Build a Better Summer Salad

By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA

There’s nothing like the sweet, rich flavor of summer fruits and veggies!

Tomatoes are sweeter and in general produce appears richer in color! Think about the many varieties of peppers in green, red, yellow and orange. Salads are a great way to add variety and a bounty of nutrients to your diet. Here are some ideas to get you started on a better summer salad:

  • Build your base: Lettuce, spinach and kale are all terrific starters. You can make a salad feel heartier by starting with quinoa, wild rice or barley.
  • Add Crunch: Carrots, cucumber, peppers, snap peas, string beans, broccoli, red onion, cabbage and corn
  • Sweet additions: blueberries, strawberries, apples, dried cranberries, raisins, apricots
  • Power up with protein: Grilled chicken, canned tuna, crab meat, sliced steak, salmon, eggs, cheese, chicken peas, edamamme, tofu, nuts, beans and legumes
  • Fun extra’s: Diced boiled potatoes, whole grain croutons, avocado, sprouts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds
  • Dressing: Combine a fat with acid; for example Olive oil & Balsamic vinegar, Lemon juice, mustard & sesame seed oil, etc.


Mediterranean Summer Chopped Salad

Prep: 20 Minutes

Makes: 4 Servings


  • 6 cups packed chopped romaine lettuce hearts
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup pitted quartered Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. each finely chopped fresh parsley and chives
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 hard-boiled large EGGS, cooled to room temperature, peeled and quartered



  1. COMBINE lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas and olives in large bowl. TOP with feta cheese.
  2. WHISK together vinegar, parsley, chives and mustard in small bowl. ADD olive oil slowly, whisking until combined.
  3. TOSS salad lightly with dressing and DIVIDE evenly among 4 dinner plates. TOP with eggs.