Summer Salad Recipes

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PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
Chilled salads are great for hot summer nights.

Within the next month or so, most people’s garden plots
will be fairly bursting with mouthwatering vegetables and a lot of that produce will find its way to the dinner
table in large, colorful salads. However, garden-fresh
edibles — although they’re often considered the classic
ingredients — aren’t the only “raw materials” that can
be used to manufacture memorable salads.

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

Among chilled grain salads, tabouli — which
you’ll also see spelled a number of other ways — is
probably the most “exotic.” This spicy dish isn’t a staple
of most Westerners’ diets, but it is a great Lebanese
favorite . . . and the traditional formula can easily be
varied to suit individual tastes.

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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