Before I moved to New York, I had no idea what a “summer salad” was. I grew up in South Florida, land of perpetual summer. Salad was always just, well…salad. And my family always ate our salad the same. Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and salad dressing. Maybe a carrot if we were feeling crazy? Honestly, until the age of 23 I truly had no idea you could – or would even want to – put other things in your salad. Then I moved to New York, discovered the Cobb salad and have never looked at lettuce the same.
One concept, however, that still seemed a little funny to me until recently is the idea of fruit in salad. The occasional craisin, sure…but apples? Strawberries? I didn’t really love the idea. But my boyfriend loves, loves, loves fruit in salad and heading home from hot yoga last week we realized we didn’t want to eat anything too heavy…but we were starving. He suggested we make a summer salad. I was too tired and hot to suggest anything otherwise, so I agreed. And to my surprise, I loved it. It filled me up without leaving me feeling full, which is perfect after an intense workout.
Here is the recipe we threw together off the dome! You’ll need:
- Iceberg Lettuce
- Plain, sliced almonds
- Craisins or dried cranberries
- Watermelon chunks
- Perdue shortcuts chicken
- Balsamic vinegar (or your preferred dressing)
- Salt and pepper
And here’s what you do:
- Cut your watermelon into bite-sized chunks and sprinkle evenly with salt. This was the boyfriend’s idea and it was super yummy all on its own. And I’m not even a huge watermelon fan (something about its texture makes me feel weird sometimes.)
- Dump all the rest of your ingredients, save the dressing and salt and pepper, into a large bowl and mix well
- I wanted to add a little spice to the fruit, so after the salad was mixed well and I served myself, I poured on balsamic vinegar and gave my bowl a few good shakes of pepper. GC preferred to add a fruity vinaigrette to his instead. So add this on last so you can find the compliment you want.
Here’s a shot of the salad before I wolfed it down a few moments later:
So yummy and perfect for a post-workout neal or just when you need something light that won’t leave you feeling like you ate too much (something I experience far often than I should.)