summer salad

my sister just moved back to va from milwaukee and is staying with us while she closes on her house. she lived in va a couple years after graduating from virginia tech, then moved to nc for awhile, and then ended up in wisconsin. we are so excited to have her back in va – there’s nothing better than spending girl time with your sister who also happens to be your bff!

my sister is a culinary genius and came up with this salad, inspired by one of her favorite restaurants in milwaukee.

Processed with VSCO with q4 preset



  • mixed greens
  • asparagus, roasted or grilled (if roasting, i normally cook 15-20 min at 425)
  • avocado, pitted and sliced
  • mandarin oranges (we used canned but fresh is always a great option!)
  • quinoa, cooked
  • red onion, sliced
  • grilled shrimp (see recipe below)
  • white balsamic vinaigrette (see recipe below

for the shrimp:

  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • lemon juice
  • fresh garlic, 2 cloves minced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt + pepper

white balsamic vinaigrette:

  • white balsamic vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt+ pepper
  • dijon mustard, optional
  • honey, optional

to prepare:

after roasting the asparagus and letting it cool slightly, i began to assemble our salad. i filled our bowls with a generous amount of mixed greens, then topped with the sliced avocado, mandarin oranges, sliced red onion, and cooled asparagus. we cooked our quinoa in a rice cooker (ps – i had been cooking quinoa on the stovetop but the rice cooker is a literal life saver! just use one part quinoa to two parts water, press cook and wait for it to be done! i mixed ours with a little lemon juice and olive oil), let it cool slightly and popped a general spoonful on top.

for the shrimp: mix equal parts lemon juice and evoo, mince 2 cloves of garlic, add salt + pepper to taste and marinade for 30 min up to 2 hours. i preheated our grill to high, sprayed it with some evoo and added the shrimp straight onto the grill grates. the trick to grilling shrimp is to not cook it very long – only about 2 minutes per side and pull it off. the shrimp will maintain heat and continue cooking after you take it off the grill. the worst thing is having overcooked shrimp! after letting them rest for about 10 minutes, add them to the salad.

for the dressing: combine equal parts white balsamic vinegar and evoo, add about 1/2 tsp of dijon mustard (optional), 1/2 tsp of honey (optional), and salt + pepper to taste. mix and add directly to the salad!

we served this with a side of garlic bread (i brushed evoo on sliced ciabatta, grilled for about 5 minutes, then rubbed with a clove of garlic) and a nice fresh white wine. i believe this was savignion blanc, but chardonnay or pinot grigio would also be tasty!

is this a salad you would try? what are your favorite summer meals? please share!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s