By Chef Noel Cunningham/Images © Noel Cunningham
Nothing says summer like a good salad!
Summer is definitely the season for salads – when ‘the sun is shining, the weather is sweet‘… and fresh produce is out in abundance. One of the great things about making a salad is the fact that just about anything can be added to it. They are quick and easy to make and the bonus? They’re super nutritious. When making salads for the summer try to keep three things in mind – simple, light, and fresh.
Here are some other tips to set you up as a top salad maker.
Summer Salad Tips
- Add some fun to your salad by serving it in a cup. Even those who do not fancy salads will enjoy having their salad in a cup without realizing they are actualluy having one.
- Homemade dressing is always better and healthier. You can also control the amount of sugar in your dressing. So when considering dressing, think homemade.
- Add fresh fruits to your salad for some tropical flavour and a punch of colour. Use bright coloured fruits such as pineapple, watermelon and mango.
- After cutting your lettuce let it soak in salted water. They will perk up, becoming nice and crisp. Drain when you are ready to use.
- Dress salads just before serving. Doing this will prevent your lettuce from becoming lettuce.
- Try soaking fresh fruits in alcohol. This is also a fun way to spruce up your salad for a summer party.
This week I have prepared six of my favourite salads with a twist. They are not only an interesting and refreshing way to beat the heat but also simple to put together and can easily be adapted based on what you have on hand. In Jamaica, we love our potato salad, marcaroni salad and tossed salad so I put a spin on all three plus a ‘likkle brawta‘ meaning, something extra. With these, you are in for a summer treat!
Creamy Potato Salad
This is a simple potato salad with a creamy, rich taste. I love potato salad because just about anything can be added to make it even better. Some people also enjoy adding eggs to theirs. You can adjust this recipe to suite your taste. Get the recipe here.
Strawberry Greek Salad with Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette
Add some freshness to your regular greek salad with some strawberries for a bold, fresh flavour. For this salad you can use any dressing of your choice. Get the recipe here.
Pesto Pasta Salad with Pan-seared Chicken Breast
This pasta salad is simple and straight forward. I tossed it in my signature spicy, basil pesto for an extra kick. Pasta salads are perfect for summer days when it is just too hot to eat a hot pasta dish. Get the recipe here.
Jamaican Green Banana Salad
Green Banana is normally consumed as a starch or a side dish in Jamaica but this time I am serving it as a healthy alternative to potato salad. Green banana salad is also a great way to use up your excess green banana. The taste and texture is very similar to potato salad, especially with the creaminess from the mayonnaise. Get the recipe here.
I grew up eating tamarind and the usual forms were tamarind balls, or to eat as is. But this summer I am adding it to my salad for a punch of summertime flavour. This dressing is tart, sweet and perfect for an appetizer salad. Get the recipe here.
Sun-dried Tomato Herb Vinaigrette
This sun-dried tomato vinaigrette is the perfect summer dressing. It complements any tossed salad and it only takes a few ingredients. I am sure that you will enjoy this dressing as much as I did. Get the recipe here.