Monday, July 13, 2009

Summer Salads

I love salads as a main dish during the summer. Not just lettuce and tomato salads, but jazzed up salads that fill you up without being too heavy and requiring too much work!

I want to share two with you that we've enjoyed recently.

Not Your Mama's Tuna Salad
From Rachael Ray Magazine
1 cup pesto, either store bought or homemade
Juice of 1 lemon
Two 6-ounce cans water-packed tuna, drained
4 scallions, cut into thin strips with kitchen scissors or chopped
1 jarred whole roasted red pepper, cut into small pieces with kitchen scissors or chopped
Handful of grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 pound medium shell pasta—cooked al dente, rinsed under cold water and drained well
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine pesto and lemon (the recipe calls for more than I use, I love pesto, but I think using a cup with that much pasta is too much - I would say use less pesto or more pasta), add tuna and flake. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss. So easy! Definitely not your typical tuna salad, you get all the benefits of tuna, without the fishy taste that some of you might not like (me not included - I'm a fan!). If you really aren't a fan I'm sure you could try this with canned chicken.

Poppy Seed Chicken Salad
from Sisters Cafe
Spinach leaves
Romaine leaves
Grilled chicken, sliced (grill with lots of lemon pepper seasoning)
Red onion, sliced thinly
Crispy bacon, crumbled
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Toasted almonds (or you can sugar the almonds. Put sliced almonds in a pan with lots of granulated sugar (about equal amounts). Cook on medium heat until sugar melts, coating the almonds as they brown.)

The Dressing:
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dry mustard
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
3 Tb Maui or Vidalia onion, chopped
2 cups canola oil
3 Tb poppy seeds
Mix the first 5 ingredients in a blender, then slowly add the oil, blending until thick. Stir in poppy seeds. (or just put them in one of those salad dressing thingies and shake it on up)

I keep the dressing separate from the salad and allow people to add on their own. The dressing is super yummy, but I like being able to control the amount I add and then the salad doesn't get all soggy and you can save the leftovers (but I doubt there will be any).

This makes a ton of dressing. Both times I've made this I've halved the dressing and it's been fine. Basically you can make this salad as big or as small as you want, depending on how many you are feeding. I made this for the first time a few weeks ago and then made it again less than a week later when I was at my parents. Everyone loved it and requested that I make it again when we do our family beach trip next month. (Which is a bit ironic, because the Tuna Salad recipe above is another meal I made at the beach and it was a hit.)

Hopefully you enjoy these yummy salads!


Cindy said...

Thanks for all your good ideas I am always looking for a dish to take to pass at events and the tuna salad sounds like a great dish to try for that. I made your pineapple peach salsa chicken and Tim and I really like it the kids not so much. I think I will leave the chicken in whole breasts next time they will eat the chicken just not mixed with the salsa and such. I will shread my own chicken though I loved it!

Megan said...

Cindy that's funny b/c Ella felt the same way about it - Why on earth, it's fruit and chicken? I like that idea of keeping the breast whole for the kids - maybe that will help next time!

chrissie k said...

and add a little of beach sand to perfect that "not your momma's tuna salad...." I'll never forget the 1st time i had that salad.

Dang... and that other one!?? ROCKS!

you cook so well for me, meggo's! thanks for sharing the recipes so i can dazzle some guests.

Muthering Heights and Other Senseless Sensibility said...

Wow, your recipes sound delicious!

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