What better way to savour the taste of summer than by dining on freshly made salads al fresco. I'm a fan of salads all year round but I have to admit, they come into their own at Summer time and that's why today's blog post is dedicated to celebrating the start of Summer salad season (yah!!). Thee are so many reasons why summer salad season is the best, but these are my top five. Read on and I guarantee you will happily eat salad all Summer long!
1. Eating salads mean eating outside, right?
Salad is the perfect meal to eat outdoors. Most salads are low on labour and some elements like dressings can be made in advance, meaning more time to spend bare foot and fancy free kicking back in the outdoors. Dine al fresco in your very own back garden or pack a picnic and take it to the local park or beach (just make sure not to pack your dressing separately - no one likes soggy leaves). Use precious lunch hours to soak up some rays over your favourite salad and just for that hour, put everything else aside and let food and sunshine become the only things that matter.
2. Summer vegetables are in abundance.
The Summer months mean that the farmers' markets are full to the brim with locally grown vegetables, making it so much easier and appealing to eat local and seasonal. Everything tastes amazing. Eat vegetables, raw or cooked, on their own or mixed and matched with other ingredients. There is an abundance of fresh produce to choose from and pretty much all my favourite vegetables are available (yah)!
3. Dessert can be salad too (fruit salad that is)
Who else craves fruit in the Summer time; I would quite happily eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cherries have to be my absolute favourite food in the world. Team fresh cherries with blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. Marinate them in a little lime juice and apple syrup. If you haven't tried Highbank Orchard's organic apple syrup; this is the perfect excuse to do so. Add some chopped mint and let the flavours infuse. This dessert requires zero effort to prepare, giving you more time to enjoy the sunshine.
4. It's so much easier to eat more vegetables in the sunshine
We know the official advice is to eat 7 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. This can be a struggle for anyone not used to doing so. If this is you, Summer is the perfect time to make a renewed effort and salad is the perfect place to start. I think we all crave heartier comfort style foods in the Winter time and very often these foods are carb heavy and vegetable low. Whereas in Summer time, we tend to find ourselves drawn more to fresh ingredients; it's the perfect time of year to add more salads to your diet.
5. Salad is the perfect choice for entertaining
We all know that food is most enjoyable when we eat with others and when we make an occasion out of it. Salads work really well for big groups; focus on 3-4 salads and serve with breads, cold meats and cheeses. Cue impressed guests. Plus most salads are really pretty to look at - cue doubly-impressed guests!! Did I mention salads go really well with chilled white wine or a cool bottle of Rose?! Make a note of that :)
To help you kick off salad season, here are some of my favourite Honest Project salads.