August is a busy month for the home gardener. The last of the beans and peas need picking. Raspberries seem to ripen before your eyes. Canning is in full swing. Scorching hot days mean constant watering. Who has time to make lunch?
A Seasonal Summer Salad
Today I’m sharing one of my favourite salads that uses ingredients you probably have in your garden or are in season at farmers markets and fruit trucks. Vegetables have been an acquired taste for me, so feel free to add whatever veggies you like.
Shake up some easy Raspberry Vinaigrette
Start by assembling the raspberry vinaigrette. In a mason jar, combine 1 cup of raspberries, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup lemon juice or vinegar, and 1/2 cup canola oil, as well as salt and pepper to taste. Really, everything in this recipe is to taste. Too runny? Add more raspberries. Too sweet? Add more lemon juice or vinegar. Too sour? Add more sugar.
Whatever you do, don’t add pickle brine!!
What? Funny story time.
I was making this dressing one morning at my mother-in-law’s house. She had recently been making lemon juice and had a lot of lemon juice on hand. I wasn’t sure which bottle to use, so I grabbed the one without a label, assuming that it was that way because it was the opened one.
I tasted my dressing to see if I needed to adjust the ingredients. Bleh! Way too salty!!
I knew I put salt in it, but I didn’t think I added nearly as much as I was tasting. I tried adjusting my ingredients but it still had more salt than I would have liked.
A while later my mother-in-law joined me in the kitchen.
Related: 10 Must-Try Raspberry Recipes
I told her how I had made this dressing before, but it just didn’t work out this time. She asked what ingredients where in it. When I came to the lemon juice, she asked which bottle of lemon juice I used.
She informed me I had used her pickle brine.
Oops. #soclosetoamazingLet me tell you about when I used pickle brine in raspberry vinaigrette. Oops. #soclosetoamazingClick To Tweet
Where was I?
Oh yes, back to recipe instructions!
Anyway, shake the mason jar until the ingredients are combined. If you like a more savoury hit, you can add a squeeze of dijon mustard.
As for the rest, chop and clean your vegetables, sprinkle on some feta cheese and nuts, and you’re good to go!
Make your salad super pretty by adding some edible nasturtium flowers. They give a subtle peppery hit to your salad.
Fresh Summer Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
Description of your recipe.
6 cups lettuce,
3/4 cup cucumber, chopped,
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped,
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped,
1/2 cup feta cheese,
1/4 cup sunflower seeds,
1 cup fresh raspberries,
1/4 cup white sugar,
1/2 cup oil,
1/4 cup lemon juice,
salt and pepper to taste,.
Combine the lettuce, cucumber, bell pepper, walnuts, feta cheese, and sunflower seeds in a bowl. Set aside. Add Raspberries, oil, sugar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a mason jar. Screw on the lid and shake until combined. Pour over salad and serve.
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Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots. She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden. She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.