3 Fresh and Easy Summer Salads

I am a big farmers’ market fan and visit several markets each week from opening day in the spring through closing day in autumn. I so enjoy talking with the farmers and their families about their farms and the growing season. Also, I think the farmers can afford to grow wonderful produce when they are selling directly to their consumers….a win-win situation.

Tomato and Corn Salad

The first salad showcases the height of the corn season. I like to buy Mirai corn, which is very sweet and excellent served raw. Here’s a great tip I saw in Cooking Light Magazine: if you own a Bundt pan, place the large end of a shucked ear of corn into the center ring and use a sharp knife to cut the kernels of corn off the cob from top to bottom. The kernels will fall into the bowl of the pan, making them easy to transfer to the salad bowl.

Serves 4 to 6

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, preferably heirloom, diced (2 cups)
  • 3 ears fresh sweet corn, husked, kernels removed from cobs
  • 4 to 6 large romaine or Boston lettuce leaves
  • Chopped fresh chives, oregano or basil or a combination


1. Whisk together oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add tomatoes and corn. Toss well and spoon over lettuce leaves. Top with herbs as desired.



Chopped Summer Salad

This Chopped Summer Salad is great for the wonderful heirloom cherry tomatoes available at the markets.

Serves 6

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups packed chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup red cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup yellow cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pit removed and diced
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta or goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives


1. Whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Refrigerate while preparing the remaining ingredients. Place six shallow individual salad bowls in the freezer.

2. Add remaining ingredients to a large bowl and toss. Whisk dressing again and drizzle 3 tablespoons over the salad. Toss well. Transfer to the chilled bowls and serve remaining dressing on the side. (Any left over dressing may be refrigerated up to 2 weeks.)



Fresh Peach Salad with Mozzarella and Basil

To me, there is nothing more delicious than a perfectly ripe peach. Each week I buy a big box of them from the farmers market, let them sit on the counter and enjoy at least one each day. They are terrific simply sliced over my granola and milk in the morning or eaten over the sink as a snack in the afternoon. Two years ago I adapted the following recipe from a Martha Stewart magazine and it has become one of my family’s favorite peach recipes.

Serves 4

  • 3 ripe peaches, washed, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 8 ounces small fresh mozzarella cheese balls (bocconcini), halved
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1. Toss together peaches, cheese and basil in a medium bowl. Drizzle oil and sprinkle salt and pepper over mixture. Toss well and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.


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