July is a wonderful time to create a variety of summer salads for your 4th of July picnic, barbecue, or summer pool party. What better way to spotlight the fantastic summer produce now available at your farmers’ market!
There are amazing summer vegetables like colorful bell peppers and hot peppers, sweet corn (white, yellow, variegated), summer squash (zucchini, yellow squash, pattypans, and globes), green beans (green, yellow, cranberry), eggplant (Italian, globe, Japanese), and of course, glorious summer tomatoes (heirloom, cherry, beefsteak, and more).
Luscious summer fruit like nectarines, peaches, plums, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries complete the awesome selection of produce this month. Big sweet melons like cantaloupe, watermelon, casaba, and honeydew will be arriving by the end of the month.
Grilling fruits and vegetables makes them even more delicious, if that’s possible! Grilled corn on the cob is the all-time favorite, but you can also grill halved squash and beefsteak tomatoes, halved peaches and nectarines, thick slices of melon, slabs of eggplant brushed with olive oil, or big bell peppers. Grilling brings out the natural flavor of these vegetables and adds great texture to salads or side dishes.
Create a full party menu of just salads with these fresh ingredients:
- A main coarse salad with grilled chicken, peppers, onions, and summer squash tossed with Italian dressing.
- Green salads filled with fresh lettuce, sliced red onion, tomatoes, cucumber, radishes, and sliced bell peppers with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
- Corn salad with cherry tomatoes, corn cut off the cob, green onion, and sliced black olives.
- Fruit salad with sliced peaches, nectarines, blackberries, melon, and strawberries.
- Red potato salad with green onions, red onions, celery, and fresh herbs with a light vinaigrette.
- Combination fruit and vegetable salad with grilled peaches or nectarines nestled on leafy greens, with chunks of goat cheese, and crunchy pecans with a fruity vinaigrette.
Grilled Peach and Goat Cheese Salad
Slice large peach in half, remove pit. Peel, if desired. Grill cut side down for a few minutes, until softened slightly and grill marks appear. Let cool; slice. Add to mixed greens, pecan halves, thin slices of red onion, and chunks of feta or goat cheese. Toss with a balsamic vinaigrette. Delish!
Stop by the farmers’ market for all your fresh ingredients this summer and remember to buy fresh and buy local for the best tasting fruits and vegetables! Happy (and delicious!) summer eating!