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5 Summer Snacks and Salads to Make if You Love Farm-Fresh Produce

While Pennsylvania might be known for its baked goods and sandwiches (we love our shoofly pie and cheesesteaks), the Northeast’s many miles of farmland mean that our most exciting foods are actually fresh, regional produce. 

When buying from real farmers, summertime has the widest variety of options—everything from berries to tomatoes to leafy greens. We’re entering the best time of the year for dishes that highlight these fresh ingredients, and nothing is better than salads to pack in as many as possible. The best place to start? With fresh lettuce, and Little Leaf Farms—with a greenhouse coming soon to PA—grows crispy, delicious lettuce all year round. Plus, by growing on the East Coast, Little Leaf Farms can harvest and ship greens to your local grocery store in about a day’s drive.

So, to help you get chopping and tossing all summer long, we’ve rounded up some delicious salads featuring Little Leaf Farms lettuce and in-season produce.

Charcuterie Chef Salad

For a healthier alternative to a cheese board, try this charcuterie chef salad. Packed with leafy baby greens that are harvested at peak flavor, it offers delicate, fresh flavor that pairs perfectly with cherry tomatoes and prosciutto for the perfect summer dish. 

Wait until mid July when tomatoes are at their peak, grab some fresh regional lettuce, and load it up with your charcuterie board favorites. For the meats, this is a great opportunity to support Philly’s beloved Italian delis. And definitely don’t forget the fig jam and white balsamic dressing—it will take your salad to a whole new level.

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad

If you’re looking for something savory and crunchy to satisfy a particularly empty belly, this Vietnamese cuisine inspired plate gives you everything you need.

In addition to well-dressed, local shrimp, hints of ginger and garlic laced through the vermicelli noodles make this dish come alive. Little Leaf Farms’ crispy green leaf lettuce, adds plenty of crunch, but you can double it up with roasted peanuts, cucumber and carrots, and you have a deliciously crunchy dish. 

Curry Chicken Lettuce Cups

Local lettuce doesn’t just limit you to traditional salads—fresh greens also shine when they’re used individually to hold other main ingredients. Little Leaf Farms greens curl unmistakably into a miniature cup, which you can fill with other ingredients to create fun appetizers. 

This recipe will satisfy your curry craving without all the heat. Save that for the winter. The beloved chicken curry taste with chives for garnish and cranberries throughout will amaze anyone who is lucky enough to taste. Plus, these lettuce cups are easy on the eyes. But most importantly, this meal is responsibly sourced: Little Leaf Farms lettuce is greenhouse-grown using recycled rainwater—which means less soil erosion and far less water usage than standard farms.

Lobster Roll Caesar Salad

The fresh crispy green lettuce in this salad is best complemented by something fresh and rich—and there’s nothing like fresh Atlantic lobster for summer richness. It’s easy to make: head over to one of Philly’s many local fishmongers for a heap of fresh lobster meat, then whip up a classic (and equally rich) caesar dressing. Plus, with both lobster and greens sourced from the East Coast, you’ll have the freshest possible summertime treat.

Lemon Pesto Dipping Dressing

Here’s a twist on chips and dip that is healthier and more refreshing for summer snacking. With fresh and savory flavors like basil and lemon in this pesto dipping dressing, clean eating will become like second nature. Plus, using this recipe, you can take advantage of even more local produce with a handful of fresh basil.

The Little Leaf curl promises an appetizing crunch and a refreshing burst of flavor—which might even win you over against the heaviness of a traditional potato chip. And thanks to a hands-free growing system used in this lettuce, these greens are ready to eat right from the box. No need to wash. 

To read more recipes, learn more about Little Leaf Farms and find Little Leaf greens near you, visit littleleaffarms.com.