summer-salad-recipeSummer time is here and I’m searching the Internet for the best summer salad recipes. If you are too, you’ve come to the right place! I eat more salads in the summer for a couple of reasons, first, there are plenty of farmers market fresh veggies available, and second, salads don’t require turning on the oven so my temperature fickle apartment will stay nice and cool.

This salad is one of my favorites. It has the flavors of a caprese salad – basil, tomato and mozzarella – plus soft pita pieces that absorb the balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Continue reading for the recipe!


Summer Caprese Salad

Recipe by Amanda, inspired by the panzanella salad at the Great Dane in Madison, Wisconsin

Note: Makes 2 large salads. Ingredient quantities may vary depending on your taste. If you love tomatoes, add extra! Don’t want to turn on the oven? Leave off the asparagus! Use this as a guide to make the salad your own. 



1 clove finely minced garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper


1 bunch of asparagus (optional)

1 piece of pita bread (the kind you use for gyros)

4 cups of spinach or mixed greens

1 container of cherry tomatoes

1/2 jar of roasted red peppers

10-20 basil leaves, torn in to bite sized pieces

2-4 ozs of fresh mozzarella balls (the pearl sized ounces work well, or you could use bigger ones and just cut them in to smaller pieces)


1. Make the dressing – mix the garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl with a whisk, set aside.

2. (Optional) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Put the washed and trimmed asparagus  on a cookie sheet and spray with some cooking spray and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 5-10 minutes or until tender. Chop in to bite size pieces for the salad.

3. Wrap the pita bread in a damp paper towel and microwave for about 10-20 seconds just to warm the pita. When the pita is cool enough to handle, cut it in to bite size wedges.

3. Now let’s assemble the salad! Start with a bed of lettuce and top with red peppers, tomatoes, mozzarella balls, basil leaves, and asparagus.

4. Just before serving, drizzle on dressing and top with more salt and freshly ground pepper, if you like. You don’t want tp add the dressing too far ahead of time because it will make the pitas soggy.

If you like this recipe, you might also like these:

Cranberry Salad

Homemade Croutons