Cool the palate with a light, refreshing summer salad
When the temperature is in the 90s every day, I am always looking for cool summer salads to prepare so I will not have to cut on the oven. There are so many wonderful salads you can prepare with the produce from the garden. Tomatoes are just always on my list (with basil and mozzarella as you all know), but I can sometimes venture outside that salad!
We all want something quick and nourishing, so these salads should be for you. Actually I have found that a can of white cannelloni
beans combined with some mint, red onion and olive oil hits the spot with a little canned tuna on the side. You always have that one on hand and it does not heat up the kitchen!
Salad Nicoise Lettuce Cups
12 Romaine lettuce leaves
1 can (5oz.) solid white tuna in water, drained
1 can (3oz.) solid white tuna in water, drained
2 tomatoes, chopped
12 pitted kalamata olives
4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
2 Tbsp. shredded Parmesan cheese
Arrange 3 lettuce leaves on each of 4 serving places.
Divide tuna, tomatoes, olives, and eggs evenly among places.
Sprinkle each with cheese.
Now, how easy is that!
This next recipe takes on a Persian theme. But you can use different varieties of cucumbers and tomatoes in this recipe, whatever you have in the garden or can find in the market. It is called Shirazi Salad, the name taken from the city of Shiraz in Iran. I have actually been to Shiraz (many years ago) and remember the people in the countryside washing their greens in the drains (not good) but they would always have a green salad for their picnic lunch.
1 medium spring onion, thinly slices
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 lb. Persian, Armenian, lemon or English hothouse cucumbers, peeled, leaving alternating strips of peel, cut into bite-size pieces
1 garlic clove, finely grated
2-3 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
6 small red tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 pints small cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup fresh lime juice, divided
4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
½ bunch chives, cut into 1” pieces
¼ bunch dill, cut into 1” pieces
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup tarragon leaves (Difficult to grow here, but surprisingly I have a nice thriving pot this summer!)
Combine spring onion and vinegar in a small bowl; let sit 20 minutes. Drain.
Toss spring onion, cucumbers, garlic, all tomatoes, ¼ cup lime juice, and 2 Tbsp. oil in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper and toss gently with hands to coat. Transfer salad to a platter, reserving bowl.
Add herbs and remaining ¼ cup lime juice and 2 Tbsp. oil to reserved bowl; season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Mound herb mixture over salad.
Stay cool this summer.