Saturday, June 25, 2011

Summer Salads for Hot Days

We're in the midst of summer, and if you're growing your own herbs you should be able to harvest about now, especially the perennial plants. Farmers Markets and local produce stores should have a nice selection of fresh herbs as well. These salads use fresh vegetables and herbs. Feel free to substitute different herbs if you wish. If you have thyme and oregano instead of basil and parsley try substituting those in the recipe. Tarragon is a very distinct, strong herb but you can use thyme, basil, rosemary or another herb in it's place. The flavor won't be the same, but that doesn't mean it won't work for you.

Fresh Corn Salad

2 cups fresh sweet corn, cut off cob
1 green pepper, diced
1 ripe, but firm tomato diced
fresh ground pepper
kosher or sea salt to taste

This is good just like it is, but you can also drizzle it with a nice vinegar and oil dressing.

Marinated Green Beans with Herbs

2 pounds fresh green beans, ends snipped
1 small sweet onion, sliced very thinly
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup wine vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. dry mustard
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon
fresh nasturtiums

Cook the beans in boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Combine the sugar and vinegar. Stir until sugar is dissolved Add the remaining ingredients and pour over the onion and green beans in a bowl. Toss and chill overnight. Just before serving garnish with nasturtium blooms.

Herb Marinated Spaghetti Salad

1 pound spaghetti, any type
6 tbsp. wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
Optional: 1/2 cup sliced olives

Cook spaghetti according to directions. Drain and rinse in cold water. Add the mushrooms, green onions and olives, if you are adding them, to the spaghetti and toss gently. In a small bowl or jar mix the herbs, mustard, salt, pepper, garlic, vinegar and oil. Shake or mix together with a whisk. Toss, and top with the cheese. Chill for 24 hours.

Pea and Bacon Salad

Two 10 ounce packages of frozen peas, thawed OR
the same amount fresh peas, boiled 5 minutes and rinsed
1/2 cup sweet onion, sliced very thinly and halved
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
10-12 slices bacon, fried, drained and crumbled

Combine the peas, onion, celery, basil, sour cream, salt and pepper. Chill several hours. Stir in the bacon.

Try these basil recipes we have on OFL: