Big summer salads are a delicious option on hot days, especially if you feel like eating something with a lot of volume that won’t weigh you down. I love a giant salad packed with garden vegetables throughout summer.
This strawberry salad is a good lunch or light dinner, with lentils, some avocado, and plenty of greens. Fresh berries and a strawberry vinaigrette make it all the more interesting.
I’ve used pea shoots and edible flowers to add extra texture and flavour variations, but switch this up based on what you’re growing or have on hand. Herbs, different types of greens, snap peas – all delicious.
- Lettuce: a mix of green and red if you have it – any kinds of you like. I prefer ‘salad bowl’ and that’s primarily what we grow.
- Lentils: brown or French lentils are great, as are black.
- Pea Shoots: or sunflower shoots, or sprouts, whatever you like.
- Avocado: this can be omitted but it does add a nice creamy counterpoint.
- Strawberries: the star of this salad! Fresh berries make all the difference.
- Pepitas: for an extra bit of filling protein and added crunch.
- Edible Flowers and Herbs: pictured are garden pansies – nasturtiums are a favourite. Here’s a helpful post on edible flowers.
- Strawberry Vinaigrette: basic instructions are included in the recipe card – visit the post for more information.
Notes and Substitutions
Another seed or nut can replace the pepitas (pumpkin seeds). Sunflower seeds and walnuts are both delicious.
Harvest your salad greens from the outer layers, rather than harvesting full heads, and they’ll last much longer. We have lettuce that lasts for months, even in hot weather, using this method. Salad bowl is a good bolt-resistant variety.
Leftovers, as with any salad, don’t keep well if the vinaigrette has been added. If you want to make it ahead of time (maximum 24 hours in advance), assemble everything but the avocado, and add it and the vinaigrette immediately before serving.
I don’t recommend red lentils, but any other type will be fine. Choose a variety that doesn’t break down during cooking. Chickpeas and white beans are good substitutions for lentils.
More Summery Salads
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Summer Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette
- 80 grams leaf lettuce, washed and dried
- 150 grams cooked brown or black lentils
- 1 ripe avocado quartered and sliced
- 100 grams strawberries, halved
- 80 grams raw pepitas
- Small bunch pea shoots
- Edible flowers and herbs optional
- 150 grams strawberries
- 60 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon sea salt to taste
- Add the lettuce, lentils, avocado, strawberries, pepitas, and pea shoots to a large bowl or platter.
- Top with the strawberry vinaigrette and mix to combine.
- Top with the flowers and herbs if using, and serve immediately. Once the vinaigrette is added, the salad cannot be stored.
- Add all of the ingredients to a mixing container or small blender. Mix on high speed until fully blended.
This post was originally published in July 2016. It has been updated with some slight changes to the recipe as of June 2021.