There's nothing wrong with half an iceberg lettuce and some chunks of cucumber thrown together in a bowl with a glug of olive oil.

5 summer salads to have in your repertoire

5 summer salads to have in your repertoire

However, if you're looking to stealthily up your household's veg intake over the summer months, it's time to expand your salad game.

Start with one of these five salad building blocks, and the barbecue sides might just end up gone before the burgers…

1. One with courgettes

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Courgettes are brilliantly versatile, which comes in handy considering they're so abundant during summer. Slice them thinly and grill on the barbecue before dressing with mint, chilli and olive oil, then eat at room temperature; grate them raw and douse in a mustardy dressing; or pickle slices with dill and lemon for crunch and zing.

You may loathe to do anything other than dredge corn on the cob through butter before gnawing on it, but you can also make a great Mexican-style salad. Grill it whole before slicing the kernels off and topping with feta, chilli and crispy onions; add coriander leaves, sliced cherry tomatoes and half moons of red onion to just-charred corn; or lace couscous with corn, radishes, cumin, lime juice and chargrilled peppers.

3. One with tomatoes

A solid, simple, signature tomato salad is indispensable. Go classic – tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, olive oil – or mix it up by adding the likes of red onion, strawberries, different colours/types of tomatoes, cucumber, soft herbs, grapes, a fresh, light dressing, or something strong and peppery.

Grab yourself a watermelon and you've got a base for more than fruit salad. Toss chunks of it with handfuls of feta and rocket; chop and mix with equal parts diced-cucumber and scatter with mint; or grill it, douse with fresh lime juice and drizzle with balsamic.

Have you grilled peaches or nectarines before? It brings out all their sweetness, especially when nabbing perfectly ripe ones can be tricky. Mingle salad leaves, avocado slices and bites of nectarine; grill peaches and serve with runner beans and goat's cheese; or drape Parma ham over slivers of both and stuff in your mouth with mozzarella.