Summer Salads

 

Summer is upon us!  In my house that means beach picnics, block parties, potlucks and other gatherings with friends and family that require some sort of food offering.  As much as I love to cook, there are many places I would rather be in the summer heat than a hot kitchen. That is why summer should be synonymous with salads! I have a plethora of salad recipes that require little to no cooking. Most of them can be served cold or at room temperature, making them the perfect solution to the summer heat. I use the term salad loosely; basically anything that is served in a bowl with a variety of fruits and veggies earns the name salad in my book.  Here are a couple of my go-to recipes that are quick, easy and delicious.

Watermelon Mojito Salad

This is my absolute favorite way to eat watermelon. As if watermelon is not refreshing enough, the addition of the lime and mint makes it mouthwatering. It is just the right combo for a hot day on the beach. This salad is best served cold, but will do fine at room temperature. Save your extras and throw them into the blender for an amazing beverage, freeze and blend for the ultimate cooldown.

1 medium watermelon, approx 3 lbs– cut into cubes

Juice from 2 limes

1 cup mint

Puree the mint and lime juice together in a blender or food processor. Toss with the cubed watermelon.

Caprese Pasta Salad

I love a classic caprese salad with slices of summer ripened tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil. However, it does not feed the masses or transport that well. Taking the classic ingredients and serving them with pasta and a simple vinaigrette is a great way to remedy the problem.

1 lb whole wheat pasta, penne or fusilli

4 cups mini heirloom or cherry tomatoes – cut in half

8 oz. fresh burrata cheese, sliced with cream reserved

1 cup fresh basil, chopped

juice of 2 lemons – about ⅓ cup

⅓ cup olive oil, plus 1 Tablespoon

Salt and pepper

Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain, drizzle with tablespoon of olive oil and set aside. For dressing, slowly add olive oil to lemon juice while whisking. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Add tomatoes and basil to cooled pasta, toss in dressing. Top with burrata and cream, gently mix to combine. Sprinkle with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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