Broccoli Salad has always been a favorite of mine, a regular staple at a local restaurant, Sweet Tomatoes. During the hot summer months, this is a great side to BBQ, sandwiches, or really anything. I was so excited about making this salad, I forgot to photograph it WITH the dressing. OOPS! That’s why I’m not a professional blogger. I’m just a woman with a passion for good food!
Broccoli Bacon Almond Salad
½ pound bacon
2 heads fresh broccoli
1 small red onion
¾ cup raisins (I used craisins)
¾ cup sliced almonds
1 cup mayonnaise (I used olive oil mayo–also vegan)
½ cup white sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Place bacon in a deep skillet and cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Cool and crumble.
Cut the broccoli into bite-sized pieces and cut the onion into thin bite-sized slices. Combine with the bacon, raisins, and almonds and mix well.
To prepare the dressing, mix the mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar together until smooth. Stir into the salad.
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!
Thai food is a favorite, especially if it includes a peanut dressing. I love the IowaGirlEats.com blog and, again, this one did not disappoint. It would be a great side salad, sans the chicken, as well. It’s so yummy! You can make the salad, adding dressing only to the portion you are currently eating. This is a new favorite for my menu planning!
Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing
3 cups coleslaw mix (green cabbage, red cabbage, carrot mix)
1/2 red pepper, sliced into thin matchsticks
1 chicken breast, cooked then shredded
2 green onions, chopped
3 Tablespoons peanuts, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
For the Thai Peanut Dressing:
4 Tablespoons smooth peanut butter (I used Smucker’s Natural)
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons warm water
1-1/2 Tablespoons gluten-free Tamari or soy sauce (dish will not be GF if using traditional soy sauce)
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
juice of 1/2 large lime (slice remaining 1/2 lime into wedges)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
heaping 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, pressed or minced
salt and pepper
Add ingredients for Thai Peanut Dressing into a mason jar or bowl then shake or whisk to combine. Taste then adjust lime juice and/or add water to thin if necessary.
Add remaining ingredients into a large bowl. Drizzle desired amount of dressing on top then toss well to combine. Scoop into bowls then serve with lime wedges.
Crisp, autumn apples paired with nuts, dried cranberries, feta and salad greens. Yum! The salad dressing is the perfect pairing as well. A great salad as an entree or as a side. It’s Fall Y’all!
APPLE CRANBERRY WALNUT SALAD
6 cups salad (I used a combination of arugula and baby spinach, any spring green mix will do)
1 red apple
1 green apple
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (I used pecans)
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 cup apple juice
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar in a pinch)
2 tablespoons honey
scant ½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup oil
Core and chop apples (thin slices or 1 inch chunks). Toss lettuce, apples, walnuts, feta, and cranberries together in a large bowl.
Whisk together all dressing ingredients. Toss with salad immediately before serving. 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 sweet corn, tomatoes, onion, and cucumber tossed with avocado and Feta…OMG it is so good. This salad is a wonderful side dish to grilled fish, chicken or beef but it also can serve as the main event on a hot summer evening.
SUMMER CORN AND VEGETABLE SALAD
4 ears corn, cooked
2 avocados, diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (I use orange & red for a little color)
1/2 an English cucumber, finely diced, skin on
1/3 cup crumbled feta
1/2 red onion, finely diced
Cook the corn. I steamed the corn and cut from the cob but the original recipe had a great idea to ‘put in the oven on 350 degrees, and throw the corn in, husks and all. Bake them for 25 minutes, let it cool, and then cut off the very bottom of the corn. You should be able to easily pull off the husks and the silk’.
Cut off the kernels with a large knife, add to a big bowl.
Chop the avocados, cherry tomatoes, English cucumber, and red onion, then add to the bowl. Add the feta.
For the vinaigrette, combine the first 5 ingredients (so the seasonings react with the vinegar), then add the cilantro and the EVOO. Shake it up.
Gently mix all the salad ingredients together. When ready to serve, add the dressing and stir to combine.
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.
Fresh fruit salad in winter is a real treat. This recipe is delicious, combining several fruits including apples, kiwi, blackberries, pomegranate, bananas and Mandarin oranges. The dressing is fresh and tasty, delivering a nice side to compliment any meal.
WINTER FRUIT SALAD WITH LEMON POPPY SEED DRESSING
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. poppy seeds
Combine all ingredients and mix well.
8 mandarin oranges, peeled and segmented (I used Cuties)
4 apples, diced
4 ripe kiwis peeled and diced
4 bananas, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cup pomegranate arils (from about 1 large)
1-2 cups blackberries (I added to the recipe)
Combine all salad ingredients. Toss with dressing and serve immediately.
Quinoa with roasted butternut squash, caramelized onions, pine nuts and feta…what’s not to like! I often try new recipes to share with others so my Book Club buddies were once again Guinea Pigs. This recipe takes a while to prepare but well worth the effort!
QUINOA WITH ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH, PINE NUTS & FETA
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
2 large onions, sliced
2 pounds cubed butternut squash
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 T. balsamic vinegar
salt French Vinaigrette salad dressing (add generous amounts of dressing to individual portions)
1/2 cup Feta cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Peel the squash and slice it into 3/4 inch cubes, about 2 pounds. Toss the squash cubes in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil and generously sprinkle with salt.
Put butternut squash on the greased baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, until soft. Flip the squash cubes over midway through baking. Cool slightly before adding to the salad.
Caramelize the Onions:
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on high heat in a large skillet. When oil is heated, add onions and cook on high heat for about 10 minutes, constantly string with wooden spoon. The onions will start to brown, but not brown.
Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking for 10 additional minutes, continuing to stir as onions brown even more. Add a pinch of salt over the onions.
Continue cooking the onions for 10 more minutes on medium to low heat, stirring occasionally to make sure the onions don’t stick to the pan. Add a bit of water if the onions begin o stick. Total cooking time is 30 minutes.
Remove the onions from the heat and sprinkle onions with a small amount of balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan. Using the wooden spoon, mix the onions scraping the bottom of the pan and coating onions with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar.
Assembling the salad:
In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, roasted butternut squash, caramelized onions, and mix with the dressing. Add the dressing only before the serving, and add as much as you want to individual portions, as both quinoa and butternut squash tend to be on a dry side, and this dressing (when generously applied) fixes this beautifully!
Top each individual serving with Feta cheese and toasted pine nuts.
Note: This salad keeps very well refrigerated for up to a week, but only without dressing. Add the dressing before serving.