5 SUMMER SALAD RECIPES FOR THE 4TH OF JULY







By Patti Plummer

Avocado Salad Recipe Red White Blue and Green Salad summerReady or not, summer is here! Pools are open and full of happy swimmers while grills are sizzling with all kinds of fabulous grilled treats.

And for the ultimate summer holiday, we have five delicious 4th of July recipes! To celebrate Independence Day, try one of these five tantalizing summer salad recipes guaranteed to be a big hit at pool parties, barbecues, and family picnics.




Red, White, Blue, AND Green Salad

Copyright © 2012, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, www.bordergrill.com


(pictured above)


Serves:
4

Ingredients
1 lb. blue or purple potatoes, about 12 small potatoes, washed, with skins on
1 pita bread, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 ripe Fresh California Avocados, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 Persian cucumbers, halved and cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 Roma tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
4 cups arugula

Vinaigrette
2 lemons
1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
2 tbsp. white vinegar
Salt, to taste
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until just soft, about 10 minutes. Drain and, when cool enough to handle, peel off potato skins using your fingers or a paring knife. Cut potatoes into 1/2-inch dice and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Toss pita bread pieces with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place in oven and bake for 8 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Combine potatoes, pita chips, avocados, cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions and feta cheese in a large mixing bowl.
To assemble the salad, place equal amounts of arugula on each plate and top with the potato mixture.
Add vinaigrette to taste, toss thoroughly, and serve.

Vinaigrette Instructions

Slice ends off lemons and stand upright on a cutting board. In a downward motion, cut away lemon peel and outer membrane, exposing fruit.

Working over a bowl to catch the juices, separate the lemon sections by slicing with a knife between membranes. Remove and discard seeds.

Transfer lemon segments and juices to a blender with lemon zest, vinegar, salt and pepper and combine thoroughly. With motor still running, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Refrigerate until ready to use.

*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

Recipe provided by the California Avocado Commission and created by chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger for the California Avocado Commission. Photo © Courtesy California Avocado Commission



Mediterranean Watermelon Salad


Bacon stuffed shell salad recipe summerServings: 6

Ingredients
6 cups torn mixed salad greens
3 cups cubed seeded watermelon
1/2 cup sliced onion
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 dash cracked black pepper

Directions

In large bowl, mix all ingredients except oil and pepper. Just before serving, toss salad mixture with oil. Garnish with pepper.


Recipe and photo courtesy of National Watermelon Promotion Board



Greek Spinach Salad

Developed by: Almond Board of California

Greek Spinach Salad recipe summerServes: 8


Ingredients
1 bunch spinach, washed, trimmed and crisped
1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
24 Greek olives, or as desired
3/4 cup whole natural almonds, toasted
1 cup (1/4 lb.) crumbled feta cheese
Three Herb Dressing (recipe below)

Directions

Toss all ingredients except feta cheese with Three Herb Dressing. Arrange on serving platter. Top with crumbled cheese to serve.

Three Herb Dressing
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Dijon-style mustard
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. marjoram
1/4 tsp. thyme
3/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Three Herb Dressing Directions
Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Whisk until thoroughly mixed.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Almond Board of California




Bacon-Stuffed Shell Salad


Bacon stuffed shell salad recipe summerServings: 8

Ingredients
12 ounces Canadian style bacon, sliced
1 cup zucchini, shredded
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teas salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
16 conchiglioni (jumbo shells)
Romaine leaves

Directions

Cut Canadian bacon into thin strips. In a large bowl combine bacon, zucchini, red pepper and Parmesan cheese; set aside.

For dressing, combine oil, vinegar, garlic, Italian seasoning, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over bacon mixture; toss gently to mix. Cover and chill 30 minutes.

Cook conchiglioni according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the bacon mixture into each conchiglioni. Place the shells, filled side up, in a baking dish. Cover and chill 2-4 hours. To serve, arrange romaine among salad plates. Place 2 shells atop each.

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Pork Board





Sirloin Steak and Tomato Salad



Serves: 4
Sirloin Steak Tomato Salad recipe summer


Ingredients
1 boneless beef top sirloin steak, cut 3/4 inch thick (about 1 pound)
2 medium onions, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon reduced-fat or regular balsamic vinaigrette, divided
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
12 cups mixed salad greens
4 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
Salt and pepper

Directions

Brush onion slices with 1 tablespoon vinaigrette; set aside. Press chile powder onto beef steak. Place steak in center of grid over medium, ash-covered coals; arrange onions around steak. Grill steak, covered, 11 to 15 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 13 to 16 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Grill onions 13 to 15 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally.

Separate onion slices into rings. Carve steak into slices. Season beef and onions with salt and pepper, as desired.

Toss salad greens with remaining 1/3 cup vinaigrette and divide among 4 salad plates. Top with tomatoes, onions and beef.


Recipe and photo courtesy of www.BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com



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