Summer Salad Recipes

Get inspired with these summer salad recipes, including traditional tabouli, Balkan rice salad, cucumber-yogurt salad and more.
By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
May/June 1982
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Chilled salads are great for hot summer nights.
PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF


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You can, for example, create tasty cold dishes from cooked grains, pasta, beans or marinated cooked vegetables. These nourishing — and filling — "alternative" salads are often quite convenient, since they can be prepared well in advance and refrigerated until serving time. (In fact, the following recipes need to be well chilled — often for several hours — to allow their flavors to blend and mature.)

Each of these dishes is based on nutritious, natural foods and — when served with homemade bread — will make an appealing, lightweight supper on those summer days when no one feels like cooking or eating, a hot meal.

 

Traditional Tabouli Recipe


tabouli

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup of raw bulgur wheat
3 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped
1 cup of minced fresh parsley
1/3 cup of diced scallions
1/2 cup of lemon juice
1/2 cup of sesame or olive oil
2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh (or 2 teaspoons of dried) mint
1 teaspoon of sea salt a pinch of cayenne pepper

Instructions

Combine all the ingredients and marinate them in the refrigerator for about six hours. Then adjust the seasonings to taste, and serve the tabouli on a thick bed of lettuce leaves or sprouts. (As an alternative, you could chop up the greens and toss them in with the salad, pile the whole mixture on a platter, garnish it with black olives and sprigs of parsley and let four hungry people scoop it up — Middle Eastern style — with whole lettuce leaves.)

 

Balkan Rice Salad Recipe

Ingredients

 

2 medium-sized zucchini squash, cubed and steamed
1 cup of thinly sliced onion
1/2 cup of chopped pimentos
1 large clove of garlic, pressed
1/3 cup of sesame or olive oil
3 tablespoons of vinegar
2 tablespoons of soy sauce

Instructions

Marinate the foregoing ingredients and chill them for at least 4 hours. Meanwhile, you can prepare the rest of the salad, as follows.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of butter
1 small onion, minced
1 cup of raw brown rice or millet
2 cups of water (3 cups if using millet)
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of ketchup
1 teaspoon of curry powder

Instructions

Sauté the onion in the butter before adding the grain, water and seasonings. Next, cover the pan and let it simmer for about 45 minutes . . . after which you can stir in the marinated mixture and these garnishes:

Ingredients

1 large green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup of sliced green olives 1/2 cup of sliced black olives
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

Season the rice salad to taste and chill it thoroughly. This hearty cold dish will easily feed six people when it's arranged on a bed of greens and surrounded with sprouts and lemon wedges. You can even stuff the leftovers into pita bread pockets for the following day's lunch!

 

Cucumber-Yogurt Salad Recipe

 

Ingredients

3 cucumbers
1/2 cup of plain yogurt
3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 tablespoon of fresh (or 1-1/2 teaspoons of dried) dill weed
1/2 teaspoon of celery seed
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt a pinch of cayenne pepper sesame seeds

Instructions

Slice the cucumbers very thin and combine them with the rest of the ingredients. Let the salad marinate in the refrigerator until it's well chilled. Sprinkle it with toasted sesame seeds just before serving. This tangy, refreshing dish will perk up a dinner for four.

 

Cold Broccoli Salad Recipe

 

Ingredients

1 bunch of fresh broccoli, cut in chunks (about 4 cups) and steamed
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 heaping tablespoons of minced scallions
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
1 clove of garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon of soy sauce
1/2 cup of dry white wine
3/4 cup of soy mayo, yogurt, or sour cream

Instructions

Drizzle the lemon juice over the steamed broccoli and set it aside to cool. Then, in a saucepan over medium heat, simmer the rest of the vegetables in the wine and soy sauce for a few minutes. Add the broccoli before stirring in the mayonnaise. Refrigerate the dish for about two hours and serve it to four to six broccoli lovers. (This salad will be especially attractive if you decorate it with cherry tomatoes and avocado cubes.)

 

Marina Bean and Vegetable Salad Recipe

Ingredients

 

2 cups of cooked green beans
2 cups of cooked pinto or kidney beans
1-1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
8 ounces of canned artichoke hearts, quartered (optional)
1 cup of fresh green peas, either raw or very lightly steamed
1 cup of diced carrots, lightly steamed
1/2 cup of sliced ripe olives
1/3 cup of chopped scallions
1/3 cup of diced green pepper
1/2 cup of chopped pimentos
1/4 cup of minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh (or 1-1/2 teaspoons of dried) chives

Instructions

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, then add the following dressing:

Ingredients

1 cup of sesame or olive oil
1/2 cup of cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of honey
1-2 cloves of garlic, pressed
1-1/2 teaspoons of herb seasoning salt
1 teaspoon of basil a pinch of cayenne pepper

Instructions

Cover the bowl and let the mixture marinate — chilled — for at least six hours, stirring it occasionally. This recipe makes a lot of piquant, filling salad, so feel free to gather six or eight friends to help you eat it!

 

Chilled Pasta Salad Recipe

 

Ingredients

1-1/2 cups of cooked and drained macaroni or noodles
1 stalk of celery, sliced
1 small carrot, grated
2 tablespoons of minced parsley
1 tablespoon of chopped scallions
1/4 cup of diced green pepper (optional)
1/4 cup of alfalfa sprouts (optional)

Instructions

Mix the pasta and vegetables together, and toss them with your favorite cream dressing — or make a distinctive sauce from the following ingredients:

Ingredients

1 cup of instant (or 2/3 cup of non-instant) milk powder
1/2 cup of plain yogurt
2 teaspoons of cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of basil
1/2 teaspoon of thyme
1/4 teaspoon of oregano
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
a pinch of cayenne pepper

Instructions

Chill the salad until you're ready to eat it (at least two hours), then serve it, on lettuce leaf beds, to four or five diners.

As you can see, a summer supper doesn't have to be heavy and hot . . . nor must it necessarily be a simple bowl of freshly harvested vegetables and greens. In fact, once you've tried one (or more) of these nutritious one-dish meals, everyone at your dinner table will likely agree that a salad is the "hottest" thing going in warm-weather cookery!


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