Summer Salads

Summer Salads


A friend of mine hosted an “End of the Summer Salads” dinner party last week. I was confused at first. Did this mean we were celebrating the salads that sat around all summer and we were going to eat them wilted? Or did it mean we would only be eating salads whose ingredients are available in August? Not to mention it’s depressing enough that we start school in a few days. Do I really need a salad to remind me summer is over?

As an aside, this is a woman who works, who has two kids, and who told us to come casual for a very last-minute dinner. She had just arrived home from work when we got there. But somehow it was all done. When we walked in, the place was spotless. The kids actually stayed downstairs with their babysitter (something that would NEVER happen in my house no matter how much I paid them – kids, not babysitter). And there was an array of “End of the Summer Salads” like I’ve never seen before in my life. There were no piles of mail sitting around. I was speechless. If I didn’t like her so damn much, I’d hate her.

Some people just know how to host. So, to pay homage to my friend who can put on a mean “End of the Summer Salads” party (I’ll just keep writing it because I think it’s funny), here are some amazing “End of the Summer Salads” that you can make in your own chaotic kitchen. I won’t even list the directions because they’re pretty obvious. But if you need help just remember these three words: Layer*Drizzle*Sprinkle*

Tomato Basil Caprese

  • 1 beefsteak tomato
  • 1 spring of fresh basil
  • 1 hunk of fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Drizzle of good olive oil
  • Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh pepper


Broccoli Slaw



  • Bag of Broccoli Slaw (you can buy this in the produce department)
  • 1/2 chopped yellow onion
  • 1 package Ramen Noodles
  • 1/2 bag sunflower seeds (shelled)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil


  1. Toast Ramen noodles and sunflower seeds lightly (don’t use seasoning from Ramen noodles)
  2. Toss with bag ‘o slaw and remaining ingredients.
  3. Marinate for at least one hour (can also be marinated overnight)

Watermelon and Feta Salad with Serrano Chile Vinaigrette


  • 1 seedless watermelon (cut into thin squares or chunks)
  • 1 wedge Feta cheese (sliced into the same size squares or chunks as the watermelon)
  • 1 bunch butter lettuce or arugula
  • 1 pinch Kosher salt

For Dressing:

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 small Serrano chile
  • 1 small diced shallot
  • splash champagne vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme
  • Squeeze Fresh Lime Juice


  1. Mix everything for dressing except for Serrano chile and shake thoroughly.
  2. Chill dressing.
  3. Slice watermelon.
  4. Slice feta.
  5. Alternate slices and top with arugula.
  6. Drizzle dressing over salad.
  7. Garnish with Serrano chile.

Serve all with Prosecco and fresh fruit!