The weather’s heating up, which means summer dishes are making an appearance in the weekly menu. In my household, summer salads are a favorite. Whether served on the side or as the main dish, they prove to be refreshing and satisfying.
Check out a list of our favorites – enjoy!
Photo credit: Parker Feirbach, Delish
• 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
• 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
• 3 c. cubed seedless watermelon
• 1 c. medium cucumber, chopped
• 1 c. crumbled feta
• 1/2 c. red onion, thinly sliced
• 1/2 c. coarsely chopped mint
• Flaky sea salt, for garnish (optional)
1. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt.
2. In a large serving bowl, combine watermelon, cucumber, feta, red onion, and mint. Pour over dressing, tossing to combine.
3. Garnish with more mint and flaky sea salt.
Photo credit: Love and Lemons
• 3 cups uncooked fusilli pasta
• 2 heaping cups halved cherry tomatoes
• 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 2 cups arugula
• 1 cup Persian cucumbers, sliced into thin half moons
• 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
• 1 cup basil leaves, torn
• ½ cup minced parsley
• ½ cup chopped mint
• ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
• ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
• 3 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence, or dried Italian seasoning
• ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
• ¾ teaspoon sea salt
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare the pasta according to the package directions, or until slightly past al dente.
Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, herbes de Provence, red pepper flakes, and salt. (Note: the dressing will have a strong flavor, it’ll mellow once it coats all of the pasta salad ingredients).
Drain the pasta, toss it with a little olive oil (so that it doesn’t stick together) and let it cool to room temp. Transfer to a large bowl with the tomatoes, chickpeas, arugula, cucumbers, feta cheese, basil, parsley, mint, and pine nuts. Pour the dressing and toss to coat. Season to taste with more lemon, salt, pepper, and/or a drizzle of olive oil, if desired, and serve.
Photo Credit: Averie Cooks
• 1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves (from about one 4-ounce container)
• 1/4 cup pine nuts
• 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
• 1 to 3 cloves garlic, to taste
• 1 teaspoon lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste if desired
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
• 1/3 to 1/2 cup HemisFares Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 2 tablespoons HemisFares Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• about 1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, diced into bite-sized pieces
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
• 1/3 cup pesto
• 1 1/2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved if desired
• one 8-ounce container fresh mozzarella ‘pearls’ or small mozzarella balls, drained
• about 10 fresh basil leaves, torn in half
• 1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic reduction or balsamic glaze for drizzling, or to taste
Make the Pesto:
1. To the canister of a food processor fitted with the S-blade, add the basil, pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, lemon juice (helps pesto from oxidizing as quickly) salt, pepper, and blend on high speed momentarily to break ingredients down.
2. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive until the pesto is smooth and emulsified; set aside.
Make the Chicken:
1. To a large skillet, add the olive oil, chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium-high heat; stir and flip intermittently so chicken cooks evenly.
2. When chicken is about 90% cooked through, add the pesto, stir to combine, reduce the heat to low, and allow the chicken to simmer in the pesto for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until chicken is done (internal temp of 165F).
Assemble the Caprese Salad:
1. To a large bowl, add the chicken including the pesto/pan juices, mozzarella, basil, evenly drizzle with balsamic, stir to combine, and serve immediately. Dish is best fresh.
Photo Credit: A Couple Cooks
• 6 ears corn (about 5 cups kernels)
• 1/2 cup diced red onion
• 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
• 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
• 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (or vegan mayo)
• 2 tablespoons sour cream (more mayo or cashew cream for vegan)
• 2 tablespoons lime juice
• 1/4 teaspoon each chili powder, garlic powder, cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• Feta cheese or Cotija cheese crumbles (optional)
1. Grill the corn: Heat a grill to medium high heat (375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit). Shuck the corn. Use your hands to rub oil on each corn cob evenly. Place the corn directly on the grill grates and cook until it begins to blacken, then turn. Cook about 12 to 15 minutes total, until blackened on all sides.
2. Cut the corn off the cob: Slice the corn off the cob using a chef’s knife: it can spray, so place a tray underneath to catch it.
3. Prep the vegetables: Mince the onion. Dice the cherry tomatoes. Finely chop the cilantro.
4. Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, mix together the sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and kosher salt.
5. Serve: Mix together the grilled corn, vegetables, and dressing. If desired, top with feta cheese crumbles (though they’re not needed for flavor!).
Summer Strawberry Salad with Avocado
Photo Credit: Ambitious Kitchen
• 1 package (5 ounces) organic spinach
• 8 ounces strawberries, halved (about 2 cups halved strawberries)
• 1 large avocado, sliced
• ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
• ½ cup feta crumbles
• ⅓ cup raw sliced almonds
• ¼ cup chopped shelled roasted pistachios
• 3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1 garlic clove, grated or finely minced
• ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
• 1/2 tablespoon strawberry jam (or jam of choice)
• Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a mason jar or small bowl, add all of the dressing ingredients. Shake or mix well to combine. Taste and add additional salt/pepper, if necessary.
2. Toast the almonds on the stovetop: add the almonds to a pan and place over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 2-5 minutes until almonds are slightly golden brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
3. Add spinach to a large bowl, layer on the strawberries, avocado slices, red onion, feta, toasted almonds, and chopped pistachios. Feel free to add dressing now or set it out for individual servings. Top salad bowls with extra toasted almonds and drizzle each bowl with 1/4 of the dressing. Serves 4.