Summer boasts some of the best ingredients. Today we have access to produce that naturally is only in season in the summer all year long. These fruits and vegetables are generally more flavorful in the summer, so let’s utilize them now! Summer is a good time to get fresh tomatoes, peppers, melons, avocados, and berries. What better way to incorporate some of the in season produce than in a fresh salad? 

When most people think of salads, they think bland, limp lettuce with a few pale vegetables and smothered in ranch. Not too appealing if you ask me. Or they think of the superfood kale and goji berry salads you can find at Whole Foods. Not a favorite for everyone. These salads are different! They are salads are for those who don't like salad, and those who like salads will love these alternative versions, as well. This DIY will show you how to make a watermelon salad, shrimp ceviche, caprese salad, and a berry fruit salad! 

Let’s get started!

Watermelon Salad

Most people wouldn’t typically think of watermelon as being a good candidate to pair with savory ingredients. However, the light sweet flavor and crisp texture go very well savory ingredients. This salad mixes watermelon with salty and acidic flavors by pairing the fruit with feta cheese crumbles and a balsamic reduction. Don’t let the word reduction scare you, it’s actually super easy! To make this recipe, you’ll need watermelon, sugar, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, mint leaves, and feta cheese. This recipe shows the watermelon in ball shapes. If you have a melon baller or want to get one, great, but if not, cutting the melon into small cubes would work just as well. The reduction is made by bringing the vinegar and sugar to a boil and stirring until it thickens to a syrup consistency. After the rest of the ingredients are assembled, the cooled reduction can be drizzled over the top. For the complete recipe, follow this link to the website, Just a Taste! 

Shrimp Ceviche

Though not technically a salad, this dish can be served like a salad and features some fresh summer flavors. Never heard of ceviche? It is a dish which features a mix of raw fish, and assorted vegetables like onions and spicy peppers. The fish is “cooked” by an acid, typically citrus, and is made safe to eat. This dish is a bit different, as the shrimp is precooked, but the traditional flavors are there! With fresh lemon, lime, and orange juice, cilantro, avocado, and tomatoes, this is sure to create a refreshing and tropical mix. You can serve with tortilla chips or plantain chips.This recipe comes from Spend with Pennies, and you can find the full ingredient list and instructions here

Caprese Salad

You can find this salad at any upscale Itailian restaurant. This classic salad doesn’t look like the salads to which many are accustomed. There’s no lettuce, and only 5 ingredients, excluding salt and pepper. Slices of fresh mozzarella and tomato with basil leaves and a balsamic reduction, this is a very simple salad. Simple, but complex in flavor and tradition. Make this to impress dinner guests or to shake up your dinner routine. This recipe comes from Food Network, and can be found here!

Berry Fruit Salad

And for dessert… More salad! But the fruit kind. This salad is something everyone would like. Well, everyone who likes berries because this salad has nothing but berries. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, are complemented by mint, lemon juice, and honey. Agave or maple syrup can be substituted for the honey to make this dish vegan friendly. This is a sweet and refreshing dessert or snack to have in the summer when these berries are most in-season. If you so desire, you can serve with whipped cream or yogurt to make this dish sweeter and more filling. This fruit salad recipe comes from the website Show Me the Yummy, and you can find it here!