Run Oregon Test Kitchen: Our Favorite Summer Salads

With all the heat we have been experiencing lately, the last thing many of us want to do is turn on the oven oven or fire up the grill; It’s just too dang hot! Cooling off with a refreshing and nutrient packed salad is my favorite go-to meal when the barometer rises to 90 degrees and beyond. Below, you’ll find salad recipes that will from some of the bloggers here at Run Oregon. Let us know what you think, and if you have a delicious recipe of your own to share, add it to the comments-we may even feature it on an upcoming Test Kitchen feature!

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Goes well with a turkey and cheese sandwich

Abby’s Great Northern Bean Salad 

  • 1 can (14 oz) Great Northern Beans
  • 2 green salad onions chopped
  • 2 big carrots peeled and chopped
  • small handful cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp chopped red onion
  • small yellow bell pepper chopped
  • small avocado sliced
  • 2 tbsp Italian dressing (I use Wishbone Italian)

Drain and rinse beans, add veggies except avocado and dressing, stir and chill for 30 minutes to one hour, add sliced avocado and serve. Tip: stores well for up to 3-4 days without the avocado.

Kelly’s Spinach and Orzo Salad with Cranberries and Almonds:

This recipe can be found here. Kelly says this is much better if you let it sit for a few hours or even a day, before serving. Goes well with grilled chicken or white fish.

  • 1 cup whole wheat orzo, uncooked
  • 3/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • about 3/4 of a 6 oz bag of baby spinach, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 oz gorgonzola, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (I toast in a nonstick skillet over med heat for about 5 minutes)
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons minced onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup oil (I used grapeseed oil, but canola or light olive oil will work)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook orzo according to instructions on package, set aside to cool.
  2. In bowl, whisk together sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, onion, paprika, vinegar, oil and pinches of salt and pepper.
  3. In a large salad bowl combine orzo, almonds, spinach and cranberries. Gently toss ingredients with 1/3-1/2 amount of dressing, add more or less to your liking. I don’t like my salad overdressed. Add gorgonzola and gently toss again. Serve immediately at room temperature or slightly chilled.

Joe’s German Potato Salad:

(From the New York Times cooking section; originally published in the Joy of Cooking in 1931)

  • 2 pounds boiling potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and cut into thin slices, including some of the green
  • ½ cup minced celery, including some leaves
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  •  teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard

  1. Cut the potatoes in half if they are large, put them in a pot and add enough lightly salted water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, and boil gently, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, until just tender. Drain.
  2. While the potatoes are still warm, peel and slice, or cube them, into a large serving bowl.
  3. In a skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Drain. Pour out all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat. Add scallions and celery, and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Mix with potato pieces.
  4. In the same skillet, mix 1/4 cup of water with cider vinegar, sugar, salt, paprika and dry mustard. Stirring with a whisk, bring to a boil and pour over salad. Crumble bacon over the top, and serve warm.

Geli’s German Wurstsalat:

German Wurstsalat (sausage salad) is one of the most traditional German food recipes. Guess what? As so often, there are quite a few variations to this dish. Lyoner is the most common sausage used for Wurstsalad, but you can also make it with Fleischwurst or Bierwurst.

  • 300g Lyoner, sliced
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 6 small pickled gherkins, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp liquid from the pickled gherkins
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 2-3 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • salt, coarsely grounded pepper, mild paprika powder
  1. Cut the Lyoner slices into small stripes
  2. Halve the onion and slice thinly
  3. Put sausage, onions and gherkins into a bowl and blend
  4. Put salt, pepper, paprika, oil and the other liquids into a shaker and mix thoroughly
  5. Pour the vinaigrette over the sausage and blend
  6. Let the salad rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours, remove it from the fridge 30 minutes before you serve it with fried potatoes or fresh German bread.

Jenny’s Shortcut Thai Beef Salad:

Jenny loves this recipe from Runners World, which you can find here.                   

Courtesy of Google images


  • juice of 2 limes
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  • 4 cups prewashed and precut romaine hearts
  • 4 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup mixed fresh herbs: parsley, basil, cilantro, tarragon, thyme
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces deli roast beef
  • 1/4 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped


Annette’s Chicken Taco Salad:

Annette says she isn’t much of a recipe girl, but our favorite salad is what we call chicken taco salad. Lettuce, chicken breast with taco seasoning, tomatoes, olives, corn, red beans, grated Parmesan, salsa and/or whatever dressing you like, topped with Santa Fe Style Tortilla Strips




Teresa’s Orange Sunflower Slaw:

This recipe is from Teresa’s blog 


  • 1/2 C. orange juice
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T. tahini
  • 2 T. coconut nectar or sugar
  • 1 T. fresh lime juice
  • 1 T. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 t. minced ginger
  • 1 t. finely grated orange zest
  • 1 t. soy sauce


  • 3 C. shredded green cabbage (1/2 head)
  • 2 C. shredded red cabbage (1/8 head)
  • 3/4 C. carrot, julienned (1 large)
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and julienned
  • 1 C. green pepper, sliced
  • 1 C. raw sunflower seeds

To make dressing: Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth.

To make salad: Toss ingredients in a bowl.

Matt’s Rogue Fruit Salad (Cider)     

  1. Pop cap
  2. Pour
  3. Drink


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