Summer Salads

On a hot summer day, sometimes there’s just nothing more satisfying than sipping a chilled beverage and crunching into the cool, crisp greens of a salad. The art of salad making has come a long way since the obligatory side salad sat lonely and untouched next to your meat-and-potatoes main course at the family dinner table or local restaurant.
Creative and satisfying, well-curated salads are a great option for lunch or dinner when you want to take the lighter, cooler route on a culinary adventure.
Not usually a salad risk-taker? That’s OK, summer and the abundance of fresh, local produce serve as a great time to take the plunge. Enjoy as some of the southside’s best restaurants provide options to please any palate.


> > Our Table
5080 State Road 135 Ste. A, Bargersville

Many people are ready for lighter fare as the warmer weather is here to stay for a bit. The Spinach and Arugula Salmon Salad from Our Table is light, nutrient dense, and full of fresh, delicious ingredients that are perfect for summer. The organic greens include baby spinach and arugula. The salad is topped with crispy seared Faroe Island Salmon, giving it a light crunch on the outside while the inside is rich, moist, and full of flavor. The Faroe Island Salmon is not only delicious, but dense in nutrients and an excellent source of high quality protein, vitamins and minerals. The high content of Omega-3 fatty acids have significant health benefits that contribute to healthy brain function, limber joints and a reduced risk of heart disease
Other healthful and enticing ingredients mixed in the salad are fresh strawberries, juicy orange supremes, sliced red onions, crushed pecans, crumbled feta and fresh avocado. The salad is tossed in Chef and Owner Joe Miller’s house-made balsamic basil vinaigrette dressing. Key ingredients in the dressing include an aged balsamic vinegar, fresh garden basil and just a hint of Dijon mustard. Chef Joe recommends pairing the Spinach and Arugula Salmon Salad with the Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay and Chef Tanya Smith’s crusty French bread. A perfect summer meal to enjoy while sitting out on the Our Table outdoor patio.

> > RFD Franklin
55 W. Madison St., Franklin

Crispy iceberg lettuce … sweet cherry tomatoes … crunchy, salty bacon … tangy pickled onions … and creamy blue cheese dressing… Is your mouth watering yet? The classic Wedge Salad at RFD Franklin is a great salad staple with hearty and refreshing iceberg lettuce complemented by a mix of classic ingredients that elevate it to the next level. Solid on its own, for those with bigger appetites, it easily becomes a full meal with the optional addition of another protein, such as salmon or chicken. In addition to the staple salads that adorn the RFD menu,  the downtown Franklin restaurant offers rotating seasonal salads that incorporate local produce. Enjoy a salad this summer at RFD Franklin either on its vast outdoor seating area overlooking downtown or in the venue’s historic indoor setting. Open dinner hours Tuesday through Saturday.

> > The Healthy Food Café
1155 Stop 11 Road, Ste. D, Greenwood

If you’re looking for a culinary adventure to enliven your senses, leave you feeling full and provide a boost of nutrition while protecting your waistline, pretty much everything on the menu at The Healthy Food Café is for you; however, when it comes to salads that are great for a summer meal, our winner is the Jamaican Jerk Chicken Salad. Mixed lettuce, onion, mango salsa and grilled chicken breast marinated in Caribbean Jerk seasonings, all atop a bed of organic rice bring this flavorful nod to the islands right to landlocked south central Indiana.
“There’s this misconception that healthy food is boring. Salads are boring,” says The Healthy Food Café owner Erica Bryant. “But that’s just not true and we’re living proof of that.” Bryant’s restaurant focuses on nutrient-dense, well-rounded meals and the featured salads are no exception.
“Our Caribbean jerk is probably one of our most popular. People often ask about it because I think that flavor profile is sometimes mysterious to people, but everyone that takes the plunge loves that salad and keeps coming back for more,” Bryant says.
The Healthy Food Café offers dine-in, take-out or meal preparation options, open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.