By Cheryl Radkiewicz
There’s nothing like a crisp summer salad during scorching summer days. We’re not only talking about lettuce, tomatoes and onion….Use your imagination. Look through your refrigerator and pantry. Here are some new ideas to expand your repertoire. Note: For those recipes using cooked chicken, if you’re pressed for time….Rotisserie Chicken from the store to the rescue!
1 cup fresh green beans
1 cup fresh corn, about 1-2 ears
1 Tbsp. fresh basil
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large tomato, diced
1-10 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1-10 oz. can black olives, drained and sliced
Cook green beans to crisp-tender, about 15 minutes in boiling water. Cool completely; cut into bite-size pieces. Break ears of corn in half and cook in boiling salted water for about 10 minutes. Cool completely and cut kernels off.
NOTE: To cool beans and corn quickly, place in ice water for a few minutes, then drain. Slice basil leaves into ribbons. Whisk together mustard, salt, pepper, vinegar, and oil. Combine tomatoes, chickpeas, olives, corn and green beans. Add basil and vinegar mixture. Toss and serve well chilled.
6 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cubed, sauteed
2 crisp apples, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
6 -8 cups assorted salad greens
1/2 cup slivered almonds or walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup currants or raisins
4 oz. Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
Toss cooked chicken, apples, celery and salad greens. Make dressing.
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground mustard
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Pour dressing over salad mixture and toss lightly. Sprinkle with nuts, currants and cheese.
Chicken Rice Salad:
1-6 oz. pkg. chicken flavor rice mix (Near East)
2 scallions, chopped, including tops
1/2 green pepper, diced
1-8 oz. can black olives, sliced and drained
2-6 oz. jars marinated artichoke hearts
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. curry powder
3 cups cooked chicken, cubed
Cook rice according to package directions, omitting butter. Cool to room temperature. Add scallions, olives and pepper. Drain artichokes, saving marinade. Mix marinade with mayonnaise and curry until smooth. Add all to rice, add chicken and mix well. Slice artichokes and add. Refrigerate until serving time.
NOTE: Shrimp may be substituted for chicken.
8 cups mixed salad greens
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 can artichokes, drained (reserve liquid)
1 can hearts of palm, drained (reserve liquid)
1-6 oz. can pitted black olives, drained (reserve liquid)
15 cherry tomatoes, halved
3 green onions, sliced thin
3/4 cup Feta cheese, divided
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
Rub serving bowl with crushed garlic. Add salad greens. Cut artichokes in half and hearts of palm into 1/2″ slices. Halve olives. Add tomatoes, green onion and half of the Feta. Gently toss . Cover bowl and refrigerate. Combine 1/4 cup of reserved artichoke liquid, 1/4 cup of hearts of palm juice and 1/4 cup of reserved olive juice with the lemon juice and olive oil. Shake well. Dress the salad right before serving. Garnish with remaining Feta.
Fire and Ice Tomatoes:
6 medium tomatoes, peeled and quartered
1 medium green pepper, cut in strips
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced
Place vegetables in large bowl.
1 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. mustard seed
1 1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup cider vinegar
Place dressing ingredients in small saucepan and bring to boil for 1 minute. Pour hot mixture over vegetables and cover. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. Serve with slotted spoon.
Now, for a bit of sweetness…
Fresh Fruit Salad with Orange Liqueur Dressing:
2 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
1-2 fresh mangoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup cantaloupe balls
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1 cup seedless green grapes (I use the Cotton Candy variety)
3-4 kiwi, peeled and sliced
2/3 cup sour cream
4 Tbsp. packed brown sugar, divided
3 Tbsp. orange-flavored liqueur (such as Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Drambuie)
Combine fruit and toss gently with liqueur. Combine sour cream and 3 Tbsp. brown sugar. Set dressing aside. Serve fruit mixture with sour cream dressing. Sprinkle with remainder of brown sugar.