More Summer Salads

Now that we have a bit of sunshine and hot weather - it's time to explore some new summer salad recipes.  I actually ran across most of the offerings below last fall, but wanted to hold off until the spring/summer season when produce is at its freshest.  Aida's Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad came to my attention while watching the Food Network.  I liked the fact it was marinated with no lettuce, spinach or cabbage, so would hold up well for a make the night before dish, a picnic, or to enjoy as leftovers the next day. Most of the other recipes were from an article in The Vancouver Sun. There are a few, however, I have forgotten the source.  Now that summer is finally arriving in Vancouver, the time seemed right to offer this assortment.

The first salad is one I tried and enjoyed immensely, BUT it is unusual. Best to serve it when you have guests with a wider palate who like new experiences. It also needs VERY fresh corn on the cob to start with, so use it as a seasonal offering when local corn hits the market.  The other recipes are totally untested so be sure and let me know what you think if you try them.  These recipes are being worked into my menus over the next 3-4 weeks so I will update with comments (or remove if a disaster) as I go along.

(Note - I apologize for the odd spacing in the ingredients section.  There is no tab feature to line them up in blogger and when I copy and paste from a word doc today, it just isn't working properly.)

Aida's Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad
Recipe courtesy Aida Mollenkamp for Food Network Magazine
Serves: 8 servings


For the dressing

1-1/2 cups       packed fresh cilantro

1/2 cup            good-quality extra-virgin olive oil

2 TB                fresh lime juice

1 tsp                finely grated lime zest

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the salad:

4                     ears corn, kernels removed (about 3 cups)

1-1/2 lbs.        grape tomatoes, halved (about 3 cups)

1 lb.                fresh mozzarella, diced (I prefer to use mini-boccocini cut in half)

2                     medium avocados, diced


Combine the dressing ingredients in a blender, using 2 teaspoons salt, and pepper to taste; process until smooth. Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Let sit at least 15 minutes before serving, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Chilled Vegetable Salad
Adapted from
Makes 8 servings

1 cup (250 mL)       sugar
3/4 cup (180 mL)    cider vinegar
1/2 cup (125 mL)    vegetable oil
1                             medium green bell pepper, washed, chopped
1                             medium onion, peeled, chopped
3                             celery ribs, sliced
7-oz (207 mL)         jar diced pimento, undrained
1 cup                       frozen peas, thawed
2 cups (500 mL)      haricot vert, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
1 cup (250 mL)       fresh yellow corn (can substitute frozen, thawed)
1/2 tsp                    salt
1/4 tsp                    pepper

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, vinegar and oil. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Remove dressing from heat and cool 30 minutes. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Gently stir in dressing. Cover and chill salad for 8 hours. Serve with a slotted spoon. This salad may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days.

Mediterranean Crunch
From Whole Foods Market
Makes 4 servings

1 15-oz can (443 mL)   no-salt-added garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1                                  cucumber, chopped
1 cup                            small broccoli florets
1 cup                            grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup                            finely sliced kale, tough stems removed
1/2 cup (125 mL)          finely chopped red onion
2 TB(30 mL)                 finely chopped Kalamata olives
3 TB (45 mL)               red wine vinegar
1                                  small garlic clove, minced
1 TB (15 mL)               chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp(5 mL)                  chopped fresh thyme

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Cover and chill at least 1 hour before serving.


Garden Panzanella
If you are not using day-old bread, dry the bread slices in a 300-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes. This salad is best served immediately.
6                              med. tomatoes, washed, cut into chunks
1/2 tsp (2 mL)          salt
1 lb. (454 g)             loaf of thick-crust bread or 1- or 2-day-old French 
                                baguette, cut into 1 1/2-inch (1 cm) cubes
1                              med. cucumber, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm)pieces
2                              roasted red peppers, coarsely chopped
1/2                           med. red onion, thinly sliced
2                              green onions, washed, thinly sliced
1/3 cup (80 mL)       fresh chopped herbs such as basil, tarragon or oregano
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup (125 mL)    olive oil
1 to 2 TB (15-30 mL) white wine vinegar or white vinegar
2 tsp (10 mL)          Dijon mustard or more to taste
1 tsp (5 mL)            sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1                             garlic clove, pressed

In a large bowl, place the tomato chunks and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) of salt. Set aside for 15 minutes. Place the bread in a large serving bowl. Add the cucumber, red pepper and red and green onions. Add the tomatoes with any juices. Sprinkle salad with herbs and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

In a small bowl, whisk together all the vinaigrette ingredients until the mixture emulsifies. Drizzle the vinaigrette lightly over the salad and toss gently to coat. Use only enough vinaigrette to coat all the ingredients. Leftover vinaigrette will keep in the refrigerator for several days. Season the salad with salt and black pepper to taste and serve.
Makes 12 servings

Potato Salad w/Artichokes and Herbs
Makes 6 servings

2 lbs (908 g)            red potatoes, cubed
1 TB (15 mL)          white balsamic vinegar
5.3 oz. (150 g)         fat-free plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup (60 mL)         low-fat sour cream
3                              scallions, thinly sliced
1 TB (15 mL)          Dijon mustard
2 tsp (10 mL)          minced fresh dill
2 tsp (10 mL)          minced fresh thyme
¼ tsp (1 mL)           garlic powder
Ground black pepper
4-oz (110 g)            chopped pimentos
14 oz (400 g)           artichoke bottoms, drained
2                              ribs celery, diced

Place the potatoes in a large pot, then add enough cool water to cover by 1 inch (2.54 cm). Add 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of salt, then bring to a boil and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until just tender when pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes and spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with the vinegar and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sour cream, scallions, mustard, dill, thyme and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the pimentos, artichoke bottoms and celery.
Once the potatoes have cooled, gently stir in until thoroughly coated.
Chill until ready to serve.

Servings: 10

16 oz            Israeli couscous
1/2               small red onion, finely diced
3                  cloves of garlic, minced
3                   ribs celery, finely diced
20 oz            cocktail tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup          fresh basil leaves, torn
1/2 cup          grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup            small fresh mozzarella balls
1/4 cup          extra-virgin olive oil
2 TB              balsamic vinegar
Salt and ground black pepper

Cook the couscous according to package directions. Allow to cool. In a large bowl, combine the cooled couscous with the red onion, garlic, celery, tomatoes, basil, Parmesan, mozzarella, olive oil and vinegar. Stir to combine, then season with salt and black pepper. The salad can be served immediately, but the flavours improve if it is allowed to sit for 30 minutes.


Makes 4 servings

4                       raw beets, peeled and grated 
1 TB (15 mL)   olive oil
1 TB (15 mL)   white balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly  ground pepper
Chopped dill, to taste
¼ cup (60 mL) seasoned sour cream (see recipe below)

Combine the beets, dill, olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the seasoned sour cream.

Seasoned Sour Cream
1 cup (250 mL) sour cream
Zest and juice of 3 lemons
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Makes 2 1/4 cups (300-310 mL)

Other Posts with Salad Recipes - 
Macaroni Salad