Saturday, May 24, 2008

Summer salads

Ok so I'm a tad (or a week, but who's counting) late on this, but as the saying goes, better late than...oh, you've heard it before.

My pal Megan over at
FriedOkra had this awesome post called 'Top Ten Sizzlin' Summer Recipes a la FriedOkra & Family' & she invited us all to get in on the fun with her.

Now to me a sultry summer night calls for a big ole salad with pasta (or the like) and lots of fresh, summery veggies. I adore the soft nuttiness of the al dente pasta and the crunchy, juicy, fresh vegegtablyness (I know, I know, not a word but work with me here will ya?) of out of the garden/farmer's market veggies. Marry those with a yumarific dressing & I am there baby!!

I'm giving you a smattering (ok, a ton) of my faves along with some alluring ones I've not yet tried but I'm sure are fabulous. I have to admit I cannot give credit for most of these recipes. I copied most of the them from magazines & didn't keep track...whoops! I do know that some from Cooking Light (fantastic magazine, by the way) if you see one you know in here please let me know, I'd love to give credit!

Recipes I've made & love

Orzo salad with corn tomatoes and basil

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Combine all in a jar, cover tightly and shake vigorously

1 cup uncooked orzo
2 cups fresh yellow corn kernels (about 4 ears)
2 cups chopped tomato
¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt & fat
Drain and place in a large bowl
Spoon half of dressing over pasta; toss to coat
Cool to room temperature
Add the remaining dressing, corn, tomato, and basil to pasta; toss to coat
Let stand 30 minutes

Pasta tossed with Shrimp, vegetables and pesto

1-½ cups diagonally sliced snow peas
1 ½ cups julienne cut yellow squash
2 tsp olive oil
¾ lb large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
½ cup fat free less sodium chicken broth
4 cups hot cooked farfalle (about 3 cups uncooked)
1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup (1 oz) crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup classic pesto
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

Bring water to a boil in a saucepan; add snow peas and squash
Cook 45 seconds or until crisp tender, drain
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat
Add shrimp; cook 3 minutes or until done
Add snow pea mixture and broth
Cover and cook for 30 seconds or until thoroughly heated
Combine shrimp mixture, pasta and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss well

Tortellini with spinach and cherry tomatoes

1 (9 oz) package fresh three cheese (or any flavor) tortellini
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp bottled minced garlic
½ to ¾ tsp crushed red pepper
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup fat free, less sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
¼ tsp salt
1 (6 oz) package fresh baby spinach

Cook tortellini according to package directions, omitting salt & fat
While tortellini cooks, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat
Add garlic and red pepper; sauté 30 seconds
Add tomatoes, broth, and basil, salt and baby spinach to pan
Cook 2 minutes or until baby spinach wilts
Stir in tortellini; cook 1 minute

Barley “pasta” salad

2 cups water
½ cup uncooked pearl barley
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
2 cups finely chopped seeded tomato
1 cup thinly sliced spinach
½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
½ cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber
½ cup (2 oz) diced part skim mozzarella cheese
2 tsp dry oregano

Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan
Add barley; cover, reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes
Drain and rinse with cold water
Combine the juice, oil and salt in a large bowl & stir well with a whisk
Add barley and remaining ingredients
Toss gently to coat

I just made this the other night, the barley gives it a great flavor & is a yummy substitute for pasta. Gives the salad a nutty chewiness...even my kids ate it!

Zesty Black Bean and Corn Salad

2 tsp vegetable oil
Cooking spray
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 ½ cups fresh corn kernels (about 4 large ears)
¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
¾ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp salt
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1 cup diced red bell pepper
¾ cup diced red onion
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp minced seeded jalapeno pepper
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 (19oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained

Heat vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium high heat
Add garlic, sauté 30 seconds
Add corn sauté 8 minutes or until browned
Remove from pan, cool completely
Combine juice and next 4 ingredients (lime juice to salt) stirring with a whisk
Combine corn mixture, tomatoes and remaining ingredients
Drizzle juice mixture over corn mixture and toss gently to coat

Rice & broccoli salad with sunflower seed dressing
I got this one from my sis - the dressing is so yum!

2-3 cups cooked short brown rice
1 bunch broccoli
1 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
½ cup scallion greens
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
½ cup flax oil (or canola)
5 tsp toasted sesame oil
Salt to taste
1-cup vegetable stock

Place cooled rice in a bowl
Peel broccoli stems; slice thin
Cut broccoli florets into 1-inch pieces
Steam broccoli 1-3 minutes or until crisp tender
Plunge in ice water to cool
Add broccoli, almonds and scallion greens to rice
Mix well
Puree sunflower seeds with vinegar, oils and salt in a blender
Add vegetable stock in a stream
Blend until emulsified
Toss with salad
(Can use dressing on any salad)

The remainder are from my recipes to try file

Shrimp and corn salad

2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 3 ears) or one 10-ounce package frozen corn, thawed
1-pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 small jicama, cut into thin strips (optional)
1 lb peeled and deveined large cooked shrimp
½ cup (3.5 oz) shelled roasted pumpkin seeds
6 scallions (white and light green parts), thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh orange juice
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp honey
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp olive oil
¾ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp black pepper

In a large bowl, combine the corn, tomatoes, jicama, shrimp, pumpkin seeds, and scallions.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the orange and lime juices, honey, cumin, oil, salt, and pepper.
Toss with the shrimp mixture.

Sugar-Snap-Pea Salad with Sweet Ginger-Soy Dressing

5 servings (1 cup)

2 tsp dark sesame oil
1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tbsp minced fresh garlic
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt

Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat
Add ginger; sauté 2 min
Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook 1 minute
Stir in oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar; and salt; bring to a simmer
Remove from heat & cool

1 lb sugar-snap peas; trimmed
½ cup julienne cut carrot
½ cup drained, canned sliced water chestnuts
½ cup sliced mushrooms
½ cup julienne cut red bell pepper
2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted

Cook peas in boiling water 30 seconds
Drain and rinse with cold water
Combine peas and remaining ingredients except sesame seeds
Drizzle dressing over salad; toss well
Sprinkle with sesame seeds

Zesty Couscous Salad

1 pkg Couscous, plain
¼ tsp black pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 medium zucchini, halved and thinly sliced
½ cup fresh basil, cut into strips
1/3 cup green onions, sliced
¾ cup feta cheese, crumbled

Prepare couscous according to package directions, except omit fat and add black pepper to water
In large bowl, combine prepared couscous, lemon juice and olive oil
Add tomatoes, zucchini, basil and green onions
Chill 4 hours or overnight
Stir in cheese just before serving

Here's to a yummy salad-filled summer ladies!


Mari said...

I love summer salads! I'll be trying some of these out. Thanks for posting them - even if they're late!

Rebekah said...

I have never been big on summer or pasta salads. However, this week I made orzo pasta for the first time in a salad with roasted vegetables. Tossed together with a lite ranch. YUM-O!

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

YUMMO! Thanks for posting these. And don't forget, sandwiches are up this Thursday - I bet you have a great sandwich recipe or three! :)

Joanne said...

Dang friend....these all sound "yumarific". I am coming to your house for dinner!

Plus I dig your verbage.

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