Do you feel it?
The sun’s a little brighter, the days are a little longer, and — Oh boy! — there’s a tropical storm brewing near Florida.
Yep, summer must be here.
I know it’s a welcomed season in the colder parts of the world, but I (along with many other Sunshine State natives, I suspect) greet summer with a begrudging moan and a series of important life questions, such as:
- Can a human being actually melt like a popsicle?
- How little clothing can I wear in public without being indecent?
- Where is the closest pool and will its owner mind if I show up unannounced?
Of course, there are a *few* things I do enjoy about summer — like fresh watermelon, ripe strawberries, sunflower seeds, barbecue chicken, grilled pineapple, hot dogs, corn on the cob, and homemade ice cream.
(Hmm…is it a coincidence that all the things on my list are food? Probably not…)
All of these delicious treats were circulating slowly in my mind (not unlike a barbecue spit) on Sunday while I did my weekly grocery shopping.
As if that wasn’t enough temptation to handle, I also made the cardinal mistake of stepping into the grocery store both hungry and without any kind of list/menu/plan (never, ever, ever do that — more often than not it’s a one way ticket to fried chicken and oreos for dinner).
My basket filled up quickly, but I’m happy to report it was 98% good stuff –– arugula, baby spinach, watermelon, strawberries, grapes, feta, cucumber, whole fruit popsicles, and zucchini.
(Somehow I also came home with hickory smoked bacon, pizza dough, organic white cheddar puffs, and a surprise bag of M&M’s, but I swear they must’ve jumped in my basket when I wasn’t looking…honest…)
I came, looked at my ingredient options, and started playing like a mad scientist.
What I came up with turned out to the BEST summer salad I have EVER had.
Seriously, it was SO good I actually forgot about my M&M’s and cheese puffs for the rest of the afternoon (that’s saying a lot).
I’m going to share this recipe with everyone I come in contact with and insist (INSIST) that they try it even if the think the combination of ingredients sounds strange.
Check out the recipe, try it at home, and tell me what you think!
Southern Summer Salad Recipe
[Note on Portion Size: The measurements below are for an entree portion for one — if you served this as a side salad, this would probably make enough for two. If you wanted to serve for a larger crowd, you’d have to scale it appropriately!]
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach (washed, of course)
- 1 cup arugula (or two cups if you love arugula as much as I do!)
- 1/2 cup diced watermelon*
- 1/2 cup diced cucumber
- 1/2 cup diced strawberries
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup strawberry vinaigrette (I used Ken’s lite version, it was divine!)
- **SPECIAL INGREDIENT** 1 slice of cooked bacon, diced **SPECIAL INGREDIENT**
*I diced the fruit and cucumber so I could get a bite of everything at once and it was really perfect — I don’t think I would have liked it as much if there were big chunks!
Um…it’s a salad, y’all.
Throw the ingredients together and you’re pretty much good to go!
I made this in one of my reusable containers so I could pop a lid on it and mix everything together really well, so if you have the ability to do that I would highly recommend it.
Otherwise the above method works just as well. 🙂
One final note:
The bacon REALLY made this meal. It was the perfect dash of saltiness, added some protein, and of course bacon just makes EVERYTHING better in general.
I literally can’t think of one dish that wouldn’t be improved by bacon…