A great way to put your farmers market produce to work is to create a delicious garden salad. With the summer heat, comes those summer flavors that you crave — sweet corn, savory peppers, and juicy tomatoes. The best thing about salads is that they only take a few minutes to prepare and will keep you full all day.
Here are three tasty salad recipes you’ll want to try this summer:
Spinach salad with gorgonzola, pistachios, and pepper jelly vinaigrette
Red pepper jelly adds the light tangy flavor you desire in the summer heat.
Ingredients: ¼ c. red pepper jelly, 2 tbsp cider vinegar, 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, ⅛ tsp kosher salt, ⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper, 8 c. fresh baby spinach, ¼ c. (1 oz.) crumbled gorgonzola cheese, ¼ c. dry roasted pistachios
1. Place pepper jelly in a 1 c. glass measure. Microwave on high 30 seconds. Add cider vinegar, oil, salt, and black pepper, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cool to room temperature.
2. Combine spinach and cheese in a large bowl. Drizzle vinegar mixture over spinach mixture; toss well. Sprinkle with nuts. Serve immediately.
Heirloom Tomato and Chicken Toss
Summertime usually means lots of time spent outdoors, which also means bigger appetites in the evening. For a warm and flavorful meal that won’t leave you overly stuffed, try this heirloom tomato and chicken toss salad.
Tip: Serve this salad with an abundance of crusty bread to soak up the flavorful tomato juices.
Ingredients: 4 tbsp white vinegar, 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, 2 ½ tbsp granulated sugar, 1 ½ tsp kosher salt, ½ tsp black pepper, 3 c. shredded cooked chicken, 2 lbs heirloom tomatoes cut into ½ to 1 inch wedges, 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Gently toss together chicken, tomatoes, onion, basil, chives, parsley, and thyme in a large bowl. Add vinegar mixture, and gently toss until thoroughly combined. Serve immediately, or cover and let stand at room temperature for up to 1 hour.
Fresh corn salad
For those who like to add a little heat to your meals, you will enjoy how this salad blends hot jalapeños with sweet flavorful corn.
Ingredients: ½ c. cider vinegar, ¼-⅓ c. sugar, 1 tsp. Kosher salt, ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper, 4 ears fresh corn, ½ c. finely diced red onion, soaked in ice water for 20 minutes and patted dry, ½ c. cucumber, seeded, not peeled if unwaxed, then diced to same size of onions, ½ c. red or orange sweet pepper, diced to same size as onions, ½ c. cherry or pear tomatoes, halved or quartered, 3 tbsp parsley, finely torn, 1 tbsp basil leaves or buds, pulled apart, 1 tbsp fresh jalapeno, seeds and pith removed, very finely diced*, ½ tsp sea salt or kosher salt, 1 – 2 c. small arugula leaves
1. For dressing, in a glass bowl whisk together vinegar, sugar, the 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and black pepper until sugar is dissolved. Let dressing stand while preparing salad.
2. For salad, cut corn kernels from cobs. In a large bowl toss corn and remaining ingredients except sea salt and arugula leaves.
3. To serve, transfer salad to large serving bowl. Season with the 1/2 tsp. sea salt. Add the dressing; gently weave in arugula leaves. Serve immediately. (Cucumbers and tomatoes will begin to break down.)