Summer Salad Recipes for a Refreshing Summer Meal

Three Refreshing Summer Salad Recipes for the Season

From crisp greens and fresh apples to zesty lemons and balsamic beets, a summer salad is the perfect life-giving meal for a summer day.

Photography by Rachel Benavides

Summer is synonymous with salad. The hotter temperatures demand a cooler palate and less time over a sweltering stove. Crisp greens, crunchy cucumbers and juicy watermelons are life-giving on a muggy summer evening. Plus, salads are lighter on the stomach and often lower in calories, and offer a variety of nutrients to sustain us through a June afternoon without the groggy aftereffects of a carb-heavy meal. 

Food beliefs are liberal where salads are concerned — even their place in the meal sequence. While Americans stand firmly in the pre-entrée camp, Europeans serve salads after the main course, preferring a palate cleanser before the heavier cheese/dessert course. It is believed the fiber-filled greens aid in the digestion of the richer course they follow. 

The world stage of salads is diverse: bready Panzanella in Italy, meat and potato Olivier salad in Russia, Ceviche in South America and pickled vegetable Acar in the south seas of Asia. Salads popular to a certain region give reliable clues to commonly cultivated produce in the area. Every culture and food landscape has a distinctive take on salad. 

Beet salad is common in Romania, Greece and Canada. Romanian Salata de Sfecla combines diced beets that have been boiled with horseradish, salt, oil and vinegar. Pantzarosalata is a simple salad consisting of boiled beets dressed with yogurt and topped with walnuts. The beet salad popularized in Canada most closely resembles our recipe: Beets are roasted and accompanied with nuts and crumbled cheese atop a bed of greens. 

Kale is controversial — you either love it or hate it. Except, that is, when it’s well-dressed and topped with all things delicious. This antioxidant-rich superfood is the perfect crunchy base for toasted seeds, pickled roots and creamy cheese. 

Say goodbye to soggy pea salad. Swap mayo and boiled eggs for herbaceous pesto to let peas shine in all their verdant glory. Even though this riff on peas is a new favorite, we won’t judge you for gnashing on the ham and cubed cheese pea salad of old. There’s a reason it’s a classic. 

Green or pickled, veggie-laden or meaty, local or international, there’s a salad for each of us this summer.

Chopped Kale Salad

Prepares two entree portions | Prep time: 25 minutes | Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Summer salad recipes from The Bend's Farm to Table archives.
Photography by Rachel Benavides


  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 radishes, chopped
  • 4 cups kale, chopped with stems removed
  • 1 leg quarter rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 1 crisp apple, chopped
  • 3 tbsp pumpkin seeds, roasted and salted
  • 2 tbsp bacon, crumbled
  • 1 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • 3 green onions, chopped


In a medium bowl, combine 2 tbsp water with rice wine vinegar. Stir in sugar and salt until dissolved. Add radishes and let pickle for 10-15 minutes. 

Combine salad ingredients in a large serving bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together vinaigrette ingredients until well incorporated. Drizzle salad with vinaigrette before serving.

For a delicious homemade vinaigrette: 3/4 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup vinegar (recommend: sherry, champagne or wine), 1 tbsp, plus 1 tsp dijon mustard, 2 tbsp maple syrup 2 cloves garlic (grated), 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cayenne

Peas with Herb Pesto

Prepares four portions | Prep time: 7 minutes | Cook time: 2 minutes
Summer salad recipes from The Bend's Farm to Table archives.
Photography by Rachel Benavides


  • 2 lbs fresh peas
  • 1/2 cup arugula
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup basil
  • 1/4 cup mint
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Zest and juice of one lemon


Add peas to boiling, salted water and cook for 1-2 minutes, until crisp-tender. Strain peas and transfer to an ice water bath.

In your blender or food processor, combine remaining ingredients and pulse for 30 seconds, until finely minced. Toss peas with pesto and squeeze lemon juice on top prior to serving.

Balsamic Beet Salad with Feta and Candied Pecans

Prepares two portions | Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 45 minutes


  • 1 lb beets, cut into wedges with ends removed
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 cups tender greens (spinach, arugula, chard, beet greens)
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 oz crumbled feta
  • 3 sprigs fresh dill


Preheat oven to 375℉. Place beet wedges on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil on beets and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes, turning the wedges over halfway through your cooking time. Let cool for 10 minutes, or until cool to the touch. 

Heat a pan over medium-low heat. Add pecans in a single layer, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon, salt and cayenne. Add spice mixture and syrup to pecans and remove from heat. 

Whisk ingredients for balsamic vinaigrette in a medium-sized bowl. To assemble salad, layer greens and roasted beets, and top with candied pecans, onion, feta and fresh dill. Drizzle with prepared vinaigrette and enjoy. 

For a delicious homemade balsamic vinaigrette: 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp shallot (grated), 1 clove garlic (grated), 2 tsp honey, 1 tsp dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp freshly ground, black pepper

Hungry for more? Look through all 10 archived Farm to Table recipes we’re revisiting in this month’s special anniversary issue.