Summer is certainly salad season, with its rich selection of fresh vegetables and herbs. Nearly every salad I make has a simple basic dressing: olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Sometimes I use another oil (a little walnut oil, perhaps?) or vinegar or even lime instead of the lemon, and sometimes I add a little mustard, garlic, lemon zest or Parmesan to the dressing — but I never get tired of the basic threesome of oil, lemon and salt! Here are some of the salads we’ve been enjoying recently.
It’s so nice to have fresh herbs in the garden (or in a pot). These chives belong to my generous next-door neighbor, Karen, who lets me cut all I want. I’m growing thyme, oregano, tarragon, mint, basil and dill, and they often find their way into my salads.
Many of the vegetables are from the farmers’ market or fruit and vegetable stands.
It was difficult to save a piece of the Copper River salmon from dinner the night before, but we restrained ourselves and had this great salad for lunch the next day.
It’s not much trouble (but takes a little planning) to soak them overnight in some salty water, then drain the next day, cover with cold unsalted water, a bay leaf and a couple cloves of garlic and cook until tender. But it’s easier and also fine to use canned beans.
And today’s lunch: The salad was black beans (from a can) and corn kernels, with chopped red onion, raw chard, a little bit of chicken and lots of cilantro and lime. It was nicely set off with a corn-flour tortilla and a couple of slices of melon.
I’ve also been making some salads with bulgur as well as classic cucumber salads with vinegar, dill, salt and a touch of sugar. I just bought some beautiful green beans, fennel and purple carrots from the farmers’ market. . . so I am thinking about the next salads.
What salads have you been making? Happy 4th of July and enjoy these salad days of summer!