About this summer salad recipe
I call this my summer salad recipe because it uses all the vegetables I like fresh from the garden during the summer. There is a pleasing combination of textures from crisp and crunchy to soft and creamy. It is perky on the palette with fresh squeezed lemon juice and cucumber and sweet/tart tomato. Summer salad is the perfect light lunch for a hot summer’s day.
It is important to use fresh herbs for this recipe. Dried herbs really don’t do justice to the fresh vegetables. I love summer salad with just basil but parsley, cilantro, rosemary or other fresh herbs are also delicious. Or use a medley of whatever is available when you make it.
I like to use the lemon zest in addition to the juice. Leave the peel on the cucumber for extra crunch, flavor and nutrition. Use ripe tomatoes for the best flavor; tomatoes are not supposed to be crunchy.
Ingredients for the summer salad recipe
1 small-medium cucumber, 1/2-inch chopped 2 medium-large tomatoes, 1/2-inch chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, 1/2-inch chopped 1/2 yellow bell pepper, 1/2-inch chopped
1 1/2-inch slice red onion, small chopped 1 large stalk celery, 1/4-inch sliced
1 large avocado, 1/2-inch chopped 1 small lemon, zest and juice
10-15 large fresh basil leaves, coarse chopped 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt to taste freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preparing the summer salad recipe
1. Chop all of the vegetables and herbs. Place them in a mixing bowl.
2. Add the lemon zest and juice.
3. Add the olive oil.
4. Add a small amount of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
5. Toss all of the ingredients together well. Let sit for 30 minutes for the flavors to meld.
6. Toss again and taste. Adjust the salt and pepper if needed.
Notes on this recipe
Summer salad is one variation of a fresh, local, raw vegetable salad. This dish fits into any healthy whole food diet and is packed full of anti-inflammatory compounds. There is plenty of fiber and healthy fats.
I like to serve this salad on a bed of mixed greens or bitter greens. Edamame on the side or hemp hearts sprinkles on top add a nice protein boost while keeping things raw and vegan. Whole raw sunflower or sesame seeds also work well with these flavors. Nuts are another good option.
This should be a seasonal salad. For the best flavor, only local, ripe and recently picked tomatoes should be used. Room temperature or only slightly chilled is the best way to serve this dish.
My favorite way to enjoy summer salad is as a small entree portion. Then add some hummus and baba ganoush with carrot and zucchini sticks on the side. A filling and refreshing lunch for whole food health.