June 1

Cooking Contributor Series: 3 Healthy & Easy Summer Salads

The following content may contain affiliate links. When you click and shop the links, we receive a commission.

Summer calls for breaking old cooking habits with new ingredients and new recipes. Bring out the peaches, cucumbers, lemon, and feta to add a little zest and flavor to your light appetizer or entree. This week on the Contributor Series, Elisabeth is back bringing you all fresh summer salads that will surely fit your summer tastebuds. We can’t wait to invite guests over to our new place and offer these delicious salads.

When the temperature gets warmer, it’s nice to have a flavorful dish that is both light and refreshing and doesn’t weigh you down. Last time we shared three delicious dessert ideas back in April, so this time around we wanted to do something a little healthier. Salads are great for a dinner for two and easy to adapt for a large crowd. Plus, there are so many wonderful ingredients only available in the summer. We’ve collaborated with our Cooking Contributor, Elisabeth, to share three salad recipes you can prepare for a delicious lunch or as a perfect dish to share at backyard barbecues during the summer.




Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Serves 4-6

A bright and colorful salad that is easy to throw together for a summer party. Fresh summer tomatoes paired with tangy feta will please everyone’s pallet. Everyone loves a juicy, ripe tomato in the summertime and this one is filled with them. It’s also nice to have some couscous on hand to be able to throw this together during the week. 


Ingredients Directions
2 cups Israeli Couscous, cooked according to box or package

1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1 large cucumber, sliced and quartered

1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1 cup red onion, roughly chopped or diced


2 garlic gloves, minced

1 tsp Italian herbs

½ tsp Dijon mustard

¼ cup red wine vinegar

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

½ cup olive oil

  1. To prepare the vinaigrette, whisk together minced garlic, herbs, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil until combined and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. Cook couscous according to box or package.
  3. Slice tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion and crumbled feta.
  4. In a large bowl, add couscous and all other vegetables and cheese in separate quadrants, then pour vinaigrette over and toss to combine.




Peach and Tomato Caprese Salad

Serves 4-6

An exciting twist on a classic Italian dish. The peaches pair perfectly with the tomato, mozzarella and basil, feeling like summer with each bite. You can serve this on a cutting board or cheese board for a fun way to impress your guests while keeping the presentation casual and rustic. Peach season is my favorite, so I’m always looking for more ways to incorporate them.


Ingredients Directions
5-6 peaches
5-6 vine tomatoes
2 (8oz) packs mozzarella Fresh basil leaves
Balsamic Glaze
1. Slice the peaches, tomatoes and mozzarella, and layer onto a dish or plate with basil. Layer on top of each other so each slice is overlapping slightly. Drizzle with Balsamic Glaze before serving.







Farro and Arugula Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

Serves 4-6

This salad is light, simple, with a burst of flavor from the fresh lemon juice. The perfect salad to pair with grilled chicken on a summer night. It might not look like much, but you’ll be wanting to re-create this dish throughout the season. The farro adds a delicious graininess to the salad and pairs perfectly with a kick from the lemon dijon vinaigrette. 


Ingredients: Directions
1½ cups farro, cooked according to package

5 cups arugula

½ cup walnuts

2 tablespoons sugar

¼ cup goat cheese
Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette:

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 whole lemon)

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

6 tablespoons olive oil

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

  1. Cook farro according to box or bag.
  1. To prepare the dressing, whisk together lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil until combined. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  1. In a saucepan, combine walnuts and sugar. Cook on medium heat until sugar is melting, then toss to combine. Stir until nuts are lightly browned but not burned. Lay on a sheet of parchment paper to cool.
  1. To assemble, add the arugula to a large bowl, then add the farro, walnuts and goat cheese. Drizzle Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette dressing on top and toss to combine (you don’t have to use all the dressing).



Which one of these summer salads are you most excited to make? Let us know in the comments section. Also, if you have any favorite recipes of your own (or someone else’s that you love to make), we’d love to hear from you.

Latest Daily Look