Are you always the one that ends up bringing a side salad to the bbq? Or are your parties lacking in the fruit and veggie department because you have a hard time thinking of something new? I have 7 unique solutions that are easy to throw together at the last minute, and are interesting flavor combinations that you wouldn’t necessarily think of, but work really well together.
All of these salads below use a basic spring mix as the base, but if the goal is to use what’s already in your fridge… then by all means substitute romaine, iceberg, spinach, and even arugula. In fact some of these you could cut out the greenery all together and be just fine.
1) GRAPE AND MUSHROOM – This is not a flavor combination I would have thought would be so tasty. I’m not a huge fan of raw mushrooms, and never really put grapes in my salads (no thank you, Waldorf). But pair this with Brianna’s Real French Vinaigrette, which most grocery stores carry and is nothing like what you normally think of “French” dressing, and people will be going back for more!
2) LEMONY PROSCIUTTO, PARMESAN – This one’s simple and rustic. We always keep shaved parm in the fridge, and often have prosciutto. You could really dress this with anything and it would be delicious. Give it a little squirt of lemon right at the end to brighten it up.
3) PINEAPPLE AVOCADO – When I called my mom before heading over to a party and asked her for a super quick but unique salad idea, and she told me to just put together pineapple, avocado, sprinkle of sea salt, and a drizzle of olive oil, I was extremely hesitant. I bought the ingredients on the way to the party, threw it together in 5 minutes, and it was the hit of the party. You don’t even need dressing, just the sea salt and olive oil will do the trick.
4) THAI PEANUT – These are definitely ingredients we almost always have around: Carrots, peanuts, cilantro, and lime. Trader Joe’s has this amazing Asian Peanut Dressing in their produce section, but most stores have some sort of Thai, or Peanut, or Asian dressing option these days. You can either toss it all together, or let guests dress it themselves.
5) PEAR & GORGONZOLA – Such a classic flavor combination. Pair it with a champagne vinaigrette (Trader Joe’s has a great one), and you have insta-elegant.
6) NICOISE – Ok, so this one’s got a little more going on. But I often try to plan my Dinner Menus around having leftover potatoes and green beans when I know I want to serve this one. The basis is tuna (canned is great, salmon is also a nice twist), blanched green beans (I’ve also used asparagus in it’s place), cooked (and chilled) potatoes, hard boiled egg, olives (technically nicoise olives, but I use any black whether it be canned sliced or kalamata), and tomatoes. This one below also has red onion and feta. Use the same Brianna’s French Vinaigrette, and it’s like an explosion of flavor.
7) WATERMELON, FETA, MINT – This one is quickly becoming my favorite go-to summer salad. The combination of the sweet watermelon with the salty feta, paired with some chopped fresh mint, it’s like summer on a plate. Drizzle it with a balsamic glaze (store bought) or some balsamic vinegar, and a little bit of olive oil, and voila… you have a yummy, super simple salad.
And there you go, 7 reasons to start volunteering to bring the salad to the party. What’s your favorite flavor combination for a salad?