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Summer salad recipes (all veg, vegan optional)

644 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  isosmom
Thought I'd post some....I'm totally into big, cold salads of beans and/or grains filled with lots of crunchy veggies these days. Great way to beat the heat!! Anyone else want to contribute your faves?


This recipe multiplies easily - I usually make a double batch.

½ lb lentils, rinsed (I like to use the small brown/green French lentils or black beluga lentils, but regular brown will work fine, too!)
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or pressed

1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
½ cup diced carrot
½ cup chopped yellow or beefsteak tomato (or substitute halved grape or cherry tomatoes)
1/3 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese (optional - I've never used it and never missed it)
¼ cup quartered Kalamata olives
¼ cup diced red onion
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Put lentils, bay leaves, and garlic into a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender (20-30 minutes for smaller lentils, 30-40 for larger).

While the lentils are cooking, prep the vegetables and place in a large bowl. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a separate bowl and pour over the vegetables.

When the lentils are finished, drain and discard bay leaves. Add the drained lentils to the bowl and toss gently to combine vegetables, lentils, and dressing.

Serve at room temperature or chilled over a bed of mixed baby greens.
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1 cup cooked (or canned) black beans, rinsed and drained well
½ cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
6 to 8 cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup finely chopped green pepper
1/3 cup finely sliced red onion
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced or pressed
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp. tomato salsa
½ tsp. dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 lettuce leaves

Combine all ingredients (except lettuce) and toss to mix. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Serve in a lettuce leaf. Yield: 2 servings.

For 6 servings Southwestern Black Bean & Corn Salad with Salsa:
3 cups cooked (or canned) black beans, rinsed and drained well
1 ½ cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
About 24 cherry tomatoes
1 cup finely chopped green pepper
1/3 cup finely sliced red onion
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
`/3 cup tomato salsa
1 ½ tsp. dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Lettuce leaves for garnish
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¾ lb. (about 6 cups) day-old crusty peasant-style or Italian whole-grain bread, in 1" cubes
2 - 3 large beefsteak tomatoes (about 1 pound)
Half of an English hothouse cucumber
1 small red onion, peeled + thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
2 Tbsp. capers, drained (optional)
½ cup European black olives, pitted + coarsely chopped (optional)
½ - ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 - 4 Tbsp. good balsamic or red-wine vinegar
½ - 1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 clove garlic, peeled + mashed with the salt (optional)
½ cup (lightly packed) finely shredded fresh basil leaves
1 - 2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)

Because the bread should be dry, it can sit out overnight after you cube it. (Or spread bread on a rimmed baking sheet large enough to provide lots of space, and bake in a 300°F. oven until crisp, about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Let cool.)

Cut tomatoes in half, remove white core (if any), and cut each half into 1" chunks. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, then slice diagonally in ¼" slices. (If you choose to use homegrown cucumbers, they may need to be peeled and seeded before slicing.) Cut yellow bell pepper in half, remove seeds and membranes, then julienne.

In a large serving bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, bell pepper, capers and olives. In a measuring cup, whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar. Whisk in salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. (If you use the garlic, mash it well with the Kosher salt before adding it to the vinaigrette.)

Drizzle the vinaigrette over the vegetables and if you have time, let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to marinate. This can also be done the night before. Toss the bread and basil with the marinated vegetables, and let sit another 30 - 60 minutes (if you have time), so the bread can absorb the yummy juices. Sprinkle with grated, shredded or slivered Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional) and serve. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Variations for Panzanella:
1)Substitute ¼ cup white truffle oil for part of the extra-virgin olive oil.
2)Add mozzarella fresca (fresh mozzarella) or mozzarella di bufala (buffalo-milk mozzarella) or bocconcini (small mozzarella balls).
3)Add roasted red peppers, peeled + julienned. Canned roasted red peppers (6 - 12 oz. drained) are okay.
4)Add pine nuts.
5)Use additional garlic if you really love garlic.

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4 cups cooked brown rice
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed + drained
1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans (chick peas), rinsed + drained
½ cup chopped scallions, white + green
2 stalks celery, very thinly sliced
½ cup diced green bell pepper
½ cup diced red bell pepper
½ cup coarsely grated carrot
1 can (4 oz.) chopped green (California) chilies
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 cup frozen tiny peas, thawed
¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley or cilantro
½ to 1 cup of your favorite oil-free dressing or tomato salsa

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to blend. Yield: 8 servings
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Obviously not a salad, but one of my favorites and very quick.

6 cups vegetable stock
1/3 cup (about 1 ½ oz.) pine nuts
½ cup walnut halves
4 tsp butter
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
2 cups diced, peeled butternut, acorn, or Hubbard squash
10 oz. (about 2 cups) frozen corn kernels
1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, rinsed + drained
1 avocado
½ cup shelled sunflower or pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 - 2 cups tomato salsa (optional)
2 to 3 cups tortilla chips

Make the Quick Vegetable Stock and let it simmer while you prepare the rest of the soup ingredients. In a 4-quart pan over Medium heat, sauté the pine nuts and walnuts in
2 teaspoons of the butter, cooking until golden (about 2 minutes). Remove from pan and reserve.

In the same (unwashed) pan over Medium heat, melt remaining 2 teaspoons butter. Sauté the onion and garlic until golden. Add squash and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until squash is tender (10 to 15 minutes). Add corn and beans; simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Taste for seasonings and add salt (cautiously) and / or hot sauce if needed.

Just before serving, pit, peel and dice avocado. Serve diced avocado, walnut and pine nut mixture, pumpkin seeds, shredded cheese, salsa (optional) and tortilla chips in small bowls. Pass these assorted garnishes at the table to be added to the individual soup bowls. Yield: about 8 servings for supper, 10 servings for lunch, 12 servings as a first course.

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1 honeydew or casaba melon
1 lb. plum tomatoes, peeled
1 English (hothouse) cucumber (peel if desired)
Red Wine & Mint Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Peel, seed and cut melon into 1" cubes (or use a melon baller). Place in a large, pretty glass bowl. Quarter the plum tomatoes lengthwise, remove white pith in center, and cut each quarter in thirds. Add them to the melon. Cut ends off cucumber and cut in thin slices. Add to the melon and tomato. Drizzle the Red Wine & Mint Vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently to distribute evenly. Cover and let stand at room temperature for about 45 minutes, stirring once or twice. Yield: 8 servings.

Red Wine & Mint Vinaigrette

1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
2 tsp. finely sliced chives
2 tsp. minced mint
2 tsp. granulated sugar
Dash Melinda's Hot Sauce
½ tsp. sea salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients. Yield: about ½ cup.

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1 lb. whole wheat rotini or fusilli pasta
½ cup (about 1 oz.) dry pack sun-dried tomatoes
2 cloves roasted garlic (directions for roasting garlic follow)
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/3 cup red-wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 dashes Melinda's Hot Sauce (or to taste)
Sea salt
8 oz. smoked mozzarella, ½" cubes, about 2 cups
1 can (16 oz.) garbanzo beans (ceci), drained, rinsed + patted dry
3 ½ oz. sliced hard salami, julienned (very optional)
10 to 20 bottled small peperoncini (pickled Tuscan peppers)
1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves, minced
1 head romaine lettuce, washed + dried
1 jar(7 ½ oz.) roasted red peppers, drained
1 jar (6 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts, drained + cut lengthwise in bite-size pieces
½ cup oil-cured black olives

Bring 2 quarts water to a boil and lightly salt it. Cook the pasta until it is al dente. Drain pasta, rinse in cold water, and drain it well. In the meantime, soak the sun-dried tomatoes in a little hot water for 5 minutes, drain well (reserving soaking liquid) and set aside.

In a blender, whirl the garlic, mustard, red-wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon water from soaking sun-dried tomatoes, canola oil, extra-virgin olive oil, and Melinda's Hot Sauce. Season to taste.

Toss the pasta with the dressing. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella, garbanzos (ceci), salami, peperoncini and parsley, and toss again. Chill the salad, covered, for 1 hour.

To serve: Line a very large salad bowl with romaine lettuce and mound the salad in it. Garnish with marinated artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and oil-cured black olives around the edge of the salad. This salad may be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator, covered airtight, for up to 2 days but garnish only just before serving. Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

To roast garlic: Remove most of the outer papery skin from the bulbs of garlic, but leave the bulb whole. Slice about ½" off the top so that all the garlic cloves are exposed. Place the head(s) of garlic in the bottom of a terracotta garlic roaster and drizzle with a very little extra-virgin olive oil. (You can also sprinkle with a little thyme or other herb if you wish.)

Place the terracotta top on the roaster and bake in a 350°F. oven for about 1 hour. The roasted garlic can be frozen whole in a freezer-weight self-sealing plastic bag. It isn't necessary to thaw the garlic to use it in cooking - just be sure to peel away the papery skin. To puree, peel away papery skin and smear the roasted garlic with the flat of a knife.

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Note: you don't have to stuff the salad into tomatoes if that's too much work. In that case, garnish with halved cherry tomatoes.

1/2 cup medium bulgur wheat
1/2 cup cold water
1 dash Melinda's Hot Sauce
2 to 4 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup finely diced English cucumber (do not peel)
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/4 cup coarsely chopped (pitted) Kalamata olives
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley (no stems)
1/4 cup sliced fresh mint
1 tsp. very finely minced fresh lemon zest
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 ripe tomatoes, halved crosswise + pulp removed
Garnish: thin slices of English cucumber, additional (whole) Kalamata olives, and parsley sprigs or mint sprigs

Rinse bulgur wheat well and drain. Combine cold water with Melinda's Hot Sauce and pour over the bulgur wheat. Cover and let stand 1 hour. Press out any remaining liquid and toss bulgur with 2 tablespoons lemon juice, using two forks. (Don't stir with a spoon it will mash the grains.) Fold in cucumber, onion, parsley, mint, lemon zest and thyme. Toss with olive oil (and additional lemon juice if needed). Adjust seasonings with salt and additional pepper. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours.

About half an hour before you plan to stuff them, cut the tomatoes and hollow them out. Salt the insides of the tomatoes very sparingly and let them drain, upside down, on a plate lined with paper towels. Spoon tabbouli generously into prepared tomatoes, mounding it. Garnish with thin slices of English cucumber, additional (whole) Kalamata olives, and sprigs of parsley or mint. Yield: 4 servings.
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Thanks for all the recipes!

My fav. salad is very simple:

Dark mixed greens
Calamatta olives (pitted)
seedless grapes, halved
dried cranberries
sliced almonds (or chopped walnuts)
crumbled feta cheese
sliced cucumbers
Greek Vinigrette dressing (I use Kraft
: )

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Thanks for sharing those! I was just doing a search for salads.
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Wow! Thanks for sharing. Always looking for more recipes
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