Thinking about making a salad but don't know where to start? Wishing you could be more creative than lettuce and tomato but don't know what else could possibly be in a salad? Here's one of our favorites - a colorful rainbow of fresh food perfect for summer!
Salads come in all different shapes, colors and sizes. Okay, maybe not shapes per se, although of course you can cut your veggies any way you like. Basically rainbow salads are salads packed with as much colorful veggies (and sometimes fruits) that you can find, and they're ultra nutritious because of course the more colors the more nutrients!
Rainbow salads are fairly versatile, meaning you can put just about anything you want in it to add to the color and nutrition. This particular salad is a go-to for Joy. You can pair it with just about anything you make for lunch and dinner and it can be eaten on it's own, with the seasoning provided, with other dressing, over top of a bed of leafy greens or mixed in with pasta or rice or quinoa. The possibilities are nearly endless!
Recipe Tips & Variations:
To cut down on prep time we suggest purchasing your black olives pre-sliced.
We suggest using cherry or grape tomatoes because there's less chopping involved but also because then the size of the tomatoes is comparable to the rest of the veggies. Not to mention sometimes the smaller tomatoes can have a sweeter flavor, which lends itself well to the overall salad.
If you don't think you'll finish this salad in five days or less, we suggest storing the chopped tomatoes separately. That way your salad can last as long as seven days.
Instead of tomatoes, try boiled and cooled beets - either dice one large beet, or chop two or three medium-small beets.
Don't have green onions? You can try substituting two spring onions or shallots.
You can use three bell peppers instead of four and they can be any colors you like. Maybe omit the red bell pepper since you have red tomatoes (unless you're using multi-colored tomatoes - which is totally cool too!). Or use only one color of bell peppers. Just FYI - the sweetest bell pepper is red, the most hydrating bell pepper is green.
We like baby cucumbers because they're less watery and also they have less seeds. You can try using an adult European cucumber, which is similar or even your everyday average adult American cucumber instead.
Instead of red wine vinegar you can use sherry vinegar or coconut vinegar for a similar flavor; or rice wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar for a different, stronger flavor. We do not suggesting using apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar.
Black olives are the most mild of the three main types of olives but you can try substituting green or Kalamata olives for a saltier, bolder olive flavor. You can also measure the olives in cups - 1 ½ cups
Try adding two shredded or julienned carrots.
Try adding ½ head of fresh broccoli or cauliflower.
Try adding ¼ head of shredded fresh green or red cabbage.
Use fresh herbs instead of dried - 1 Tbsp or 5 cloves diced garlic and about ¼ cup fresh basil.
Add more fresh herbs - ¼ cup of mint, cilantro or parsley, or all of them together.
Recipe: Joy's Rainbow Salad
Course: Side Dish
Skill Level: Beginner/Easy
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
4 green onions
4 baby cucumbers
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 4oz can (108g) sliced black olives
1 ½ cups cherry or grape tomatoes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 ½ tsp sea salt
1 ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp dried basil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Rinse green onions. Slice small and place in large salad bowl.
Rinse and slice or chop baby cucumbers and add to salad bowl.
Rinse and chop all bell peppers and add to salad bowl.
Rinse and slice in half or quarters black olives (unless they are pre-sliced) and add to salad bowl.
If using fresh garlic dice and add now.
If using fresh herbs chop and add now.
Rinse and quarter cherry tomatoes (or halve grape tomatoes) and add to salad bowl.
Add garlic powder, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and dried basil to salad in bowl. Mix to coat all vegetables with seasoning.
Drizzle red wine vinegar over salad. Lightly mix once more before serving.
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 days. If, before adding the tomatoes, it seems the salad is too large to be finished in 5 days, then keep the tomatoes separate, only adding them to servings, and store salad separate from tomatoes in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Tell us how you liked this salad or what you did to make it your own in the comments below!