Great Summer Salads!
Summertime is the perfect time to whip up a salad for a quick meal or as a delicious appetizer. Fresh Ontario produce is in abundance at Farmers’ Markets and roadside stands, so fill your basket and enjoy the summer harvest!
Our favourite summer salad recipes
Try this incredible Strawberry Goat Cheese salad, or enjoy Caledon Country Club’s Healthy Spa Salad offering (courtesy of Sous Chef Sarah Robb), keeping in mind some of these handy tips when preparing your favourite salad.
Tips for preparing a perfect summer salad
- Plan on about 2 cups of mixed greens per person.
- Buy the freshest ingredients possible.
- Be sure to dry your greens thoroughly as water wilts the greens and dilutes the dressing.
- Cut all your ingredients into bite-sized pieces.
- Do not overdress your salad; you only need about 1 teaspoon of dressing per person, providing you toss it well.
- The ratio for a basic vinaigrette is approximately 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar or lemon juice.
- Use vinegar sparingly as the taste can easily overpower other flavours.
- Consider substituting an acidic fruit juice like lemon, lime, orange, apple or pineapple, for all parts of the vinegar.
- Let the acidic portion of the dressing absorb the seasoning for at least 15 minutes before adding the oil.
- Use your hands, or our Extra Hands Mixers to toss the salad.
- To mix greens with less mess, simply toss in our Spin’n Store Salad Bag.
- Chill serving plates to keep your salad crisp for a longer period of time.
- When making a pasta salad, cook pasta very al dente so that pasta can absorb the dressing and not become mushy.
- Potatoes will absorb more dressing if you dress them when they are hot, and then refrigerate.
Summer Salad Fixings!
No need to spend money on store made salad dressings and vinaigrettes. Simply blend together your favourite ingredients to make the perfect topping for your summer salad.
Unlike bottled salad dressings that are often high in sodium and contain preservatives, home made salad dressings can be healthy, nutritious, are more affordable, and give you the creativity to explore and mix together the perfect blend for your favourite summertime salad!
The basic ingredients in most salad dressings are: fat, acid and seasonings.
Fat -- can be oils, creams, cheese or eggs. Lighter dressings tend to be oil based, while heavier dressings are made with cheeses or sour creams.
Acid -- the acid in a dressing provides a bite and can sometimes provide a sweetness to the dressing. Consider lemon, lime, orange, or any kind of vinegar. Choose the flavour to complement your ingredients.
Seasonings - salt, pepper, garlic, any type of fresh herbs -- the choice is yours!
DID YOU KNOW...?
The word “salad” comes from the Latin word “salata”, meaning salty or “from salt”.
A medium strawberry has approximately 200 seeds and is the only fruit with seeds on the outside.
During the 1930s, approximately 1/3 of the recipes for salad in an average cookbook were for some type of Jello salads.
According to the Association for Dressings and Sauces, the most popular salad dressings are:
2. Blue Cheese
5. Thousand Island
7. Honey Dijon
9. Balsamic Vinaigrette
10. Olive Oil Vinaigrette
11. Red Wine Vinaigrette
12. Creamy Italian
One cup of fresh strawberries has only 55 calories and contains, 1 gram protein, 3 grams of fibre, 149% of your daily intake of vitamin C, 9% of your daily intake of folate, and 7% of your daily intake for potassium.
The largest salad on record was made in Spain in September 2007. It weighed 6700 kilograms, contained lettuce, tomato, onion, peppers and olives, was supervised by 20 cooks and took over 3 hours to complete. It was served up in a container that was 59 feet long by 15.7 feet wide!
- Potatoes will absorb more dressing & flavour if you add the dressing when the potatoes are warm, and then refrigerate.
- The typical ratio of oil and vinegar in a vinaigrette salad dressing is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar or lemon.
- Dandelion greens are loaded with antioxidants. If using in a salad use greens when they are young and tender, as older greens tend to be too bitter for human consumption.