Summer is the perfect season for salads. The cool, crisp, and juicy nature of salads makes them so refreshing on hot, dry summer days. These recipes are a delightful way to change-up your everyday menu and make it 'just right' for summer.
The mild anise flavor of fennel is the perfect foil for the gentle sweetness of pears and the warm crunch of toasted nuts. This recipe was adapted from one found on About.com's food site.
Fennel, Pear and Toasted Walnut Salad
1 tablespoon fresh French tarragon leaves
1 fennel bulb
3 ripe pears
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
1/2 cup walnut halves or chunks, toasted*
3 tablespoons walnut oil
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Finely chop the French tarragon.
- Trim the fennel, cut it in half lengthwise, and slice it very thinly.
- Cut the pears in half, core them, and slice in thin vertical slices.
- In a large bowl, sprinkle the pear and fennel slices with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and toss gently just to coat. The acid will help keep them from turning brown.
- Toast the walnuts in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a single layer of nuts to the pre-heated, dry pan. Stir frequently until the nuts are golden brown and smell delicious. Immediately remove them from the pan so they don't continue to cook.
- While the nuts are toasting, whisk together the remaining lemon juice, walnut oil, and sea salt. Don't forget to keep an eye on those nuts!
- Arrange the sliced fennel and pears on plates, drizzle with the dressing, sprinkle with the tarragon and warm walnuts. Serve the salad immediately.
Serves: 4 - 6
This vegetarian salad is nutritious, delicious, and refreshingly easy to make.
1 cup quinoa
3 scallions (green onions), sliced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil, preferably extra virgin
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
1/4 cup nuts, toasted and chopped*
- Rinse the quinoa and cook it according to the package directions.
- Spread the cooked quinoa out on a baking sheet to cool.
- Clean and slice the scallions, including the tender portion of the green leaves.
- Wash the lemon, zest and juice it. Use 1 teaspoon of the zest and 1 tablespoon of the juice for this salad. Reserve the remaining zest and juice for another use.
- Make the dressing by whisking together the lemon juice and zest, olive oil.
- Combine the cooked and cooled quinoa, sliced scallions, and dressing. Mix until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently fold in the chopped mint and nuts.
- Serve at room temperature or chilled.
This recipe is from Danielle Walker, the New York Times bestselling author of 'Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple'. Its combination of robust flavors and contrasting textures makes for a deliciously different salad.
6 slices of watermelon, cut 1" thick
2 cups baby arugula
2 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil, extra virgin
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup goat cheese
1/2 cup spiced candied walnuts, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- Use a large circle cutter to cut the watermelon into six round slices. Alternatively, use a knife to cut large square slices. Trim as needed so they lay flat.
- Combine the arugula and mint in a medium-sized bowl.
- Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Toss the dressing with the arugula and mint.
- Place the watermelon slices on plates and top each with approximately 1/3 cup of the arugula mixture.
- Crumble the goat cheese evenly over the salads.
- Sprinkle each salad with the spiced candied walnuts.
- Lightly drizzle each with balsamic vinegar.
* This site offers directions for toasting a wide variety of nuts, including in the oven and microwave!
These salads are bright, colorful, and deliciously different - just like our clothes. Contact us for details.