Photo: Aaron Kirk; Prop Styling: Christina Daley; Food Styling: Julia Levy
Active Time
1 Hour 30 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 30 Mins
Yield
Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups salad)

This abundantly loaded salad is the ultimate love letter to summer. Featuring a colorful menagerie of seasonal gems—blueberries, tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, okra, and more—it’s as gorgeous as it is delicious. Plus, it’s absolutely flexible; consider this recipe a blueprint for bringing together everything that catches your eye at your own local farmer’s market this week. But do yourself a huge favor—do not skip out on making the Vidalia Onion Ranch Dressing; it’s the type of salad dressing that will keep you from ever going back to the bottle. You’ll have plenty of this dressing and the pickled peaches to use for salads to come, so both are well worth the effort to make. If you’re unable to find Vidalia onions, any sweet onion will work here. Shredded rotisserie or leftover grilled chicken would be a welcome addition to make for a heartier, main-dish salad. 

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare the Pickled Peaches: Combine vinegar, water, honey, mustard seeds, salt, ginger, and bay leaf in a small saucepan over medium-high. Cook, stirring to dissolve honey and salt, until boiling; simmer 2 minutes. Pour into a medium bowl, and add peaches. Let stand until softened and pickled, about 30 minutes. Store peaches and liquid in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 month. 

Step 2

Prepare the Vidalia Onion Ranch Dressing: Heat butter or oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft and starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a high-powered blender, and add buttermilk, sour cream, and mayonnaise; process on low speed to chop the onions. Increase to high speed, and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in herbs, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Chill until ready to serve. 

Step 3

Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high (400°F to 450°F). Spray okra and corn with cooking spray. Grill corn until charred and tender on all sides, about 4 minutes per side. Grill okra until charred and tender, about 2 minutes per side. Shave kernels from corn. 

Step 4

Toss greens, spinach, mint, and basil in a large bowl. Top with corn, okra, avocado, blueberries, cucumbers, tomatoes, Pickled Peaches, and sunflower seeds. Drizzle with Vidalia Onion Ranch Dressing, and serve immediately. 

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