The family Salad Queen title goes to daughter, Sarah, who makes amazing salads. Recently she made this salad for a large family gathering with rave reviews. The salad shown below was made with salad greens vs. arugula. Arugula gives the salad even more punch. You can store the fruit/grain mixture and the dressing separately to make smaller salads over a few days. A great choice for cool summer salads.
Arugula Salad with Strawberries
FOR THE SALAD
2 cups chopped strawberries
2 cups chopped cucumbers
1 cup farro, cooked, then cooled (we use Trader Joe’s Harvest Blend of Pearled Couscous, Orzo, Split Baby Garbanzo Beans & Red Quinoa)
1/ 2 cup pistachios, chopped
1/ 2 cup fresh mint leaves (or basil)
1/ 3 cup ricotta salata, feta, or goat cheese
12 ounces arugula (can substitute other greens)
FOR THE DRESSING
1/ 3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 small shallot
1/ 2 orange, juiced
1/ 4 cup fresh mint (or basil)
1/ 2 teaspoon kosher salt
1. In a large bowl, combine strawberries, cucumbers, farro, pistachios, mint, and cheese.
2. Separately, add all the dressing ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Coat all the ingredients in the bowl with the dressing, but don’t add the arugula until you are ready to serve. Once you’ve added the arugula, mix well to incorporate with all the other ingredients and dressing. Enjoy!
Late summer harvest is my favorite garden time. The Sungold tomatoes are at their peak, basil is plentiful, and local sweet corn is available. When I saw this recipe, I was hesitant about the apple but it adds a wonderful pop of crunchy flavor. Avocado adds a little bit of heaven in every bite. The dressing makes a large quantity. Add to the salad to taste. You may have enough dressing to make a double batch. I will be making this recipe over and over and over again.
Napa Sweet Corn Salad
2 cups sweet corn kernels, raw (~3 ears) (Note: I cooked the corn then cut off the cob)
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
3 small or 2 large green onions, chopped
1 small avocado, chopped
1 red apple, chopped
1/3 cup sliced or chopped almonds
1/4 cup packed fresh basil, chopped
For the Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey (or agave for Vegan recipe)
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
Combine ingredients for the Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette in a jar or bowl then shake or whisk to combine. Taste then add up to an additional 1/2 Tablespoon honey if desired – remember that the sweet corn and apple will add natural sweetness to the salad. Set dressing aside.
Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl then drizzle over desired amount of Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette and stir to combine. Serve immediately.
Fresh Colorado peaches and so many recipes to try. I made this for a quick, delicious dinner and it didn’t disappoint. I enjoyed it with a glass of crisp, white wine. This flatbread with make repeat appearances in my home!
FLATBREAD WITH PEACH, PROSCIUTTO, AND MOZZARELLA
4 naan flatbreads
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
2 peaches, thinly sliced
4 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 c. thinly sliced fresh basil
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450°.
Place flatbreads on two baking sheets and drizzle each with ½ tablespoon olive oil. Top with mozzarella, peaches, prosciutto, and ¼ cup basil, and season with salt and pepper.
Bake until crust is crisp and golden and cheese is melted, about 8 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup basil. Cut each pizza into quarters and serve immediately.
Panzanella, or panmolle, is a Tuscan chopped salad of soaked stale bread, onions and tomatoes. It often includes cucumbers, sometimes basil and is dressed with olive oil and vinegar. It is also popular in other parts of central Italy (per Wikipedia). The first time I had this salad, about 10 years ago, I fell in love.
It’s a scrumptious salad, any time of the year, but especially when I have fresh tomatoes from my garden. Fresh, flavorful and healthy!
3 tablespoons good olive oil 1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups) 1 teaspoon kosher salt 2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes 1 cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced into 1/2 inch thick 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes 1/2 red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced 20 large, fresh basil leaves 3 tablespoons capers, drained
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar 1/2 cup good olive oil 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.
For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.
In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.
Book Club almost always inspires me to try making something new and the Watermelon Heirloom Salad has been on my list of ‘must try’ since my sister-in-law, Betty, told me about it.
I served this in July with tomatoes and watermelon in season. It is a refreshing salad especially during the hot days of summer. The salad was served with the feta on the side since some of our members are Vegan. Easy peasy and satisfies all. What a wonderful fusion of great flavors. It’s now one of my favorite summer treats.
WATERMELON HEIRLOOM SALAD
3 large heirloom tomatoes (about 1.5 pounds), cored and cute into chunks or 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (I used multi-color cherry tomatoes)
4 cups cubed watermelon
1/2 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (I used Champagne vinegar)
juice of 1 lime
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh feta (don’t skimp on the quality of the feta)
1 lime, cut into wedges
Combine the tomatoes, watermelon, mint and basil in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix together olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.
Pour olive oil mixture over the fruit and toss to mix.
Cover and refrigerate for several hours.
Just before serving, sprinkle the feta over the salad (or on the side). Serve with lime wedges and sea salt.
The idea of Peach Bruscetta resonates with me as did the Strawberry Bruscetta I’ve made many times. This recipe was delicious and I made it strictly according to the recipe. The grilling of the bread and the peaches took some time, but the end result was worth it.
Next time, however, I may try using Goat Cheese instead of Burrata and skip grilling the peaches, using my tried and true Peach Salsa as the topping with a drizzle of honey.
Anyway you make, you can’t go wrong this time of year with fresh Colorado peaches, cheese and bread. MMMMM….
GRILLED PEACH BRUSCHETTA
1 loaf ciabatta bread, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces burrata cheese, torn
3 medium ripe peaches, halved and cored
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon
Flaky sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Honey, for drizzling
Preheat and oil a cast iron or gas grill. Brush 2 tablespoons olive oil evenly over ciabatta slices and grill over medium heat until crisp and lightly charred on both sides, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Brush peach halves with vegetable oil or spray with non-stick spray. Grill, flesh side down, until lightly charred, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly, then chop and place in a medium-sized bowl.
Chop tarragon and add to bowl along with salt, pepper and remaining tablespoon of olive oil and mix to combine.
Spread a layer of burrata over each slice of ciabatta and top with a dollop of grilled peach mixture. Season with additional salt and pepper and drizzle with honey.
Continuing on my lazy days of summer postings, let’s talk about tomatoes. Fresh garden tomatoes cannot be compared in any way to the mushy, tasteless tomatoes at the grocery store. Comparing the two is like comparing a beautiful rose to a dandelion. Wonder why that’s the case? Read this great article from the University of Illinois Extension office.
Unfortunately, I have regular visitors to my garden helping themselves to my tomatoes. The silly bunny (that isn’t afraid of my Golden or Chihuahua) along with the neighborhood Raccoon are creating havoc with the tomatoes. I find green tomatoes plucked from the vine laying on the ground. I find large red tomatoes half eaten on the vine. Have any of you had the same experience? This is the first time in over 20 years that I’ve had to fight for my own tomatoes!
My tomatoes have been slow to produce this year but I have enjoyed a few fresh tomato salads. This time a juicy sliced tomatoes paired with homemade pesto (basil also from my garden) was the salad du jour.
If you don’t grow your own tomatoes, visit a local Farmer’s Market soon and enjoy the harvest.
Caprese Pasta? With smoked mozzarella? OMG…I had to try this recipe found on Iowa Girl Eats. I rarely eat wheat pasta but this was worth the splurge!
8 oz. bow tie pasta (or pasta of choice)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups sungold (cherry) tomatoes, halved
salt & pepper
2 tablespoons pesto (reference Pesto recipe or purchase)
1 cup cubed smoked mozzarella cheese (or mini mozzarella balls)
extra basil leaves for garnish
Prepare pesto and set aside. Cook pasta in salted, boiling water until just under al dente then drain and set aside. Place an oven rack to the very top, then preheat broiler.
Heat oil in a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add cherry tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, then toss and cook for 30 seconds.
Add cooked pasta and pesto then toss to combine. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top then place skillet under the broiler until cheese melts. Using a pot holder, remove skillet from oven then sprinkle with fresh basil leaves and fresh cracked pepper. Serve immediately.
Have I told you I love pesto? Fresh ingredients and CHEESE…what’s not to like? My basil did well this year and I’ve enjoyed a few batches of this tasty delight. This year I tried a recipe from Iowa Girl Eats blog. After all, a recipe originating from a cook in my home state of Iowa gets my attention. I like her recipe because it’s small in proportions but you can double, triple, etc. based on your desired volume.
25-28 fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove
salt & pepper to salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Combine the basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt and pepper in the food processor.
Pulse until finely ground.
Slowly stream in the olive oil and pulse until smooth.
Adapted from Pesto by Iowa Girl Eats
Udi’s GF pizza crust (or precooked crust of your liking)
Thinly sliced zucchini Slow roast tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes
Turkey or chicken (or omit for vegetarian pizza)
Shredded cheese (Monterey Jack or Mozzarella)
Layer the ingredients on the pizza crust in the order given.
Bake per crust instructions until pizza is hot, cheese is melted. YUMMMMM.