– 1 banana,cut into slices
– 1/3 c. frozen mango
– 1/3 c. frozen pineapple
– 1/3 c. orange juice
SUMMER NECTARINES, FETA & BASIL WITH ARUGULA (serves 2)
– 3 nectarines
– 6-7 basil leaves, chiffonaded
– 1/4 C. crumbled feta
– juice of 1/2 a lemon
– couple glugs of EVOO
– kosher salt and pepper to taste
– 2 cups baby arugula
1. Cut up the nectarines into little cubes.
2. In a bowl, combine nectarines, EVOO, salt & pepper. Stir to combine.
3. Add the feta to the bowl with the nectarines.
4. Chiffonade the basil, then add to the bowl. Combine all gently.
5. Put the arugula in a bowl and season it a little bit with Herbamare or salt/pepper. Squeeze half a lemon over it, stir to mix.
6. Divide the arugula between two bowls, then top with the nectarine/feta/basil mix. Make sure you get any juices that have collected – this adds a nice little sweetness to the dressing.
7. Serve and enjoy.
Hands up if you need a little detox after the 4th of July weekend. Oh, you too? We’re officially into July, you guys, so what better excuse to dig up some of my favorite summer salad recipes. With the exception of the tortellini (which is still a healthy, super tasty salad), these salads are all clean-eating recipes that you can make almost exclusively with produce found at your local Farmer’s Market. Best of all, they’re perfect for those mid-summer picnics…no mayo, nothing heavy, just bright flavors that take advantage of all the summer has to offer. So grab a produce bag and head down to the Farmer’s Market to pick up ingredients for some of the best summer salads on my list.
SUMMER SALADS: (Clockwise, from the top left)
1. Fresh Sweet Corn, Avocado, English Cucumber, Feta, Red Onion and Cherry Tomato Salad with a Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
2. My award winning Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Lemon, Basil, Toasted Almonds and Shaved Parmesan (thanks, Scranton Times-Tribune!)
3. Farmer’s Market Veggie and Quinoa Salad with Basil and Feta in a Honey-Lemon Dressing
4. Chopped Chicken Salad with Summer Nectarines, Avocado and Feta in a Basil Vinaigrette
5. Tortellini Salad in a Lemon-Artichoke Tapenade with Red Bell Peppers, Parsley and Parm
6. Tuna-Chickpea Salad with Lemon, English Cucumber, and Red Onion (no mayo!)
I don’t know about you all, but my first thought this morning was that I’m only t-minus three weeks until vacation. Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!
I don’t know about you guys, but for me, summer doesn’t really begin until I’ve had at least one watermelon (“I carried a watermelon?“). They feel like such a summer indulgence, and they’re one of my favorite bases for salads. This combo of watermelon, cucumber & avocado is perfectly sweet, crunchy and creamy, and the lemon-lime dressing pulls it all together. Throw in some chopped fresh basil, mint and chives and dig in. Nobody puts Baby in the corner.
SUMMER SALAD: WATERMELON, AVOCADO AND CUCUMBER WITH HERBS (serves 4)
– 1 English cucumber, peeled and diced
– 2.5 C. seedless watermelon, cubed
– 1.5 avocado, cubed
– 5-6 basil leaves
– 4-5 mint leaves
– small handful of chives
– Juice of 1/2 lime
– Juice of 1/2 lemon
– 5 tbsp. EVOO
– 1 tsp. Herbamare, or 1/2 tsp. kosher salt & pepper mix
1. Dice the peeled cucumber (if you can’t find an English cucumber, seed a regular one and use that), and put the pieces in some paper towels to drain it a little bit.
2. Dice the watermelon into about the same size pieces as the English cucumber, wrap that in towels too, so that drains.
3. Make the dressing – juice the lemon and the lime, then add the Herbamare or kosher salt/pepper blend. Mix so the seasonings react with the acids of the lemon/lime mixture. Add the EVOO, stir (or shake) well to combine.
4. Roughly chop up all the basil, mint and chives.
5. Add about half the cucumber and half the watermelon to a pretty big bowl. Dice the avocado into similar-size cubes and add half of that to the bowl. Add the remaining cucumber, watermelon and avocado.
6. Add the dressing evenly over the top of the salad. Then add herbs.
7. Mix, serve and enjoy. This doesn’t keep well, but chances are it’ll be gone before you have to worry about that.
The lovely Jonelle hosted us for dinner last week, and it everything was so delicious. From the pretty apps to the unbelievable gin & earl grey tea cocktail she made, to the london broil & grilled romaine…we had so much fun we decided to make it a monthly thing with all of us rotating as hostess. Anyway, I’d never even heard of grilled romaine, but this was incredible. If I had even the slightest clue how to work a grill myself, I’d be making this all the time.
|The hostess at work!|
My parents had a little dinner party at their house, and we all kind of went overboard with our contributions. I made these cucumber roll-ups and those pear, prosciutto & honeyed goat cheese apps, my dad made his incomparable filet mignon with merlot reduction sauce, and my sister made this insane blackberry, lime & olive oil cake. And my mom just made everything look beautiful, as always. Anyway, these are super simple, really delicious and healthy too! Brendan helped me make them and he was all, “they’re like little cucumber burritos!” which…yup, I can see it. You can use just about anything as a filler, but you know how I looooves me some avocado & feta.
CUCUMBER ROLL-UPS STUFFED WITH AVOCADO-FETA MOUSSE (makes enough for 8 people as apps but only if you have a bunch of other little delicious apps, too)
– 1 english cucumber, washed, skin on
– 1 avocado
– 1/3 c. feta
– 1 tbsp. dill
– juice of 1/2 a lemon
1. Make the avocado-feta mousse. Dice the avocado, then mash it well. Combine with the dill, lemon & feta. Taste, then adjust seasonings as needed.
2. With a vegetable peeler or a mandoline (I can’t use these, they truly truly freak me out), shave the cucumber into very thin slices.
3. Take a small spoonful of the avocado-feta mousse and spread it over each slice of the cucumber. Roll and either secure with a toothpick, or leave as is.
This is the easiest way to make fish ever. Ever. It’s pretty, packed with flavor, and healthy for you too. The fish basically steams itself in its own juices and whatever else you add to it, and the end result is incredible. Plus, cleanup is minimal, since you can just eat it right out of the parchment if you want. If you’re not a fan of feta, you can skip it, but why not just try it, because spinach and feta is awesome.
SALMON BAKED IN PARCHMENT WITH SPINACH AND FETA (serves 2)
– 2 salmon filets
– 2 cups spinach, divided
– 4 slices lemon
– curls of basil butter
– 1 shallot, sliced
– 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
– 1 tbsp EVOO, divided
– Couple crumbles of feta
– Kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400.
2. Tear off a decent size of parchment paper. Fold it in half so you know which side you’re going to be working on.
3. Rub 1/2 a tbsp of EVOO on the right side of the parchment paper.
4. On top of that, add 1/2 a cup of the spinach, 1/2 a shallot, sliced, then 1 filet of salmon.
5. Cut a couple shallow slices into the salmon, then season it with Kosher salt & black pepper. Top with 2 of the slices of lemon, 1 clove garlic, sliced, & some curls of the basil butter.
6. Crimp up the ends of the parchment paper so it makes a little pouch. Follow steps 2-6 with the other piece of salmon.
7. Put the parchment packets on a baking tray on the lowest rack of the oven, cook for approx. 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.
SIMPLE MANGO SALSA (makes approx. 2 cups)
– 1 mango, peeled and diced
– 1/4 c. finely chopped red onion
– juice and zest of half a lime
– handful chopped cilantro
– pinch of kosher salt
– 1 tsp. EVOO
1. Peel a mango with a vegetable peeler, then dice it. Add to a bowl.
2. Dice the red onion, chop the cilantro and add to the mango.
3. Add lime juice & zest, then salt. Mix everything together.
4. Add the EVOO, taste & adjust seasonings, serve either by itself, with chips or as a side – this is great with fish dishes.
SHAVED APPLE AND FENNEL SALAD WITH LEMON AND TOASTED WALNUTS (serves 2-4)
– 1 bulb fennel, top parts cut off (but leaves saved), core removed.
– 1 tart apple
– Juice and zest of 1 lemon
– toasted walnuts, approx. 1/3 cup
– approx. 3 tbsp. EVOO
– kosher salt & pepper
– Arugula (optional)
1. With either a julienne slicer or a Cuisinart food processor with a slicer attachment, shave the fennel bulb and the apple into paper-thin slices (this really makes a difference in the overall salad). Put into a bigger bowl.
2. Over medium heat, toast the walnuts, shaking the pan every minute or so and making sure they don’t burn.
3. Zest and juice the lemon, then add to the bowl with the apple and fennel shavings. Add kosher salt & pepper, mix well to combine.
4. Add EVOO and walnuts, mix. Top with the toasted walnuts and a couple fennel leaves.
5. If using arugula, I just arranged some on a plate, juiced a little lemon over it, then added the apple/fennel salad on top of the arugula leaves. The apple/fennel dressing will work as enough dressing for the arugula.
6. We had this with salmon burgers with a simple lemony dill sauce on avocado toasts. So good.