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Layered Summer Salad

Servings: 6 to 8

This salad-in-a-glass does two great things: The presentation makes a hearty salad much more visually appealing. Also, by using grains and beans as accents (instead of weighing down the salad with too much of either), the bright summer vegetables get to shine, and the character of the salad is much more complex. It’s fun to layer this salad in individual glasses, but feel free to scatter the ingredients in layers on a platter or in a shallow glass bowl.


For the dressing

  • 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 scallion, white and light-green parts only, finely chopped; reserve the green top
  • 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 tsp. reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salads

  • 1 15.5-oz. can black, pink, or white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked sturdy grain, such as farro or quinoa
  • 1-1/2 cups halved red and yellow cherry tomatoes
  • 2 scallions, plus the reserved green top from the dressing, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels, cooked (fresh from about 2 cobs)
  • 1/2 large yellow or red bell pepper, finely chopped (a generous 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pepitas
  • Microgreens, edible flowers, or flowering herbs, for garnish

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 290
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 140
  • Fat (g): 16
  • Saturated Fat (g): 2
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 125
  • Carbohydrates (g): 31
  • Fiber (g): 6
  • Sugar (g): 6
  • Protein (g): 9


  • On a work surface, arrange 6 to 8 glasses. (Stemless wineglasses or water tumblers, old-fashioned glasses, or other wide and relatively short glasses of 8- to 10-oz. capacity will do.)

Make the dressing

  • In a small bowl or glass jar, combine the oil, cilantro, scallion whites, lemon juice, soy sauce, maple syrup, ginger, lemon zest, and a big pinch of salt. Add a few grinds of pepper. Whisk well (or cover the jar and shake vigorously). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Assemble the salads

  • Put the beans in a small bowl. Put the grains in another small bowl. In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, scallions, and sun-dried tomatoes. Combine the corn and bell pepper in another small bowl. Sprinkle each bowl with a little salt. Add 1 Tbs. dressing (whisk or shake again to reincorporate, if necessary) to each of the four bowls, and toss each lightly. Add more dressing to taste, if necessary. Reserve the remaining dressing.
  • Portion the beans into each of the glasses. Arrange a layer of the tomato mixture on top of the beans. Sprinkle with some pepitas. Next, arrange a layer of grains, and then a layer of the corn-pepper mixture. Spoon any extra dressing over the salads. Top each glass with a sprinkling of pepitas, microgreens, and an edible flower or a flowering herb sprig for garnish.
  • Let sit for a few minutes for the flavors to mingle, and then serve at room temperature.


Rate or Review

Reviews (6 reviews)

  • Smaritz21 | 08/22/2019

    This is one of the best salads I have ever made. The flavor is incredible and the presentation is really cool.

  • chef_sherry | 07/05/2019

    I’ve made this twice for parties and it was a hit both times. There is a lot of prep but most of it can be made the night before and then assembled before serving. I like to use a package of Harvest Grains Blend from Trader Joe’s for the grain portion of the salad that in addition to grains also includes orzo, couscous, lentils and tiny chickpeas.

  • User avater
    MayraSHarris | 02/12/2019

    Really interesting summer salad recipe.

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