How to make a Farmer’s Market Summer Salad

An antioxidant, nutrient-rich Farmer’s Market Salad packed with the freshest veggies plus my favorite pantry staples.

A platter filled with chopped vegetables and a bread

It is summer and you know what that means…

Farmer’s Markets are open everywhere and they are bursting with the freshest, healthiest fruits and vegetables out there. Ditch those plastic clamshells from the grocery store and hit the Farmer’s Market this week and whip up this incredibly healthy salad.

a wooden bowl filled with cucumbers, apple and an onion

Ingredients for Farmer’s Market Summer Salad:

  • fresh greens
  • cucumbers
  • celery
  • tomatoes
  • purple onion
  • cornichons
  • fresh herbs- dill, parsley, tarragon, mint- what ever you like
  • cannellini beans
  • canned Italian tuna in olive oil
  • pistachios
  • dired cranberries
  • lemon
  • flakey salt
a green apple, cumcumber, celery and purple onion lined up neatly on a wooden cutting board

What I buy at the local farmer’s market:

  1. fresh greens- wash and wrap in paper towels and store in a lettuce container when you get home.
  2. onions- I buy in bulk. Store in a wire basket. They will last 6-8 weeks
  3. tomatoes- store, stem side down on the counter. Never in the fridge I prefer cherry or grape tomatoes. We buy 2 large boxes of heirloom tomatoes at peak ripeness and can for winter soups
  4. garlic- store in a cool dry place in a mesh basket or bag. Keep out of the sun.
  5. cucumber, zucchini, summer squash- Wash well and use as soon as possible
  6. pots of herbs- plant in a sunny s windowsill and you’ll have fresh herbs year round and save a small fortune. I have thyme, chives, parsley, tarragon and lemon thyme and dill in the garden.
  7. in season fruit- berries, melons and apples. I buy tons of apples from the local orchard. They last forever in the fridge in the crisper drawer or in a cold garage.
  8. butternut & delicate squash- stock up in the fall so you’ll have squash at the ready for salads, soups and comforting side dishes like my butternut squash casserole.
a platter filled with chopped vegetables

Common Questions:

Can I use a different salad dressing?

Absolutely- Green Goddess dressing would be fantastic as well as homemade ranch or and Italian Herb dressing.

I don’t like canned tuna. What would be another good protein?

Grilled chicken, shrimp or salmon would all work very well with this recipe. You can also add more nuts, cooked quinoa, teff, farro or other high protein grains as well to bump up the protein content.

How long will this last in the fridge?

If you do not toss the salad with the dressing, it will stay crisp for up to five days if packed in an airtight container. You may even want to keep the tuna in a separate container as well.

Is this recipe dairy-free?

YES! It is dairy and gluten-free. Omit the tuna and honey to adjust this recipe for vegan-friendly.

chopped tomatoes, dill and half a lemon

Other great salad recipes to try:

ingredients for a summer salad on a counter

Inspiration for my Summer Farmer’s Market Salad

  1. Nigella Lawson, who I adore, posted a bean and tuna dish. If you have followed me for any length of time, you know I stock Italian canned tuna (see my notes on source) packed in olive oil. It is my go to quick lunch. Just pop open a tin, plop on top of greens, chopped veggies and enjoy. A canned of Cannellini beans adds even more fiber and protein. Thanks Nigella!

2. My next inspiration was from America’s Test Kitchen’s Pan Bagnat- an elevated tuna salad. Served on croissant, this is my favorite tuna sandwich that I often had at Croissant Gourmet (voted best bakery for several years by Orlando Magazine) in Winter Park, Florida. Olive tapenade, thinly sliced hard boiled egg and tuna is layered on a perfectly baked croissant. Very French- very yummy. I opted not to add egg to this salad because I wanted this to be a true- no cooking salad. But a hard boiled egg would be fantastic.

3. Finally, I added thin green apple slices because they are my sister’s favorite. She always inspires me to be the healthiest version of myself. The tartness and crunch are perfect with the other ingredients.

chopped dill, lemon zest being mixed with salt on a cutting board

How to serve:

The fresh combination of dill and lemon and sprinkled with a bit of French Sea Salt, this makes a fantastic salad topping. I crumble this mixture all over the salad.

Do not toss this salad, but rather let your guests choose what they want on their plate. Perhaps a bit of sweet chopped cornichons, cranberry and celery or maybe tomato, cucumber and apple. However you plate this salad, it will soon be a summer staple on your lunch table.

How to Make The Dressing:

The dressing is whipped up in 3 minutes- apple cider vinegar, honey, olive oil, salt, pepper, smoked paprika and garlic. Simple and so good. Whirl it up in a blender to emulsify the oil and pour over this yummy summer bowl of happiness.

How to make a Farmer’s Market Summer Salad

Recipe by Meggen Wilson
Course: Healthy, KETO FRIENDLY, Mother’s Day Brunch Menu Ideas, Salads, Summer Recipes


Prep time


Cooking time





A platter filled with the freshest ingredients from your local farmers market, plus a handful of pantry staples.


  • For the Salad
  • 7 -8 cups salad greens – the freshest you can find

  • 2 cans Italian tuna packed in olive oil 5 oz cans

  • 1/4 cup roasted pistachios shelled

  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

  • 1/2 cup chopped celery

  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced

  • 1/4 cup mini sweet gherkins chopped

  • 1/2 cup cannellini beans drained and rinsed

  • 1/2 cup green apple thinly sliced

  • 1 large lemon zested

  • 2 tbsp fresh dill chopped fine

  • 1/2 tps sea salt

  • For the Dressing
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 3 tbsp honey

  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1/2 tps sea salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika or Rosey Harissa


  • Drizzle the apple slices with lemon juice to prevent browning. Combine the dill, lemon zest and 1/2 tsp of sea salt in a small bowl, set aside. On a large platter or in a large bowl layer the greens, nuts, cranberries, apple slices, celery, tomatoes, beans, onions, gherkins and cucumbers. Top with tuna and the oil from the can.
  • Sprinkle the salad with the dill mixture.
  • In a high power blender combine apple cider vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, pepper, garlic and smoked paprika or rosey harissa. Slowly add in olive oil to emulsify. Test for flavor add adjust as preferred. Serve the salad and drizzle vinaigrette over each serving. Baked or grilled Naan bread is a wonderful side to serve with this salad.


  • I buy Cento or Genova canned Italian tuna- it is packed in high-quality olive oil. Do not drain the oil. It is available at most major Supermarkets.
    Brush Naan bread with olive oil, and a bit of salt and grill for 5 minutes just to heat up.
    Feel free to add olives, Marcona almonds, chives, or peppers to this recipe.
A platter filled with chopped vegetables and a bread

Enjoy with Naan bread, grilled or warmed with olive oil and salt.

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