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Summer Salads

Chef Linda Weiss
Photograph Linda Weiss

When I was a child, in the summer we always had a bowl of chicken salad in the fridge for a sandwich or to eat on top of greens with a light dressing and some fruit. My mother’s chicken salad was very good, and I make it today when I am thinking of her and want to feel that comfort again. But, I also make a fruited chicken salad that has a different level of flavor and I serve the salad on a bed of baby mixed greens with fruit and a poppy seed dressing for a meal. In fact, when I make it, I usually make a couple of other salads at the same time, and switch back and forth to have variety.

I think that somewhere in one of my past articles I’ve shared the chicken salad recipe but, in case it’s not there anymore, the recipe is below.  It’s a great main dish salad, and especially good if you pair it with some strawberries.

Another salad that I like a lot in the summer is Panzanella, a rustic bread salad. I use the rustic bread loaf along with garden vegetables such as cucumber, red onion, and cherry or grape tomatoes, and a sweeter red wine vinegar and oil dressing. It’s so good. 

If you want a good and very tasty fruit salad then try the Summer Fruit Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette with lots of flavor, and so easy. The Vinaigrette can be made ahead and kept refrigerated for a week or so. This salad would be great for a light luncheon or supper with grilled chicken, and dessert.

Have a cool day.  Linda

Most Favorite Chicken Chutney Salad- The BEST!

From my friend Sue Fonda of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, the best chicken chutney salad you ever put in your mouth!

2 cups diced cooked chicken breast
1 apple peeled, cored, diced
1/2 cup pineapple chunks, drained
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup toasted walnuts or sliced almonds
2/3 cup or more of mayonnaise
1/2 jar Major Grey’s mango chutney
1/2 teaspoon or more curry powder

Mix all ingredients together, blending well. Add more mayonnaise if needed to make the salad very creamy. Serve on a bed of lettuce with a strawberry fan, and drizzle with your favorite poppy seed dressing.

Panzanella

1/2 loaf (about 6-8 ounces) of a rustic bread, cut into 1-inch cubes and lightly toasted
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cucumber, seeded, sliced thin
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes cut in half
1/4 cup thinly sliced basil
Red wine vinaigrette

In a large bowl, add the bread, onion, cucumber, tomatoes, and basil. Mix the vinaigrette (recipe below) and add to the salad. Let stand for an hour or so before serving so that flavors can blend.

Vinaigrette

4 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil*
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste

Mix the oil with the vinegar and add salt and pepper.

*Use a good olive oil if you plan to serve the dressing within an hour of preparing it. But, if you plan to refrigerate, the olive oil will congeal and you will need to wait for it to “melt” before serving the salad.

Summer Peach Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette

8 cups mixed baby salad greens
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups halved strawberries
3 peaches, sliced*
Sliced Almonds

Put all ingredients except sliced almonds in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. When ready to serve, drizzle with enough blueberry vinaigrette to coat the greens and then add sliced almonds to the top. *To keep the peaches from turning dark, put them in a bowl and add a small amount of lemon juice to coat them before adding to the salad. You may also use Fruit Fresh© or sugar to keep the peaches from discoloring.

Blueberry Vinaigrette

1/4 cup blueberry chutney or fruit spread
1/4 cup minced onion
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper or to taste
2/3 cup vegetable oil

Whisk together the first 5 ingredients. Gently and gradually whisk in the oil until well blended. Store in the refrigerator. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Visit Chef Linda at her website:  www.cheflindaweiss.com
and her blog:  www.lindaallaboutfood.blogspot.com
Linda’s first book, Memories From Home, Cooking with Family & Friends
is available at Amazon.com or at her website.


All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.

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