02 June 2012

summer salad favorites.

 Mediterranean Inspired White Bean Salad 

 Greek Salad with Pita Bread

 Garden Salad with Grilled Pesto Chicken

Classic Chopped Salad with Bacon & Avocado with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette 

I love delicious, satisfying salads. These are some of my favorites that are perfect for hot weather & healthy choices. Win-win. 

Mediterranean Inspired White Bean Salad 
Perfect for a quick put together. Beans are a great source of protein & fiber. It is a great sided to grilled vegetables or an easy lunch...sometimes I even add a can of oil packed tuna.

1 can of your favorite white beans (I used Navy), drained & rinsed
1 organic tomato, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
a handful of olives (I used Spanish), pitted & torn
a handful of parsley, chopped

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 TBL red wine vinegar 
sea salt & cracked pepper

Garden Salad with Grilled Pesto Chicken
Easy & laid back. It can work for any time of year, just mix up the ingredients to whatever is in season--whether it is a summer fare, like here, or roasted root vegetables & spinach in the winter. 

2 boneless chicken breasts
homemade pesto or your favorite store-bought brand
olive oil
sea salt & cracked pepper

the garden salad is really based on what is in season, local or whatever you have on hand...
a head of lettuce or a spring green mix or even spinach
a big ripe tomato, sliced or cherry tomatoes, halved
spring onions, chopped or a sweet vidalia onion, sliced
a cucumber or peppers from the market, sliced

--Preheat your grill or broiler. Brush olive oil over the cleaned chicken & season. Put the chicken directly on the grill (or on a baking sheet with a baking rack if it is for the broiler; and place under the broiler).
--Cook for about 7-8 minutes, then flip. Cook for another 4-5 minutes. Then add pesto over the chicken & continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. 
--Let the chicken rest for about 5 minutes, then slice. 
--Put the chicken over the plattered salad & serve the dressing on the side.  

Classic Chopped Salad with Bacon & Avocado with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette 
This is one of our absolute favorites. It is like comfort food & the small amount of blue cheese is a perfect richness to the creamy avocado. So EASY, but feels so special .

3-4 cups greens or spring mix
1 tomato, sliced into wedges
3 scallions, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
2-3 slices organic turkey bacon, cooked on a cast iron or grill pan & chopped
cracked pepper

--Add all the ingredients in a large bowl or on a platter & toss together. Serve with the blue cheese vinaigrette. 

for the vinaigrette:
4 TBL olive oil
2 TBL red wine vinegar
1 tsp grainy honey mustard
1/4 blue cheese, crumbled (I used Blue Castello) 
a pinch of sea salt

--Put all the ingredients in a mason jar & shake until combined.

happy summer eatings & cheers!

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