Every summer tablescape needs a fresh green salad. With the plentiful produce available in the summer months, why not take advantage with a gorgeous, healthy salad.
Table of Contents
About this Garden Salad
A good summer salad starts with the freshest produce, plenty of textures, and perfect dressing pairing. This recipe checks all of those boxes.
This Summer Green Salad started off as a rendition of the TikTok viral Green Goddess Salad, but instead of cabbage I went with more delicate, summer produce like like fresh salad greens, summer peas, zucchini and asparagus. It feels more sophisticated than the TikTok version, but honestly it’s much easier, with less chopping and store bought dressing instead of homemade.
This light summer recipe is perfect salad to enjoy as an appetizer at your next dinner party, as a lovely lunch by the pool, or as a light summer main dish with some grilled chicken or salmon on top.
I know you’re going to love this perfect side salad, but if you’re looking for more, also check out this Spinach Quinoa Salad, this Cucumber Melon Salad, or this Arugula Caprese Salad, all with fresh summer flavors, too.
- Pearled Couscous - Although this isn’t a classic pasta, couscous is included for heartiness and texture.
- Arugula - I like the bitterness it brings but you can try romaine lettuce, leafy greens, or make it a butter lettuce salad.
- Greens - The green salad ingredients include crisp cucumbers, peas, avocado, asparagus, and green onion. Green beans and/or snap peas would be welcomed, too.
- Dressing - I used TJ’s Shaved Parmesan Italian Dressing. You could also make a simple homemade salad dressing with olive oil, dijon mustard and lemon juice to let the fresh veggies shine.
- Cheese - I used shaved parmesan, but tangy feta cheese or soft goat cheese are also great options.
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Substitutions and Variations
The best part about this recipe is you can make it literally however you need to!
- Gluten free? Use quinoa instead of couscous.
- Dairy free? Use another Italian dressing and skip the cheese.
- Nut free? Use pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or sesame seeds instead of pine nuts. You could add croutons for extra crunch, too!
Other suggested additions:
- Kalamata olives or capers for some saltiness.
- Fresh summer fruit like juicy peaches, sweet berries, or baby clementines.
- Or dried fruit pieces like dried cranberries or dried mango for some sweetness.
- Herbs like fresh dill, parsley, or basil depending on your preference.
How to Make This Recipe
1. Start by preparing the couscous according to box instructions. Let cool completely before adding to the salad.
2. While the couscous is cooking, wash and dice all vegetables: cucumber, asparagus, green onions, cherry tomatoes, and cook the peas.
3. In a big bowl, add the cooked couscous, arugula, and Italian dressing. Toss together.
4. Add the remaining vegetables: diced asparagus, cooked summer peas, green onion, diced cucumber and zucchini. Toss again with tongs.
5. Fold in the shaved parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Add the cherry tomatoes.
6. Toss everything together, add more dressing if desired, and serve. Enjoy!
- If you have time, toast the pine nuts in the oven on a skillet to give a richer, nutty taste.
- Use a vegetable chopper to make salad prep quick and easy.
- Let your couscous cool completely before adding to the salad to avoid you’re veggies from getting wilted or soggy.
Store the salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Keep the dressing separate until you’re ready to enjoy so it doesn’t get soggy, and I also suggest keeping the avocado off to prevent browning.
This salad is a fabulous main course with grilled chicken or salmon on top. If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, add some roasted chickpeas or white beans.
Couscous absorbs a lot of the dressing, especially as the salad sits. I highly suggest dressing your salad just before enjoying it to ensure all of the ingredients are properly dressed without having to use too, too much.
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Green Summer Salad Recipe
- Sauce pot
- Rubber Spatula
- Cutting Board
- Mixing Bowl
- measuring cups / spoons
- 1 box pearled couscous, I used Near East (4.7 oz)
- 1 English cucumber
- 2 zucchinis
- 1 cup summer peas
- 1 cup asparagus, diced (12-15 stalks)
- ⅓ cup green onions, diced
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 1 avocado
- 2 cups arugula
- ½ cup Italian dressing, I used Trader Joe's Shaved Parmesan Italian Dressing
- ½ cup shaved parmesan
- 3 tbsp pine nuts
- Start by preparing the couscous according to box instructions. Let cool completely before adding to the salad.
- While the couscous is cooking, wash and dice all vegetables: cucumber, asparagus, green onions, cherry tomatoes, and cook the peas.
- In a big bowl, add the cooked couscous, arugula, and italian dressing. Toss together.
- Add the remaining vegetables: diced asparagus, cooked summer peas, green onion, diced cucumber and zucchini. Toss again with tongs.
- Fold in the shaved parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Add the cherry tomatoes.
- Toss everything together, add more dressing if desired, and serve. Enjoy!
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