A Salad for Toddlers

May 28, 2015 , In: Family Friendly Meal, Recipes, Salads , With: No Comments

Summer is here and I want more vegetables on my plate including salad.


I don’t know about you but my kid isn’t exactly eating leaves of lettuce.  And I’m not super cool with cooking to order every night (or ever really).

When I saw this salad though, I knew it might work both for adults and kiddos.

Bread Salad with Early Summer Vegetables

Bread, no leaves, and pretty much all the classic toddler friendly vegetables are thrown together… broccoli, cucumber, tomatoes, asparagus.  OK, asparagus isn’t a winner in this household but we try, right?The Summer Table

This recipe is courtesy of The Summer Table: Recipes and Menus for Casual Outdoor Entertaining, a book I was sent for review by the publisher.

This cookbook is great for a few reasons:

1. It’s for summer.

2. Summer is amazing.

3. Summer is for outdoor entertaining.

4. This cookbook is full of pre-planned menus so instead of trying to put together a coherent menu for your party, it’s done for you.

5. Summer is amazing.

OK, really, I like this cookbook because sometimes I get a little overwhelmed when entertaining – and summer entertaining is meant to be easy.  The author has all sorts of great ideas for menus like A Grand Summer Brunch Buffet or Fire Up the Grill for Lunch!  This salad recipe is from An Early Summer Vegetarian Lunch which also includes a savoury spinach and ricotta tart.

The other thing that’s great about this cookbook is that it’s actually Swedish.  The author, Lisa Lemke, is a popular TV host in Sweden and the cookbook was adapted from the Swedish version Till Sommaren.  This means that it includes ideas beyond what we usually find filling every food magazine from March – August.  Savoury tarts, a fairly heavy emphasis on vegetables and a few new ideas fill this beautifully illustrated book.  Although it’s meant for parties, you can easily pull and adapt for everyday use.

Bread Salad with Early Summer VegetablesThis salad in particular was something I never would have thought to throw together.  But it works fairly well, and my son ate bits of it, which was a pretty big success.  I skipped the red onion and pea shoots (where do you even find those?) and served it without the dressing.  I have to admit that the first time I made this, I did it properly making croutons out of country bread. The second (and what you see in the photo)?  I just toasted bread and ripped it up.  Sometimes you just have to roll with it….

Bread Salad with Early Summer Vegetables from The Summer Table


Bread Salad with Early Summer Vegetables
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 portions
Ah, beloved bread salad! It’s filling, crispy, and so easy to make. Here is my variation with early summer vegetables, but you can make it later in the year with your favorite seasonal veggies.
  • 4 thick slices of day-old country-style white bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small grated garlic cloves
  • 1 small head of broccoli
  • 8 asparagus stalks
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 3½ ounces snap peas
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 4-inch piece of cucumber
  • 1 bunch of pea shoots
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons good extra-virgin olive oil
  • Flaked sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  1. Preheat the broiler. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil.
  2. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet. Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil and garlic in a little bowl and brush the bread with the garlic oil on both sides. Toast the bread in the middle of the oven, turning frequently, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes total. Let the bread cool briefly and then cut or tear it into rough pieces.
  3. Break the broccoli into small florets. Remove any woody asparagus stems and cut the rest into smallish pieces. Blanch the broccoli and asparagus for about 2 minutes in the boiling water. The vegetables should still be somewhat firm. Rinse in ice-cold water. Halve the tomatoes and snap peas and thinly slice the red onion. Cut the cucumber into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Toss all the cut vegetables with the pea shoots, bread, balsamic vinegar, and extra-virgin olive oil in a serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper and let sit for 20 minutes before serving.

Reprinted with permission from The Summer Table published in 2015 by Sterling Epicure. Text © Lisa Lemke. Photography (outdoor photo above) by Asa Dahlgren.  All other photos by Michelle Little.

ps Do you know of any other salads that work well for picky toddlers?  Or does your kid eat salads like it’s nobodies business?

There are no comments yet. Be the first to comment.

Leave a Comment

Rate this recipe:  

Michelle Little

Writer & Photographer

Originally from the prairies and now in Montreal, I love exploring new places, eating great food and modern design. I'm mom of two wild things and paper and cake make me happy. Photographing your cutie family would make me very happy.

Instagram Photos