Summer is salad season in our house. We enjoy salads most days with a variety of lettuces, veggies, fruit, grains, nuts, cheese and proteins. I don’t make a salad the same way twice…always looking to include some tasty bits and bites from the fridge or pantry. Dressed with a lemony vinaigrette (recipe below), it becomes a tasty meal.
Salad #1: This fattoush inspired salad made with toasted homemade pita chips is on regular rotation. I love the addition of endive, romaine, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, thinly sliced radishes, and seasoned with the spice sumac. Recipe and photo credit courtesy of betterfoodguru.com.
Salad #2: Tomato salad when tomatoes are at their peak in summer are a frequent go to meal. Halve cherry tomatoes, add to a large salad bowl with a generous amount of torn basil leaves. Dress simply with white balsamic dressing, a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt and a few grinds of cracked black pepper.
Salad #3: Grilled Romaine with Ranch Dressing. Because the temperatures of grills can vary greatly, keep a close eye on the romaine to determine when it's done. It should take fewer than 8 minutes. Take the romaine off the grill when all sides are lightly charred. Serve with ranch dressing, chopped tomatoes and sliced avocado.
Salad #4: Tabouli. (tabbouleh) The key for this Mediterranean salad is to chop the vegetables evenly and finely. The salad doesn’t have a “dressing” other than the fresh citrus juice and olive oil. Recipe inspiration from theMediterraneanDish.com.
- ½ cup fine bulgur wheat
- 4 firm Roma tomatoes, very finely chopped
- 1 English cucumber (hothouse cucumber), very finely chopped
- 2 bunches parsley, part of the stems removed, washed and well-dried, very finely chopped
- 12-15 fresh mint leaves, stems removed, washed, well-dried, very finely chopped
- 4 green onions, white and green parts, very finely chopped
- 3-4 tablespoon lime juice (lemon juice, if you prefer)
- 3-4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Romaine lettuce leaves to serve,
Salad #5: Lemony Orzo and Asparagus salad makes a delicious lunch or salad entree. I’ve made this with broccoli or cauliflower in place of the asparagus and it’s just as good. Recipe credit IG @plantbasedrd.
Here’s my basic vinaigrette dressing that I use on green salads.
Basic Vinaigrette Dressing
3 tablespoons oil of choice (extra virgin olive oil, avocado, walnut, pumpkin seed, pistachio, etc.)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon vinegar of choice (red wine, white wine, unseasoned rice, Balsamic, apple cider, raspberry, etc.) Can also substitute with fresh lemon or lime juice.
Pinch sea salt
Pinch fresh ground black pepper
Whisk mustard into vinegar in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in oil until emulsified. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
Pat Bennett is the founder and President of Pat's Granola, a Cleveland based food and lifestyle company. Pat's Granola is sold online at www.patsgranola.com and is also available at several Northeast Ohio businesses including:
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