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7 Summer Salads to make from fresh picked June Produce

Summer has officially arrived.  Time for picnics and backyard barbecues.  The sun is shining, and gardens are growing.  What better way to celebrate the summer season than with fresh produce available now?

 

I love making salads throughout the summer.  I find it’s the best way to use a lot of different seasonal produce at once.  There is plenty ripening right now in New Jersey.  Check out this list:

 

Fruits:

 

·      Blueberries

·      Cherries

·      Strawberries

 

Vegetables:

 

·      Arugula

·      Asparagus

·      Beans:  Green Snap, Wax, Yellow

·      Beets

·      Bok Choy

·      Broccoli

·      Cabbage

·      Carrots

·      Chard

·      Collards

·      Dandelion Greens

·      Kale

·      Lettuce

·      Mustard Greens

·      Peas

·      Radish

·      Scallions

·      Squash

·      Spinach

·      Turnips

 

 I wanted to find dishes that showcased the produce that is coming in fresh from the farm for June.  I found these 7 summer salads to make.  Who knows, they could make it onto your family’s list of favorites.

 

Summer Fruit Salad:  Fruits are delectable on their own.  But mix them together and they enhance the flavors of each other.

 

 This fruit salad combines the ripe sweetness of strawberries, cherries, blueberries and raspberries.  

 

Though peaches are not in season quite yet for New Jersey, you’ll still be able to find them in the grocery store.  They’re coming in from Georgia and South Carolina this time of year.  They will add a velvety lushness to this salad.

 

Click on “Summer Fruit Salad” to get the easy recipe from Love and Lemons.

 

Sugar Snap Pea Salad:  Sugar snap peas are true to their name with their natural sweetness.  I love snacking on these when they are in season. 

 

The rich, smooth dressing is brightened with lemon, Chardonnay vinegar and mint leaves.  It will dress up an otherwise plain chicken or salmon, adding flavor and crunch.

 

Click on “Sugar Snap Pea Salad” to get this recipe from Food & Wine.

 

Asian Broccoli Salad:  Many people are familiar with the bacon-laden Classic Broccoli Salad.  As my husband says, “You can’t go wrong with anything that includes bacon” …

 

I wanted to find a recipe that made broccoli the star of the salad.  This version uses a few other vegetables in season now:  spinach and/or kale, and scallions.  The salad has a sweet, zippy dressing using chili, ginger and honey. 

 

With the crisp vegetables and Asian flavors, this salad will perk up any cook-out fare.

 

Click on “Asian Broccoli Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing” to get the recipe from Alpha Foodie.

 

Sweet Sesame – Lime Cabbage Salad:  I happen to love cabbage.  The standard summer cabbage salad is, of course, coleslaw.  I’m not putting it down, it’s just not my favorite. I found another option that makes good use of this robust head of leaves.

 

It is easy to make this a colorful salad.   You can mix green and red cabbage with orange carrots.  The recipe adds even more color and flavor using the deep green of scallions and cilantro.

 

Fresh lime, apple cider vinegar and ginger give the dish a vibrant taste.  This salad’s lack of milk and mayo make it light.  It also keeps it from going off too quickly. 

 

Click on “Sweet Sesame-Lime Cabbage Salad” to get the recipe from Detoxinista.

 

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad:  Because they have to be cooked first, I didn’t think of beets for salads in summer.  Also, I didn’t know beets were in season in the summertime.  Root vegetables seem like such a cold weather veggie.   This recipe has totally changed my mind.

 

If you want to use farm-fresh beets, follow the recipe and roast them.  If you are looking to save time and not heat up the house, get the jarred version.  You can get them plain or pickled, whatever your preferred taste.

 

The sweet, earthiness of beets gets a zing of flavor from the peppery arugula.   The goat cheese rounds out the palate with its rich, savory taste.  Then the walnuts give this summer salad a little crunchiness.  It might be a perfect side for your seafood or steaks right off the grill.  

 

Click on “Beet and Goat Cheese Salad” to get the recipe from EatingWell.

 

Spring Peas with Radishes and Mint:  Spring peas are the best.  You can eat them right in the garden.  Just pop open a pod and snack away on their sugary sweetness.

 

This summer salad pairs peas with crisp, bite-y radishes.  The mint gives each bite a breezy freshness.   The whole thing comes together with the Mediterranean salty tang of the feta cheese.  Not being a fan of feta won’t make a difference.  Used shaved parmesan instead.

 

Click on “Spring Peas with Radishes and Mint” to get the recipe from The Mediterranean Dish.

 

Dandelion and Chard Salad:  One of these summer salads had to have bacon.  This super-green offering uses not just bacon, but egg too.

 

Dandelion and chard are earthy and a little bitter.  Don’t let that scare you off.  Sauteing the greens will tone down the bitterness and deepen the earthy flavor.

 

The vinaigrette makes good use of the contrasting flavors of sweet, tangy and spicy.   It includes apple cider vinegar, mustard, orange juice, and hot honey.  Adding the bacon and egg to finish the dish turns it into a complete meal.

 

Click on “Dandelion and Chard Salad” to get the recipe from Smiley Pete.

 

There are so many recipes for making summer salads.  You could spend the entire season trying them all out as fresh produce fills up the store shelves.  It can be even better when you pick your summer salads’ fruits and veggies yourself.

 

There are several U-Pick-It farms available in Monmouth and Ocean Counties, New Jersey.  They are also available throughout the U.S.  Find one nearest you.  Then reap the rewards of fruits and vegetables fresh from the fields and orchards.

 

Ocean County:

 

Champion U-Pick Blueberry Farm

60 Cherry St., Manchester Twp, NJ

(732) 350-4467

Blueberries

 

Emery’s Farm

346 Long Swamp Road

New Egypt, NJ

(609) 758-8514

Blueberries

 

1520 Silverton Road

Toms River, NJ

(732) 244-2621

Picking Now:  Asparagus, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Herbs, Kale

Available Later:  Strawberries, Raspberries, Cherry Tomatoes, Green Beans, Flowers

 

Monmouth County:

 

91 Wemrock Road, Freehold, NJ

(732) 462-0756

Strawberries, Sour Cherries, Peaches, Nectarines, Apples, Pumpkins

 

Happy Day Farm

106 Iron Ore Road

Manalapan, NJ

(732) 977-3607

Available Now:  Raspberries, Lavender

Available Later:  Blueberries, Sunflowers, Zinnias, Blackberries, Pumpkins and more

 

 

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