10 Simple Salads You Can Make with Your Garden Harvests
Did you know May is National Salad Month?
I’m not sure how quirky holidays like this get started, but I’ll celebrate all the same! And in case you’d like to join me, today I’ll share 10 tasty Tower-to-Table salad recipes that were created by Tower Gardeners for an awesome cookbook (you can download a PDF version of the cookbook here).
Bolded ingredients are those you can grow — and may already be growing — with Tower Garden. (Yep, you can totally grow your own salads.)
P.S. Not all salads require greens! You’ll find several nontraditional salad recipes on this list.
Photo and recipe by Calli Curtis
Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato (BLT) Salad
If you eat meat, it’s hard to beat this easy, delectable dish. (Plus, you make your own croutons!)
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp purified water
- 3 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Dash of ground red pepper
- 6 cups greens, torn
- 4 cups tomato, chopped
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- 6 bacon slices, cooked, and crumbled
- 1 avocado, sliced (optional)
- 6 cups cubed firm bread
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Put cubed bread in a single layer on a pan sprayed lightly with cooking oil.
- Bake for 10–15 minutes or until golden.
- Combine dressing ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.
- Add toasted bread, greens, tomatoes, and onions to the bowl.
- Toss gently to coat, and serve immediately.
Photo and recipe by Jodi Hart
Basil Vinaigrette Salad
The magic of this recipe comes from the awesome DIY dressing. Once you’ve made it, simply mix it with whatever salad ingredients you please. You can store extra dressing in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
- 2 slices fresh chili pepper
- 1 cup basil leaves, torn
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- Honey, to taste
- Add the shallot and chili pepper to a processor and blend.
- Add the basil leaves, water, vinegar, and salt and blend while slowly pouring in the olive oil.
- Add honey to desired sweetness.
- Mix with salad ingredients and serve.
Photo and recipe by Nancy Kroupa
I fell in love with caprese sandwiches during a recent trip to Italy. So I can’t wait to try this recipe!
- 3 tomatoes
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- 12 oz fresh mozzarella, thickly sliced
- 2 cups balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil, for drizzling
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Pour balsamic vinegar into a saucepan and bring it to a gentle boil over low heat.
- Cook the balsamic vinegar until it has reduced to a thick (but pourable) glaze (about 15 minutes). Allow the reduction to cool to room temperature before serving.
- When you are ready to assemble the salad, cut the tomatoes into thick slices, and arrange them on a platter, alternating them with the mozzarella slices. Tuck whole basil leaves between tomato and cheese slices.
- Drizzle on the balsamic reduction. Drizzle the olive oil thinly over the top.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Photo and recipe by Bobbi Dunn
"Easy TG" Salad
This recipe is about as simple as it gets. Add chopped ingredients at whatever ratio you please!
- Green bell pepper
- Basil, thinly sliced
- Red onion
- Gently toss salad with vinegar and olive oil.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Photo and recipe by Missy Kizer
Fire and Ice Tomato Salad
This delicious dish is best when chilled overnight before enjoying.
- 3/4 cup vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp celery and mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp dried stevia
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/8 cup water
- 6 tomatoes, peeled and quartered
- 1 green pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup chives, chopped
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- Bring the dressing ingredients to a boil for a minute.
- Pour dressing over the prepared veggies.
Photo and recipe by Tami DeVour
If you care to mix things up, consider spooning this healthy mixture into a pita bread pocket.
- Bell peppers
- Large handful of fresh oregano
- Feta cheese
- Red onion
- Mix equal parts olive oil and red wine vinegar.
- Toss dressing with salad ingredients, and enjoy!
Photo and recipe by Julie Soderblom
Avocado gives this dish its creamy texture and heartiness. You’ll be full after eating this salad!
- 8-10 kale leaves, de-stemmed and chopped
- 1 orange pepper, diced
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 avocado
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Hemp seed, to taste
- Sunflower sprouts, to taste
- Massage all ingredients together.
- Let chill for a few hours in the refrigerator.
- Top with hemp seed and sunflower sprouts.
Photo and recipe by Donna Wright
Can you feel the power? This slightly sweet salad is packed with superfoods.
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Coarsely ground pepper
- 8 cups kale, Swiss chard, Bibb and red leaf lettuce
- 3 cups strawberries, halved
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a closed jar, and shake to combine.
- Toss the greens with vinaigrette.
- Top with strawberries berries and feta cheese.
Photo and recipe by Winnona Gaviglio
Quinoa Herb Salad
As one of very few plant-based complete proteins, quinoa has a lot to offer in the way of nutrition. So the fact that it’s a core ingredient in this salad already makes this recipe a winner!
- 1 avocado
- 1/4 cup basil-infused grape seed oil
- 1 tbsp light balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp Tamari soy sauce
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 15 oz black beans, rinsed and drained
- 15 oz low sodium black olives, drained
- 1 large Swiss chard leaf
- 2 jalapeños, seeded and sliced
- 2 cups chives, chopped
- 1 cup basil, chopped
- 1 cup cooked corn kernels
- Add the rinsed quinoa, cumin, and two cups of water in a saucepan.
- Heat on a stove burner at medium heat until the water bubbles.
- Reduce to a simmer, and cook about 20 minutes.
- Fluff the quinoa with a fork, and transfer it to a large bowl or baking dish to cool.
- Roll the Swiss chard, ribbon-cut the leaf, and slice the stalk.
- Place the Swiss chard in a large mixing bowl and add beans, olives, jalapeño, chives, corn, and basil.
- Mash up the avocado in a medium bowl, and mix it with the remaining dressing ingredients.
- Toss the quinoa with the veggie mixture, add the dressing, and thoroughly mix.
- Let stand at least an hour before serving.
Photo and recipe by Carmen Hannah
Thai Kale Salad
Last, but certainly not least, is this easy Asian-inspired salad.
- 1 bunch kale, chopped and de-stemmed
- 1 bell pepper
- 4 oz peanut satay sauce
- Raw cashews, chopped, to taste
- Add all of the ingredients to a bowl.
- Toss and serve.
Do you have a favorite salad recipe?
If you’re a salad aficionado and have your own secret salad recipe — or if you’ve made some of the salads I’ve featured here — I’d love to hear about it. Just drop a comment below!
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