressing, we have prepared a step-by-step video guide just for you. 

chocolate balsamic salad dressing on a green salad with chicken and mandarin oranges with a fork

Watch the Step-by-Step Guide to Make Chocolate Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing!


Summer salads are an invitation to embrace creativity in the kitchen and at the grill! By combining unconventional ingredients and experimenting with unique dressings, you can transform ordinary salads and vegetables into extraordinary culinary experiences. Whether it’s the smoky sweetness of grilled peaches or the contrasting flavors of watermelon and feta, each salad offers a tantalizing medley of textures and tastes. 

Don’t be afraid to unleash your imagination and create refreshing and nourishing salads that will impress your guests (and your taste buds) all summer long!