Recipe Highlight: Easy Summer Salads

With Memorial Day fast approaching and summer just around the corner, I thought it was the perfect time to share some of my favorite summer salad recipes. As the weather gets warmer, there is nothing more satisfying than a refreshing summer salad, especially when they’re super easy to make. These are not really fancy recipes with complex dressings. The ingredients are minimal and the simple seasoning only works to enhance the flavor of the fresh greens, fruits and legumes. Enjoy!

This recipe I borrowed from Ina Garten of The Barefoot Contessa. I make this salad fairly often and it’s perfect just the way it is with no modifications.

Arugula, Watermelon and Feta Salad


For the vinaigrette:
• 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
• 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
• 1/4 cup minced shallots (1 large)
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1/2 cup good olive oil
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:
• 6 cups baby arugula, washed and spun dry
• 1/8th seedless watermelon, rind removed, and cut in 1-inch cubes
• 12 ounces good feta cheese, 1/2-inch diced
• 1 cup (4 ounces) whole fresh mint leaves, julienned


Whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, shallots, honey, salt, and pepper. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking constantly, to form an emulsion. If not using within an hour, store the vinaigrette covered in the refrigerator.

Place the arugula, watermelon, feta, and mint in a large bowl. Drizzle with enough vinaigrette to coat the greens lightly and toss well. Taste for seasonings and serve immediately.

I had this salad for the first time at a friend’s house when she had a Mediterranean-themed dinner. I really enjoyed the simplicity of this salad with only a handful of ingredients.

Mediterranean Lentil Salad


For the vinaigrette:
1/2 cup olive oil
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper

For the salad:
2 cups cooked lentil (I use pre-cooked lentil from Trader Joe’s.)
1 celery stalk finely chopped
1/3 of seedless cucumber finely chopped
1 cup parsley finely chopped


Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and set aside.

Combine lentils, celery, cucumber, parsley with the vinaigrette. Add more olive oil, lemon juice or salt and pepper to taste.

I’ve been obsessed with beets lately. If there are beets on the menu at a restaurant, I will most likely order it. This is a simple salad I put together designed to bring out the natural flavors of the beets and tomatoes.

Beets and Tomatoes Salad with Creme Fraiche


For the vinaigrette:
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
salt and pepper

For the salad:
5 baby beets or 3 regular sized beets, steamed or roasted, sliced (I use pre-cooked baby beets from Trader Joe’s.)
3 kumatos or heirloom tomatoes, sliced
1 cup arugula


Arrange the sliced beets and tomatoes overlapping in rows over a bed of arugula. Drizzle beets and tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Add a dollop of creme fraiche on the side for dipping or provide in a separate bowl.


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6 thoughts on “Recipe Highlight: Easy Summer Salads

  1. Oh my gosh I just posted on instagram about making a roasted beet salad for the first time! We are totally on the same page. I’ve had watermelon and feta in the back of my mind too, so thanks for sharing that one. Plus, I love lentils.

    xo, Amy Ann
    The Real Arnolds

    • Aren’t beets the best? I feel like they’re on trend right now. Almost every restaurant I go to has a beets appetizer. I feel like I eat more healthy in the summer with all these salad cravings.

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