8 summer salads to freshen up mealtimes

salad

It's finally time to ditch the slow cooker and start throwing together some light, zingy salads you can whip up in a matter of minutes. Hurrah! After all, what's not to love about a dish that takes minimal culinary skill but looks a treat? Whether you've got a barbecue to prep for or are going for more of a casual al fresco family meal, we've pulled together some simple salads with a twist, as suggested by Mumsnetters

The best salads are tailor-made to your taste – so whether you want a forkful of goat's cheese with every bite, or just a smattering of beetroot, have fun with the measurements and build your salad exactly how you want for maximum enjoyment.

Grilled asparagus and poached egg

A healthy, nutritious dish that will have you coming back for seconds (and thirds, and fourths).

asparagus salad

Ingredients

Salad leaves
Asparagus, grilled
Tomato
Olives
Feta
Figs
Parma ham or bacon
Poached egg

Avocado and bacon

It's a winning combination that you'll turn to time and time again.

avocado salad

Ingredients

Salad leaves
Two avocados, roughly chopped
Bacon
Pine nuts, toasted
Balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil

Couscous

If you're hankering after something filling that's a little lighter than pasta or bread, look no further than a delicious bowl of couscous.

cous cous salad

Ingredients

Salad leaves
Cucumber
Tomato
Pepper
Beetroot
Chicken (in chunks)
Couscous
Hummus

Mozzarella, tomato and basil

A delightfully aromatic classic that never fails to hit the spot.

salad

Ingredients

Mozzarella
Tomato
Basil
Garlic
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil

Rocket, tomato and parmesan

Incredibly simple to make, with a fabulous flavour to match: what's not to love?

rocket salad

Ingredients

Rocket
Cherry tomatoes
Parmesan
Balsamic vinegar

Grilled halloumi and tabbouleh

This dish will satisfy a table full of hungry mouths in record time.

halloumi

Ingredients

Salad leaves
Sugar snap peas
Halloumi, grilled
Tabbouleh
Pomegranate seeds
Pine nuts, toasted
Sweet chilli sauce

Beetroot, walnut and goat's cheese

Perfect as a light side with a hot, buttered jacket potato or a hearty helping of quiche, summer never tasted so good.

beetroot salad

Ingredients

Salad leaves
Beetroot
Goat's cheese
Walnuts

Lentil, mushroom and feta

If you're looking for a salad that's a little less lettuce and a little more inventive, this is your go-to.

lentil salad

Ingredients

Rocket
Puy lentils
Mushrooms
Feta
Chilli
Garlic