15 Salads For Summer

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Summertime and the living is easy!  When the temperature rises,  we start grilling and living on salads in this household.  Lots and lots of salads.  Here are 15 of my favorite from the blog’s archives. Some are entrée salads. Many of them can easily be turned into a meal by adding a favorite grilled protein. They all lend themselves to substitutions of a preferred green or a more seasonal ingredient as the garden starts producing.  There are several grain-based salads as I find they hold up well in the summer heat and can be assembled in advance.  Again, feel free to substitute a different grain of choice. Make your salads come alive wth infused oils and vinegars and flavored salts.  Click on the highlighted titles to access the recipes.  Happy summer!

1- Roasted Honey Balsamic FIg Salad with Goat Cheese and Pistachios

Don’t like figs? Grill peaches for an equally dazzling salad.

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Chocolate-Orange Dates

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Did you know dates are one of the world’s most ancient fruit?  Date palms are known to have been cultivated  for over 6,000 years in the Middle East and North Africa and appear in ancient art.

 The Garden, fresco from Nebamun tomb, originally in Thebes, Egypt, now in the British Museum, London, U.K. Painting on plaster, 1380 BC


The Garden, fresco from Nebamun tomb, originally in Thebes, Egypt, now in the British Museum, London, U.K. Painting on plaster, 1380 BC

A date palm tree, laden with fruit. Photo: met museum.org

A date palm tree, laden with fruit. Photo:
met museum.org

Dates are rich in minerals and a good source of fiber.  Turning the fruit into a sweet little guilt-free morsel could not be easier. When a friend dropped in unexpectedly and joined us for dinner recently, I made these dark chocolate-dipped dates with orange zest for a impromptu dessert. The chocolate envelops the date with a velvety decadence and the zest makes it pop. It is a perfect trifecta of  flavor.  Use any variety of dates you have on hand.

To make 8-10 dates, melt 1.5 oz of chocolate. I used a 1.44 oz bar of Dove Dark Chocolate for a yield of 8 coated Medjool dates. Dip half of each date in the melted chocolate then place it on a piece of wax paper.  Sprinkle finely grated orange zest on the warm chocolate and let set undisturbed until the chocolate loses its shine, about 30 minutes.  These would also be great with some chopped pistachios.  A healthy sweet little morsel with a lot of flavor!

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Simple Sunday Supper with a Recipe for Sticky Toffee Pudding

On a recent Sunday I found myself facing a dilemma.  I was up to  my eyeballs doing mountains of laundry and getting 2 sons packed to go back to school the next morning with last minute shopping of toiletries for good measure.  I was also awaiting the overnight visit of my sister and husband who were travelling from Canada in uncertain weather and a great distance.  It had been more than 6 months since we we last together and I wanted to be hospitable in spite of the chaos of sending kids back to  college.  This would also be the last chance to sit down around the table with our 3 sons alll together for a long time.  I decided a make ahead menu, a casual but inviting table setting and keeping it simple would have to rule.   Not knowing when our visitors would arrive meant I needed a meal that could sit and be kept warm as long as necessary. Continue reading