This summer salad is one of the best salad recipes to make with seasonal produce. Top your healthy salad with homemade orange-basil vinaigrette dressing, made using fresh basil and orange juice. This delicious salad recipe makes a 15-minute, easy summer lunch or dinner!
Although the variety differs depending on location and time of year, fresh produce is available to all of us. If you’re lucky enough to live in a warm location, your choice of fresh fruits and veggies is nearly endless.
What fruits and vegetables are in season now?
Obviously, this summer salad is full of summer vegetables that are local to me. But do you know what produce is in season in your area? If you don’t, you can find out with an incredibly helpful online tool, and it’s free!
The Seasonal Food Guide website is an amazing resource. When you get to the site, simply choose your state from the dropdown menu. At that point, you’ll want to choose the time of year on the calendar menu. Then wait a couple of seconds and magically, a list of seasonal produce in your area will appear.
Not only is this helpful for making a summer salad, but you can also use it to make your favorite salad in the spring, a veggie pasta salad, or to make a fruit salad!
How to build a healthy summer salad
The base of our salad is lettuce; any variety you like. Personally, I like a mix of healthy greens. Some options might be:
- Baby spinach
- Green or red leaf lettuce
- Lamb’s Lettuce
If you’re the type of person who prefers iceberg lettuce, I encourage you to mix it with a darker green. Unfortunately, there isn’t much nutritional value in iceberg lettuce.
Have you heard the saying, “Eat the rainbow”? No, I’m sorry to say, they aren’t referring to a bag of Skittles. Not only are colorful veggies appetizing, but they’re also usually the most healthy. Aim to add 3 or 4 of them to your salad.
Great vegetables to add to your summer salad are ones that you enjoy eating raw. After all, this is a quick and easy salad recipe, remember? Cooked veggies need not apply. Some of my favorites include:
- bell peppers
- red cabbage
NUTS OR SEEDS AND PROTEIN
For a bit of crunch and a good source of B-vitamins and minerals, consider adding some sunflower seeds to your summer salad. Other healthy choices might be almonds, walnuts, or pumpkin, flax, or chia seeds. For extra protein, consider adding some grilled chicken, steak, or a vegetarian protein such as tofu or sprouted lentils.
The orange-basil vinaigrette dressing on the summer salad is made with extra virgin olive oil. That’s a healthy fat that also happens to be delicious. Other healthy fats to add to your salad could be avocados or avocado oil.
Summer Salad Dressing Options
If you don’t care for the orange-basil vinaigrette dressing on your salad, consider making Maple Mustard Balsamic Dressing or Honey Lemon Vinaigrette. No matter what dressing you add to your salad, be sure that it’s homemade, or at the least, bottled without sugar added.
Summer Salad with Homemade Salad Dressing
- 2.5 oz lettuce - (70g)
- 2-3 carrots
- 1/2 cup corn
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 avocado
- 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1 Tbsp mustard
- 1 Tbsp avocado oil
- 3 Tbsp orange juice
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 cup basil leaves
- Wash and spin dry lettuce.
- Wash, peel, and julienne carrots.
- Wash, deseed, and thinly slice the red bell pepper.
- Add corn (either fresh or if frozen, defrost by pouring boiling water over it, then add to the salad)
- Peel, pit, and dice avocado.
- For the vinaigrette add orange juice, mustard, avocado oil, rice vinegar, honey, and basil leaves to a jar and then blend with an immersion blender.
- Pour dressing over salad, give a quick stir and serve immediately.
Wonderful salad and amazing dressing. I added some cooked shrimp to it and made it a meal. It was fantastic
Can you store the dressing? Freeze or can it? Looks delicious and I have an abundance of basil😳
Lorena Grater says
You can store the dressing for 2-3 days in the fridge but unfortunately not much longer. I have never tried freezing but you could always try.
Sandra Chang-Ostermeier says
The dressing is a dream!!! Will definitely make this salad more often this spring and summer. Thank you!
Myra Picazo says
Going to make it tonight. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
Is the dressing sweet?
A little bit, not too much. You can control the sweetness and adjust to your liking with the amount of honey you use. Either add none or add more than I suggest.
I was wondering if you have a cookbook.
I have two 21-Day Meal Plans that include the meal plan, grocery shopping lists, and all the recipes :) But only as e-book version. In the menu of my website you can find the link to all of them.
I made this for the first time tonight. Oh my, it was so scrumptious & my husband loved it. Love your recipes!
Yay!!! I’m so happy you and your husband liked it :D
Do you use avocado oil or olive oil for you dressing? and could you replace brown sugar for honey as my husband despises honey;)
I use avocado oil but olive oil would work just fine in this dressing, too. Yes, you can use brown sugar or maple syrup as a replacement for honey.
Would love to receive more healthy recipes from you.
You can sign up to my e-mail list and you’ll get them via e-mail :) Sign up form is in the side bar.
Sandy Hammond says
That’s how it looks beautiful!
cant wait to try it , looks amazing
Rose Petals says
What are the greens in the video? They aren’t the ones listed in the recipe,
Green or red leaf lettuce
Sorry, forgot to add the one I actually ended up using. It’s called Lamb’s Lettuce.
Looks gorgeous, Lorena! Just the ticket for sharing beautiful greens (and a near rainbow of veg) with my family. Perfect for another sunshiny day in Vancouver.
I’m so happy you enjoyed the photos :) Sunny in Montreal as well, woot woot.