My 3 favourite summer salads.
I love having salads for lunch. They are filling and keep me energized for hours. Whether it's greens, pasta or meat salads, the options are only as limited as your imagination.
Salads are also a great way to use up all the leftover vegetables in the house before they go bad. I make at least five salads every week. Here's my favourite three summer salads that I make both at home and take to camp. When transporting or storing for a few days for a camping meal, pack ingredients separately and assemble prior to eating.
GREEK PASTA SALAD
INGREDIENTS: * 12 ounces dry pasta (I used farfalle) * 1 English (hot house) cucumber, diced * 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved * 2/3 cup sliced kalamata olives * 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese * half of a medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced * lemon-herb vinaigrette (see below) LEMON-HERB VINAIGRETTE INGREDIENTS: * 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil * 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar * 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice * 2 teaspoons dried oregano, minced * 1 teaspoon honey (or your desired sweetener) * 2 small garlic cloves, minced * 1/4 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper * 1/4 teaspoon salt * pinch of crushed red pepper flakes DIRECTIONS:
GREEK PASTA SALAD: 1. Cook the pasta al dente in a large stockpot of generously-salted water according to package instructions. Drain pasta, then rinse under cold water for about 20-30 seconds until no longer hot. Transfer the pasta to a large mixing bowl. 2. Add cucumber, tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta cheese, and red onion to the mixing bowl, then drizzle all of the vinaigrette evenly on top. Toss until all of the ingredients are evenly coated with the dressing. 3. Serve immediately, garnished with extra feta and black pepper if desired.
FOR THE LEMON-HERB VINAIGRETTE: 1. Whisk all ingredients together until combined.
A LIGHTER CHICKEN SALAD YIELD: 6-8 SERVINGS INGREDIENTS:
4 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
1 cup seedless grapes, halved
1 small shallot, peeled and finely-diced
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1/3 cup dried cranberries or cherries
1 teaspoon worchestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl, and toss until combined and evenly-coated. 2. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
5-INGREDIENT PESTO PASTA SALAD INGREDIENTS:
1 pound (dry) whole wheat pasta
1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and roughly chopped
1 (6-ounce) jar basil pesto (about 3/4 cup)
1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
3 handfuls fresh arugula
DIRECTIONS: 1. Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water al dente, according to package instructions. Drain pasta and rinse under cold water for about 20-30 seconds until no longer hot. 2. In a large serving bowl, toss pasta with the remaining ingredients until combined. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.