Fustini's Oils and Vinegars

Fresh Summer Salads to Brighten Up Your Outdoor Gatherings

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There are a lot of things to love about this summertime season. From warmer weather to long days of sunshine and so much more, summer is something to treasure. 

One of our favorite parts about summer is the opportunity to enjoy meals outdoors surrounded by friends and family. While our gatherings might be looking a little different this year, spending time with those you love while enjoying a plate of delicious food and an ice cold beverage is something we can all look forward to. 

Are you planning your summertime gatherings? 


One of the keys to these warmer weather get-togethers is the food. The summer season brings a wealth of fresh and flavorful ingredients that go perfect in a plethora of dishes and sides. Whether you shop at your local farmers’ market, stock your cart with produce at the grocery store or even grow your own, you can discover new and fun ways to incorporate the best this season has to offer. 

At Fustini’s Oils and Vinegars, we love the opportunity to share recipes and flavor combinations to inspire your own cooking. Especially during seasons of cooking and staying at home, your ideas and sharing how you use these bright ingredients can help us all carry on. 

Summer salads can be a great feature on your outdoor party spread. With so many varieties and ways to create and weave together flavors, there’s no limit to what you can whip up. Salads especially have the power in highlighting the bright, fresh produce to make them the real deal. Summer salads also are quick and easy to whip up, which is great especially when throwing together a last-minute gathering with only the ingredients you already have in your pantry. 

Brighten Your Tables with These Fresh Summer Salads 

We’re excited for the summer season of outdoor gatherings and spending time with friends and family, in whatever capacity that looks like for this year. To help your hearts and plates be full, here we share some great salad options you can add to the mix. And be sure to share with us what you’re cooking up for your return to summer by posting in the comments or on our social media accounts. 

California Kale Citrus Salad 

While kale is a leafy green you can get throughout the winter, there’s something special about combining the rich flavor with bright grapefruit. This California Kale Citrus salad takes a citrus twist with bright colors from the fruits and veggies. It’s simple and quick to whip up for when you’re running from one thing to another. 

Bacon Cheeseburger Salad 

There’s just something about burgers and summertime that were made for each other. And with a variety of ways to incorporate this classic flavor combination, you can make them a staple for the summer. Infuse the memorable taste of burgers from the grill in this salad perfect for outdoor dining. This easy recipe includes all the great flavors you know from a burger, just in a little bit of a lighter form. With a vibrant pickle vinaigrette, made with 12 Year white balsamic, honey and pickle juice, this salad can satisfy that burger craving while incorporating healthy veggies. 

Broccoli Slaw with Ginger and Honey Dressing 

Shredded cabbage, broccoli and other greens can be a versatile combination you can incorporate into a lot of things. This Asian-inspired recipe brings in that bright summer taste with just a few simple ingredients. The dressing is what really brings the pop of flavor with combining flavors like Meyer Lemon, Sesame Oil and of course, the sweet and flavorful Ginger and Honey balsamic vinegar. You can put this slaw on sandwiches, pulled pork on top of some spinach or enjoy it on its own. 

Greek Pasta Salad with Garbanzo Beans 

Pasta salads are also an often-found staple on outdoor dining spreads. Go beyond those storebought varieties and make your own with this quick and easy Greek-inspired pasta salad. Incorporate all those ingredients you can expect from a Greek dish like olives, artichokes, feta, tomatoes and garbanzo beans. And with a bright dressing of Garlic oil and Sicilian Lemon balsamic, this pasta will be passed around again and again.     

Herbed Tomato Salad 

One of the top crops of the summer season in Michigan are the tomatoes. You can often easily tell the difference between biting into a sweet and juicy cherry tomato picked up from your local farmers’ market or from your own garden and a cherry tomato shipped from somewhere else to your grocery store shelves. This tomato-based salad showcases the vibrant summertime crops like beans, asparagus, cucumbers and of course, tomatoes. With a lemon dressing, you’ll be able to show off some of the best summer has to offer.  

Marinated Cucumber Salad 

Summertime is a great time to cook up some brine and get to pickling. Transform fresh cucumbers into a pickled treat with this make and let sit salad. All it takes is a brine with vinegar, sugar and some other key seasonings added to sliced cucumbers. By letting it sit overnight, those cucumbers transform into a perfect summer salad. 

Orzo Market Salad 

Pasta salads can take on different forms. This one incorporates the texture and lightness of orzo pasta combined with a variety of veggies to create a fresh salad. Add the produce you already have in your fridge, like tomatoes and onions. What really brings this salad to life is the raw corn cut straight from the cob and stirred in. Try this revamped pasta salad yourself with the freedom to make it your own. 

Spinach Strawberry Salad 

Come early summer, strawberries are abundant for picking and eating in Michigan. While the season is short-lived, it provides a perfect opportunity to incorporate these sweet berries into everything, including your salads. This spinach strawberry salad balances the sweetness of the berries with the saltiness from sliced almonds. Try adding in your own preferences, like bacon, cheese and other veggies to make it your own. With a fresh lemon dressing, you can take advantage of strawberry season whenever. 

Baked Potato Salad 

Wow the crowd by taking a storebought style potato salad to a new level. Making your own potato salad can be quick and easy, and you can control the flavor included. This recipe uses the classic pairing of butter to make a potato dish that people are sure to love. 

Try Out Your Next Summer Salad Favorite 

With so many produce varieties available in the summer, the possibilities for fresh, vibrant salads are endless. What sides will you dish up for your next outdoor get-together to celebrate the season? 

These salads - and many more you can find on our website - can inspire your next idea for what to make for an outdoor gathering with those you care about. You can catch many of these recipes through our weekly Fridays with Fustini’s Facebook Live show. For example, in this video, we show you how to make salads like the Orzo Market Salad and the California Kale Citrus salad. Stay tuned for even more great recipe demonstrations to come! 

Share with us what you’re making for your summer gatherings by posting in the comments or on our social media accounts. 

 

 

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