Easy Summer Salads 

 Originally Written: May 5, 2018

By  Hanna Trafford

summer vegetables on a table Summer is the season for salads – it is when vegetables and fruits are at their best! So enjoy them in as many different ways as you can! Remember that buying local is the way to go here – it is more economical, better in flavour and nutritional value.

Salads are ideal for entertaining  – whether you decide to make a simple tossed salad or a sensational composition of different ingredients. Make-ahead salads are perfect time-savers for hot and busy days. And it gets even better if you consider making an overnight vegetable salad by using your favourite vinaigrette dressing. Or you can prepare your Caeser dressing ahead of time and add it to your greens just before serving.

Here are some of my favourite salad recipes:

Overnight Vegetable Salad:


  • 2 small zucchini, sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into julienne stripes
  • 4 cups of cauliflower florets
  • 4 cups of broccoli florets
  • 2 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 2 cups of small mushrooms
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 cups of cherry tomatoes


  • 1/2 cup of vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of each basil,oregano.dry mustard and salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cups of oil


  1. In a large plastic bag, combine zucchini, carrots. cauliflower, broccoli, celery, mushrooms and onion.
  2. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, garlic, basil, oregano, dry mustard, salt, sugar and pepper.
  3. Whisk in oil with a fork or whisk, mixing well. Pour over vegetables; seal bag and refrigerate overnight, turning often.
  4. Before serving, toss in halved cherry tomatoes.
  5. Serve on a platter or in a salad bowl.

Easy Caesar Salad:


  • 1 head of Romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup of croutons


  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of anchovy paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of each dry mustard, salt and Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of grated parmesan Cheese
  • freshly ground balck pepper


  1. Place lettuce in a large salad bowl and sprinkle with croutons. Set aside.
  2. To make a dressing, place all ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously to mix well.
  3. Pour over salad just before serving and toss well.

Creamy Shrimp and Pasta Salad:


  • 2 cups of small pasta shapes or macaroni
  • 2 cup of chopped celery
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 4 oz can of shrimp, drained
  • 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream or yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • black pepper to taste


  1. In a large saucepan, cook pasta in boiling salt water until done to just tender.
  2. Drain and rinse under cold running water; drain well.
  3. In a large bowl, combine pasta, celery, onion, red pepper and shrimp
  4. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, dry mustard, salt and pepper.
  5. Toss well with pasta mixture to coat all ingredients.
  6. Chill thoroughly for at least 2 hours before serving.

Thai Noodle Salad:


  • 1/2 lb. of Thai noodles
  • 1 cup of blanched snow peas
  • 1 cup of fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 sweet red or yellow pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup of chopped, unsalted peanuts


  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of rice (or regular) vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 2 teaspoons of minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sugar
  • dash of red hot sauce


  1. In a large sauce, cook noodles until done – just tender – no more than 5 minutes.
  2. Drain and rinse under cold, running water
  3. Drain well
  4. Place in a large bowl, add snow peas, mushrooms and peppers.
  5. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
  6. Pour over noodles and vegetables, toss to coat.
  7. Sprinkle with peanuts and serve.

Hope you enjoy these recipes and will send in your comments, suggestions and experiences. Your input is always welcomed and very much appreciated!

Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, and is also the Grandmother to Jax, Cohen and Mila. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

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  • Thanks that was a great read. I can’t believe it myself, but it’s my wife’s and my 10th anniversary next weekend. Our first anniversary was in Italy, and had this incredible shrimp pasta in this little cafe in Rome. I’ve been looking all over the web for an easy recipe to see if I can make something myself, and I even found a shrimp pasta site dedicated to them! Thought you might like to know, you can find anything on the net nowadays it seems!

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