Summer Wedding Salad

Darlene Schrijver

Weddings can be one of the biggest celebrations in your life, filled with traditions, expectations, and excitement. With such a melting pot of cultures and dietary restrictions, it’s challenging to create something that satisfies everyone. I propose you celebrate wedding season with a plate full of delicious, farm-fresh roasted vegetables. This salad is a welcome shift away from a traditional iceberg, shredded carrots, and ranch—and it will look stunning in pictures. Another bonus? It would be a beautiful addition to any summer celebration, and anyone can enjoy it regardless of dietary restrictions. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…

1. Start out: Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C) and use convection mode if that’s an option. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. Add the carrots, asparagus, squash, and oil to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and toss. Spread out evenly so the vegetables brown on all sides. Bake until golden brown and crispy on the outside, stirring or flipping halfway through, 15 to 20 minutes (longer in a regular oven). Gently lift the parchment with the vegetables off the baking sheet to cool.

3. Whisk: Rinse the pressed garlic in a very fine mesh strainer and shake off any excess water. In a large salad bowl, combine the garlic, oil, lemon juice, vinegar, maple syrup, and lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Whisk until well combined, then taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

4. Toss: In a small bowl, gently mix the avocado and a squeeze of lemon juice to prevent the avocado from browning.

5. In the bowl with the dressing, add the spring mix, microgreens, cucumber, blueberries, radish, basil, parsley, dill, and roasted vegetables. Toss until all the ingredients are evenly combined and coated with dressing, top with the sliced avocado and the flowers (if using), and serve.

6. Enjoy: I’m having it with a California sparkling brut or sparkling cider.

Excerpted from The Salad Lab. Copyright © 2024, Darlene Schrijver. Photography copyright © 2023 by Erin Kunkel. Reproduced by permission of Simon Element, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, LLC. All rights reserved.