I Heart Summer Salad

I have for as long as I can remember loved summer—the smell of barbecues, sun-kissed skin, vacations, delicious sweet fruits, and the sun staying out longer than any time of the year. This salad is light, yet filling– and adds enough sweetness to appeal to your sweet tooth, yet just enough fiber to keep you right on track with your health. I am celebrating summer, because even if most of us are too old to enjoy summer vacation from school or all day pool parties, we can all use an extra hour or two of sunshine. Happy 1st day of summer, everyone!
Ingredients (per salad)

  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 cup baby arugula
  • ¼ cup cubed cucumber
  • 1 TBSP Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small plum, seeded, sliced
  • 1 apricot, seeded, sliced
  • 1 thin slice of red onion, rings separated
  • 1/8 cup of mint leaves
  • ¼ cup feta cheese
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • Dash of ground black pepper
  • 2 to 3 TBSP lemon juice
  • 8 to 10 Kalamata olives
  • 1 TBSP grapeseed oil or olive oil

 

Instructions

 

In a large mixing bowl, toss spinach, arugula, cucumber and mint leaves with 2 TBSP lemon, sea salt and 1 TBSP grapeseed oil. Once well tossed, move salad to the plate or bowl in which it will be served. Top the salad with layers of plum and apricot slices, thin onion rings, feta, olives and additional lemon juice for added flavor. Last, drizzle balsamic vinegar over the entire salad and serve.

 Check out the video below to find out about the delicious dark cherry balsamic vinegar I used for my salad for from Pastamore:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hul3HMEZERo&feature=plcp

Mediterranean Salad

“A lot of times we eat salads that are drowned in ranch or italian dressing and we hardly stop to look down at the withered heap we so poorly categorize as healthy food. A good salad won’t need to be drowned by dressing. A good salad will be the main event–crisp, zingy, refreshing, and the dressing will only serve to compliment…” -Fifi

When I go to restaurants, there isn’t a type of salad that I don’t like. At Japanese restaurants I enjoy cool seaweed salad, & I have had the assortment of slaws in American & even Thai cuisine. My irritation is with salads that are soaked soggy with dressing, or full of chunks of wilted vegetables. Without wilting & bruises, vegetables are at their finest & provide us with the maximum nutritional value. There is no shame in being a food snob when it comes to choosing your produce. I take my time at the market choosing the vegetables that are firm and with the least amount of  blemishes. At home I take out a bottle of olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette, & my choice of seasoning and I can immediately toss my salad just enough to cover the contents.  My Mediterranean salad was a hit this past Sunday at Gram’s birthday party. It’s often nice to balance the the hot and hearty dishes out with something light and fit.

You will need:

  • 2 cups of romaine lettuce roughly torn
  • 1/3 cup Kalamata olives pitted

    Mediterranean Salad (Beets not pictured)

  • 1 cup of grape tomatoes
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 2 medium cucumbers
  • 1 can of pickled beets
  • 1 lemon

For dressing:

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper to taste

*Whisk contents together

1. Start with your bed of lettuce. Lettuce is not a must for salads. in fact, I was going to use artichokes in place of lettuce, but did not have the time to buy them. Roughly tear up or cut your lettuce.

2. Wash cucumbers & cut down the middle lengthwise and then cut down the middle lengthwise again. Chunks should be about 1.4 inch thick. Spread half the cucumbers as a layer over lettuce. Generously add a layer of washed grape tomatoes (much easier to fork than cherry tomatoes).

3. Cut 2/3 of the medium onion into rings and spread as a layer. Follow up with feta, and roughly chopped olives. Last add pickled beets.

4. When complete, drizzle the salad with half the dressing and leave the rest aside for guests as they serve themselves. Salad.

This dished was served with baked lemon chicken. Also goes well with any grilled meat.