A trip to your local farmer's market will show you - in North America everything is in season right now! Tomatoes are fragrant and juicy. Cucumbers are crisp and sweet. Peppers are crunchy and tangy. It is the best time of year to make salads - truly any single ingredient drizzled with a little olive oil is exceptional when it is in season. That being said, sometimes we all need a little inspiration. I have compiled my 5 best healthy French summer salad recipes for you to easily refer back to wether it is for a weekend BBQ with friends or simply a light lunch on a Tuesday. The below recipes are also some of the most popular posts on the blog:
- French Salade Niçoise
- Roasted Plum, Goat Cheese & Lemon Thyme Salad
- Fresh Tomato and Fennel Salad
- Tomato Burrata Salad with Orange Zest
- Taboulé du Marché
Best Salad to serve for a Brunch or Light Lunch: La Salade Niçoise
Inviting friends over for a light lunch or brunch? La Salade Niçoise is my go to recipe. It is full of vegetables and protein and it always beautiful to serve. Pair this salad with a glass of Provençale Rosé and a fresh baked baguette and you have a lunch that your friends will talk about for weeks! Ask Alexa (or Siri) to play songs by Brigitte Bardot and you will transport your guests to an authentic French Riviera experience. Santé!
Best Salad to Bring to a BBQ: Roasted Plum, Goat Cheese and Lemon Thyme Salad
This show stopper salad will have everyone asking "who brought this??!!". The honey roasted plums are sweet and decadent while the tanginess of the goat cheese and the nutty crunch of the pine nuts make for a salad to remember. Pairs beautifully with pork tenderloin or roast duck. You can make this recipe with peaches or apricots instead of the plums as well.
Best Salad to Pair with Fish: Fresh Tomato and Fennel Salad
The French love to serve fennel with fish! Baked, grilled or raw, like in this salad, the light licorice taste of fennel augments the delicate flavor of fish. I particularly enjoy fennel with a light, white fish such as Branzino or Cod - but it complements salmon as well.
Best Starter Salad: Tomato Burrata Salad with Orange Zest
Inviting family or friends over for dinner? The Tomato Burrata Salad with Orange Zest sets the tone for a wonderful evening. I love that this salad is super simple to make and can also be made before the guests arrive. Exactly what you need when you are hosting a dinner party. As a general rule I try to serve dishes that require me to spend the least amount of time in the kitchen, away from our guests. With the Tomato Burrata Salad as an appetizer, I recommend serving either a Roast Chicken or Roast lamb as the main course. Throw some nugget potatoes and garlic in the roasting pan at the same time and you have a complete meal that requires minimal cooking effort during dinner. The salad can be served in individual dishes or on one big serving platter, depending on your preference.
Best Weekday Lunch: Taboulé du Marché
This Taboulé salad recipe made with couscous, cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley and a little harissa is one of my weekday favorites. I like to make a big bowl with my weekend farmer's market haul and then pick away at it for a few days. It keeps well in the fridge and is a great, quick meal when you are working from home or need a quick lunch. Taboulé is delicious served with grilled sausages (my favorite are lamb merguez!) or hamburgers for a fun summer dinner.
What are your go-to salads? I hope you have enjoyed my compilation of 5 best healthy summer salad recipes. Let me know if you have tried any of my recipes above!
Au plaisir mes amis,
Le Chef's Wife