We had some impromptu company one Sunday night, so I threw together a refreshing, crisp Summer Vegetable Salad with what I could find in my fridge.

Learn how to make a beautiful composed salad with some simple tips.

Summer Vegetable Salad in a white serving bowl

Summer Vegetable Salad

When putting together a salad, I start with the greens. We typically have a box of spinach in the fridge, so that was my base. A couple of ears of fresh corn, an English cucumber, carrots plus a juicy ripe tomato were cut into bite-sized pieces.  I aim for a rainbow of veggies. A can of black beans and artichoke hearts rounded out the mix. My classic balsamic vinaigrette was drizzled atop the salad just before serving. Lots of crunch, a variety of textures and colors made for a terrific, refreshing side dish. 

Overhead view of a composed Summer Vegetable Salad in a white bowl

How to Make a Composed Salad

I am a fan of the composed salad. Instead of just tossing all the ingredients together in a salad bowl, the main components are artfully arranged. I often line the ingredients in rows across a platter, but when working with a bowl, wedges seem to make more sense. Begin with a base of greens, then decide on what goes where according to colors and shapes.

Note how the carrots and beans are rounder items and they’re across from each other. The red bell peppers and the red tomatoes are also not adjacent. I thought the beans popped more when placed between the bright yellow corn and red tomatoes. There’s no real right or wrong, just use your judgment and it will be lovely!!  I did notice a little pile of black beans on the hubster’s plate when clearing the plates.

Shake up the ingredients any way you like. Some cheese chunks would be a great substitute for those beans. I love hearts of palm, too, and use them interchangeably with artichoke hearts. Make sure you try my favorite balsamic vinaigrette (link in the recipe). Just make sure to use a good quality vinegar for the best results.

More Summer Corn Recipes:

You May Need:


Summer Vegetable Salad

Summer Vegetable Salad

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 4 servings

Summer Vegetable Salad | Spinach topped with a vibrant rainbow of toppings


  • 5 ounces baby spinach, tough stems removed
  • 2 ears of fresh corn, cooked, then kernels sliced off the cob
  • 1 tomato, cubed
  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled and cubed
  • 1 jar of artichoke hearts, drained and cut in half
  • 1-2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • Black beans, I used about half a can, drained and rinsed
  • Balsamic vinaigrette (see link to my recipe below)


  1. Place spinach in a large serving bowl.
  2. Arrange toppings over spinach.
  3. Whisk Balsamic Vinaigrette and drizzle over salad before serving. Toss and serve.


Use my favorite Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 195Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 155mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 10gSugar: 16gProtein: 9g


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