Three Summer Salads to Help Beat the Heat

Summer is in full swing and the hot days often leave you without an appetite. It's hard enough figuring out what to make for dinner any other time of the year, but summer you live by your BBQ and sometimes that even seems too much. You long for something fresh, but honestly, that idea has you still feeling hungry just thinking about it. So what’s the answer? We’ve got three salad suggestions that will not only fill your longing for freshness but leave you full and nourished.

This first recipe I adapted from a salad I had on a vacation a couple months ago that is packed with super food goodness. As always, change or omit ingredients to preferences.

Kale Quinoa Salad with citrus vinaigrette dressing

Serves 4


  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 an English cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 cup matchstick carrots
  • Candied walnuts (recipe below)
  • Feta cheese
  • Dried berries- I used goji berries but dried blueberries or cranberries are good as well

Citrus Vinaigrette Dressing

(adapted from Bon Appetit)


  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • ¼ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Combine first 6 ingredients in a small jar; season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper. Shake to blend.

Note: Vinaigrette can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill. Shake before using.

Candied Walnuts:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup walnuts


  1. Cook in pan on medium heat
  2. stir until sugar is melted and nuts are coated
  3. Cool on wax paper

Salad prep-

Wash and chop kale, combine all ingredients and toss with the dressing

This next recipe is a staple salad at my house and my kids love the crunchy croutons and dressing. Don't be alarmed by the fact that this has anchovies in the recipe, it is cornerstone to great Caesar dressing.

Caesar Salad-

Serves 4


  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • Homemade croutons
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
  • Chopped anchovies (if desired)
  • Cooked chicken (if desired)

Caesar Dressing

Adapted from Gourmet Magazine


  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste or real canned (found near the tuna fish in the supermarket)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, from one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (I like the brand Maille)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup mayonnaise, best quality such as Best Foods
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


In a medium bowl, whisk together (or throw all the ingredients into your mini food processor or blend with an immersion hand blender) the garlic, anchovy paste/anchovies, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Add the mayonnaise, Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt and pepper and whisk until well combined. Taste and adjust to your liking.

Homemade Croutons:

  • 1 cup cubed artisan bread i.e. ciabatta, baguette etc.
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Toss bread in a bowl with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Spread on a baking pan and toast under the broiler on high 5-10 minutes.
  3. Shake pan midway so they get completely toasted.
  4. Be sure to watch so they don't burn.

Salad prep-

Wash and chop lettuce, combine all ingredients and toss with the dressing

This final recipe is a new-found favorite and don't let the "tuna salad" turn you off. It is so fresh and filling! I did add in 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley to the dressing for some extra green.

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

Adapted from foodnetwork.com


  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 2 tablespoons dried dill
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 12-ounce can solid white tuna in water, drained and flaked
    • (I used 2 7oz cans of Kirkland Signature Albacore Tuna)

  • 1 14-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 an English cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions or green onion, sliced
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (I left these out, not a fan of them)
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, shredded


Make the dressing: Whisk the mustard, lemon zest and lemon juice in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until well blended. Whisk in the dill, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste.

Toss the tuna, chickpeas, cucumber, scallions and tomatoes (if using) with the dressing in a medium bowl until combined.

Salad prep-

Wash and chop lettuce, separate out onto plates and top lettuce with the tuna salad.

About the author…Rebekah was born and raised in Washington and currently resides in Montana. She is a dance teacher, mother of two and a creative soul. She enjoys cooking, baking and creating with fabric.