Monday, July 29, 2013

Special, Yet Simple Summer Salads

     Jenn lives in what most people would call an "upscale" suburb community while Caroline lives in a big city, but both have discovered farmer's markets this summer. There is only one in Jenn's  little town, but it's a good one.  It has fun breakfast options like walking waffles and breakfast crepes that people munch on while they walk around and look at the local produce.  Caroline has her choice of many different locations and she and her friends get there more on the lunch end of the market times. Both girls have been experimenting with all the veggies they bring home; Caroline even made pickles with some little cucumbers she bought!  I have also been having been having a lot of fun experimenting with all the wonderful produce summer has to offer. The "caprese" salad posted here developed when I discovered how good balsamic vinegar is on watermelon!  The gazpacho salad is cool and refreshing - it's yummy like the soup it's named after and makes an impressive salad for company.  The last salad in this post is our neighbor and friend John's invention.  It tastes great either still warm or room temperature.

Watermelon "Caprese" Salad 

Ingredients for each serving:

Seedless watermelon

Handful of arugula leaves

Fresh mozzarella cheese slice

Several fresh basil leaves, chopped

A few green grapes, sliced in half

A drizzle of olive oil

A drizzle of balsamic vinegar


For each serving desired, cut out a watermelon round by using the open end of a glass like a "cookie cutter".  Place a handful of arugula on each individual serving plate. Place the watermelon round on top of the arugula. Place a cheese slice on top of the watermelon. Sprinkle the basil over the cheese and place some of the grape halves on top of the basil. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar before serving.

Gazpacho Salad


Ingredients for Four Servings:

For Salad:

1 (5 oz,) carton of cherry tomatoes

1/2 large cucumber

1/2 large green bell pepper

2 tablespoons chopped white or yellow onion

For Dressing:

1 large tomato

1 tablespoon chopped white or yellow onion

1 clove garlic, put through press

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper


Cut each cherry tomato in half and place in a bowl along with the onion, diced  green pepper and seeded and diced cucumber.  Place the tomato, 1 tablespoon diced onion, garlic, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor.  Liquefy until well blended. Pour 1/2 cup of the dressing over the vegetables in the bowl.  Reserve the rest of the dressing to drizzle on top of each serving. 

John's Salad

Ingredients for Four Servings:

1 large white or yellow onion

1 large red bell pepper

1 large avocado

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper


Peel and slice the onion. Slice the pepper into strips.  Place the onion and pepper in a skillet along with the olive oil.  Over medium heat, sauté the vegetables are tender and soft, but not mushy.  Meanwhile, peel and chop the avocado.  Roughly chop the cilantro leaves.  When the onion and pepper are ready, toss in the avocado, cilantro, salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.


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