Skip to main content

Summer Salads with Fresh Ingredients Straight From the Farmers’ Market + 5 Recipes

Jun 27, 2022 04:55PM ● By Tracey Hull
Summer salads are light, hydrating, and refreshing. Simple, local ingredients such as herbs, greens, and berries from the farmers’ market are bursting with freshness and flavor and are perfect for those hot and humid days ahead.

The secret to an amazing summer salad is the delicate balance of flavors and textures that plays to all the senses: sweet, savory, creamy, salty, crunchy, and oh so satisfying. Pick ingredients from each category and you’ll be floating into salad paradise.

Look for these ingredients at the Norwich Farmers Market, The Woodstock Farmers Market, or the West Hartford Farmers Market.


The base: Start with spinach, green-leaf lettuce, Boston lettuce (also known as butter or bibb lettuce), mesclun greens (also known as mixed baby lettuce or spring mix), or baby kale.

Some crunch: Radicchio (also known as red chicory) is mildly bitter, endive is mild and crunchy, or try shaved Brussels sprouts, shredded carrots, radishes, or roasted chickpeas to add texture. If you are more traditional in the salad department, add cucumbers and cherry tomatoes.

Something unexpected: Herbs and strong greens can pack a punch of flavor. Try arugula, baby watercress, or frisee for a peppery or slightly spicy taste, or add basil or dill from your garden for earthy flavors. If you are feeling a little more adventurous, pickled beets, pickled onions, or roasted corn add flavor and color.

Sweet and cheerful: Top your salad with strawberries, blueberries, mango, or dried cranberries or a fruit juice dressing for some added sweetness.

Healthy fats: Pistachios, sunflower seeds, avocado, olives, or hummus add body to your salad. For the perfect light dressing, use a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil mixed with flavored vinegar or fruit juice. Add a pinch of salt, pepper, and some fresh herbs and your salad is complete! 

Make it a meal: To beef up your salad, add whole grains or protein. Brown rice, quinoa, beans, tofu, chicken, and salmon are light and easy to digest. This means you can stay active all summer long without your lunch weighing you down.

A few helpful hints before you start shredding the lettuce: Local greens come straight from the farm, so wash them thoroughly under running water or in a large bowl of water to get rid of any unwanted bugs or pebbles. Also, nothing is worse than discovering slimy greens at the bottom of your vegetable drawer. Store greens on top of a dry paper towel in a closed container. This will absorb excess moisture and keep your lettuce fresher for longer. Just make sure to change the paper towel every few days.


Looking for inspiration? Check out these delicious summer salad recipes.

ChoppedSummer Kale Salad Recipe by Elizabeth Rider

Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Summer Salad by My Recipes 

Eat-the-Rainbow Salad by Forks Over Knives

Arugula and Three-Pea Salad by Ree Drummond

BeetrootQuinoa Salad with an Orange Ginger Dressing by Pick Up Limes 

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Image's free newsletter to catch every headline