1. Berry Delicious Summer Salad
Sweet, juicy blueberries are the stars of this quick-toss salad, but it’s equally good (and even more colorful) served with a mix of summer berries. Creamy gorgonzola cheese and walnuts complement the perfect mix of leafy greens. Pair with grilled beef, pork, or chicken for a simple but elegant menu that’s easy enough to serve anytime.
- 8 cups mixed salad greens$
- 2 cups fresh blueberries$
- 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola or blue cheese$
- 1/4 cup chopped and toasted walnuts or pecans$
- Bottled vinaigrette
- Toss together first 4 ingredients; drizzle with desired amount of vinaigrette, tossing gently to coat.
- Note: For testing purposes only, we used Newman’s Own Light Raspberry & Walnut vinaigrette.
2. Potato Cobb Salad
Instead of being tossed together in a bowl, the ingredients for this colorful side salad are arranged on a platter. The potatoes can be cooked and marinated overnight – ready to assemble just before serving.
- 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 (16-ounce) bottle olive oil-and-vinegar dressing, divided
- 8 cups mixed salad greens$
- 2 large avocados$
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 large tomatoes, seeded and diced$
- 12 small green onions, sliced$
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese$
- 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese$
- 6 to 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled$
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Cook potatoes in boiling salted water to cover 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool slightly. Peel and cut into cubes.
- Sprinkle potatoes evenly with 3/4 teaspoon salt. Pour 1 cup dressing over potatoes; gently toss. Set aside remaining dressing. Cover potato mixture; chill at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Arrange salad greens evenly on a large serving platter. Peel and chop avocados; toss with lemon juice.
- Arrange potatoes, avocados, tomatoes, and next 4 ingredients in rows over salad greens. Sprinkle with pepper. Serve with remaining dressing.
3. Lemon-Basil Shrimp Salad
Don’t skip the fresh lemon rind and juice in the lemon-basil marinade—it’s what makes this salad recipe special. These shrimp also make a terrific appetizer. The shrimp and dressing, as well as the Parmesan Baskets, can all be made a day ahead.
- 3 pounds unpeeled, cooked large shrimp$
- 1 large red onion, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced$
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced$
- Lemon-Basil Marinade
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 16 cups salad greens$
- 8 Parmesan Baskets (optional)
- Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette
- Peel shrimp, and devein, if desired. Place shrimp and next 4 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Seal and chill 8 hours or up to 24 hours, turning bag occasionally. Stir in basil 1 hour before serving. Drain and discard marinade just before serving.
- Divide greens evenly between Parmesan Baskets or serving bowls; arrange drained shrimp mixture evenly over lettuce. Serve with Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette.
4. Mustard Dill Tortellini Salad Skewers
These festive party pick-ups get a quick start with refrigerated cheese tortellini. If you’re short on time, simply toss the ingredients together in a pretty bowl and set out some forks.
- 1 (9-oz.) package refrigerated cheese tortellini
- 1 (8-oz.) package frozen sugar snap peas
- 68 (4-inch) wooden skewers
- 1 pt. grape tomatoes, cut in half
- Mustard-Dill Vinaigrette*
- Cook tortellini according to package directions. Rinse under cold running water.
- Place sugar snap peas in a small bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Microwave at HIGH 2 minutes. Let stand, covered, 2 minutes. Rinse under cold running water.
- Thread each skewer with 1 sugar snap pea, 1 tortellini, and 1 tomato half. Place skewers in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Pour Mustard-Dill Vinaigrette over skewers, turning to coat. Cover and chill 4 hours. Transfer skewers to a serving platter; discard any remaining vinaigrette.
- *1 (12-oz.) bottle light Champagne vinaigrette may be substituted. For testing purposes only, we used Girard’s Light Champagne Dressing.
5. Grilled Peach and Mozzarella Salad
- 5 peaches (not white)$
- 3 green onions, sliced$
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon lime zest$
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice$
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons tequila (optional)$
- 1/3 cup olive oil$
- Vegetable cooking spray
- 1 (6-oz.) package watercress or baby arugula, thoroughly washed$
- 3/4 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 16 (1/4-inch) slices
- Garnish: fresh cilantro sprigs
- Peel and chop 1 peach. Cut remaining 4 peaches into 28 (1/4-inch-thick) rounds, cutting through stem and bottom ends. (Cut peaches inward from sides, cutting each side just until you reach the pit. Discard pits.)
- Process chopped peach, green onions, next 7 ingredients, and, if desired, tequila in a food processor 10 to 15 seconds or until smooth. Add oil, and pulse 3 to 4 times or until thoroughly combined.
- Coat cold cooking grate of grill with cooking spray, and place on grill. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high). Brush both sides of peach rounds with 1/3 cup peach dressing.
- Grill peach rounds, covered with grill lid, over 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear.
- Arrange watercress evenly on 4 plates. Alternately layer 4 grilled peach rounds and 4 cheese slices over watercress on each plate. Top each with 3 more peach rounds. Drizzle with remaining peach dressing. Garnish, if desired.
- Grilled Peach-and-Feta Salad: Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange 1/4 cup pecans, chopped, in a single layer in a shallow pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring after 5 minutes. Reduce peaches from 5 to 4, and reduce salt to 1/2 tsp. Substitute 8 cups loosely packed Bibb lettuce leaves (about 6 oz.; 1 to 2 heads of lettuce) for watercress and 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese for mozzarella cheese. Peel and chop 1 peach. Cut each of remaining 3 peaches into 8 wedges. Proceed with recipe as directed in Steps 2 through 4, decreasing grilling time for peach wedges to 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear. Divide Bibb lettuce and 4 cooked bacon slices, halved crosswise, among 4 plates or shallow bowls. Top with grilled peach wedges. Sprinkle with feta cheese and pecans. Serve with dressing. Makes 4 servings; Prep: 25 min., Bake: 10 min., Grill: 6 min.
- Note: You can also use a grill pan to get those beautiful grill marks on the peaches.