With the oppressive heat beating down on us from the unrelenting Florida sun, the food we’re searching for in the summer is far from cozy or heavy. In these months, we need something fresh and light. That’s why we think that salads just might be the perfect place to turn. Luckily, the chefs of St. Augustine don’t see salads as an afterthought on their menus, and these bowls of greens end up being the perfect vehicle for oh-so-fresh ingredients and innovative dressings. So no matter the flavors you’re craving, check out these delicious and delightful summer salads.
Southern Belle Salad
An obvious choice for a list of this kind, the Floridian is known for its reliance on fresh ingredients. And this salad is no exception. Your choice of grilled protein (even tofu or tempeh for the vegetarians) is served over local lettuces with fresh peaches, roasted sweet potatoes, candied pecans, and Georgia blue cheese. This is all tossed in a lemon-basil vinaigrette and drizzled with Florida honey.
If you want something more than just summery sweetness, this Bánh Mì salad is the way to go. A slightly less carb-heavy take on the traditional Vietnamese sandwich, this salad comes with chopped kale that’s tossed in ginger dressing and topped with cucumber kimchi, radishes, jalapeño, red cabbage, pickled carrots and daikon (a type of radish grown in Southeast Asia), sesame seeds, and a little cilantro. So many flavors, so little time.
Just some classic Italian flavors enhanced by the sweetness of fresh summer tomatoes. On a bed of mixed greens sit a large helping of sautéed tomatoes and onions that are then garnished with an olive pepper blend and mozzarella on focaccia bread, and finished with a balsamic reduction. We’re starting to crave it already.
Present Moment Cafe
A little heat, a little sweetness, one unusual ingredient – you’ll be in, well, a hurricane of flavor. Avocado and lemon-massaged kale are served with red pepper, onion, sesame seeds, a pinch of cayenne, and house-made candied pecans then topped with a scoop of marinated arame sea veggies. A deliciously-vegan take on coastal cuisine.
“Umami” Watermelon-Tomato Salad
Ice Plant Bar
Is there anything more seasonally summer than a combination of watermelon and tomato? Well add a bit of mango, some feta, marcona almonds, scallions, mint, cilantro, and a drizzle of the delightful Umami Dressing, and you just might have taken it up a notch. It’s like you’re getting all the different tastes all in one dish.
Caribbean Citrus Salad
A salad can hardly scream “summer” louder than one that’s called the “Caribbean Citrus Salad.” And the summertime flavor isn’t just in the name. The dish starts with a helping of mixed field greens. The greens are topped with some pineapple, a few mandarin oranges, yellow raisins, a little bit of coconut, and some almonds, all topped with a honey-lime dressing. It’s sweet, citrusy, fruity, and may just metaphorically transport you to the islands.
Super Bowl Salad
Do salads get more beautiful than this one? We’re gonna say no. The gorgeous green hues will get you in the perfect summer mood while you chow down on baby kale & friends, avocado, asparagus, quinoa, snap peas, cucumber, a pickled egg, toasted pumpkin seeds, and hemp hearts – all tossed in a house made green goddess dressing.
Mexican Street Corn Salad
Blackfly the Restaurant
If you’ve never had Mexican street corn, trust us, you’re missing out. Here’s your chance, though, to experience some of those flavors with a modified version. This salad starts with fresh baby spinach that’s topped with grilled then shaved Mexican-style corn, some cotija cheese, tomatoes, red onion, and avocado then drizzled with a warmed chorizo vinaigrette and a cilantro-lime aioli, and garnished with blue corn tortilla straws.
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