Summer Salad Round-Up

This week I didn’t want to do any cooking. With weather like this and a fridge full of ripe summer veg, a medley of salads can be made ahead of time for a week full of lunches and dinners. (Or you can throw caution to the wind and eat them all up in one delicious salad-themed dinner. Your choice.)

summer saladsSpicy Cucumber Salad

Follow this recipe for Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid’s Spicy Cucumber Salad. Here’s the gist: Cucumbers marinated in rice wine vinegar, cilantro, and just-spicy-enough chiles. As a fresh salad, it’s crunchy and refreshing. Make it a day in advance, and it becomes one of the most delish fridge pickles you’ve had the chance to try.

Marinated Eggplant Salad

Grilled eggplant get buttery soft in this savory dressing. Can be eaten warm or chilled

1. Slice 2 Asian eggplant on the diagonal into 1/4 inch pieces.

2. Heat a barbeque or grill pan on high heat and coat with oil. Lay out eggplant and grill for about 2 minutes per side, until eggplant softens and grill marks appear. Drizzle top sides with olive oil, then flip and cook until grill marks appear on the other side.

3. While the eggplant is grilling, whisk together:

  • 1 tablespoon miso paste
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • a dash of sugar
  •  a dash of soy sauce,
  • and a drizzle of oil.

4. Transfer grilled eggplant directly into a bowl with the dressing. Toss to coat and top with a couple of tablespoons of fresh basil.

Simple Shrimp Salad

1. Shell 1 pound fresh shrimp.

2. Spread shelled shrimp on a baking sheet, sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning, and bake until cooked through (8-10 minutes). Cool.

3. Chop shrimp and mix with:

  •  3 tablespoons chopped green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • a couple dashes of worchestire sauce
  •  1 teaspoon mustard

Chill and serve with toast or on a bed of greens.


Nothing reminds me of summer like a big bowl of tabbouleh. This mediterranean dish is known for its herbal underpinnings of mint and parsley and citrusy dressing. Don’t be afraid to add in other herbs like cilantro and basil, as well. Add some crumbled feta cheese for a more hearty take. 

Mix 2 cups cooked bulgur wheat with:

  • 2-4 chopped tomatoes (preferably of different colors)
  • 1 chopped cucumber
  • a large handful of chopped fresh herbs
  • the juice of 1 lime or lemon
  • a healthy drizzle of olive oil
  • and 1/2 a chopped onion

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Purple Potato Salad

purple potato saladYou could use any sort of potato for this recipe, but it works great for the purple-fleshed and/or purple-skinned new potatoes appearing in CSA shares recently. Make the most out of the phytonutrients in purple-hued potatoes by steaming instead of boiling them. Cooking them ahead of time and letting them chill for about 24 hours will also make them “healthier”–lowering their glycemic index.

1. Steam about 2 pounds of new potatoes: leave small potatoes whole and cut large ones in half–and don’t get rid of that gorgeous skin! Place in a steamer basket above a pot of boiling water. Cover and cook until fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.  Cut into dices. Chill for 24 hours.

2. Whisk together:

  • 1 tablespoon mayo
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice in a medium bowl

3. Toss dressing with

  • cubed potatoes
  • 1 shredded carrot
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 1/2 diced bell pepper

Salt and pepper to taste. Add more mayonnaise, oil, mustard, or vinegar according to your personal preference.

Text and photography by Katie Darlington– Taproot employee, home cooking enthusiast, and farm-to-kitchen blogger. More of her recipes and writing can be found on her own blog, The Sweetness of the Season