Spring Salad with Garlic Herb Croutons and Spicy Garlic Dressing

I was looking for a light salad to go with our Easter dinner, and ended up just deciding to toss some spring greens with these croutons and dressing.  I usually just toss croutons with some herbs and olive oil, but I liked infusing the oil for this and will do it again.  As a side note, next time I will skip the parm – the croutons didn’t need it, but you should give it a try to see if you like it.  I think next time I would just dress the salad with a bit of parm.  The dressing itself was very tangy…I do not generally care for salad dressing, but I really liked this vinaigrette!

garliccroutonsdressing

Recipe!

Green Bean and Tomato Salad

This was a really tasty side salad using summer veggies – goes really well with a grilled entree! I got this from Chow and made as is other than halving it for two people. 🙂  At its original size, it would be a nice picnic/BBQ side dish.  Recipe below is for that portion size.

 

Recipe!

Cucumber and Black Eyed Pea Salad

This was a nice base salad with which you could do a lot…we liked it a lot.  I’ve had my eye on this for a while since I love black eyed peas, and am always looking for new ways to use them.  I thought this could use lots more flavor and added more lemon, pepper and salt,  Some herbs tossed in would be great too.  This would be nice for a BBQ or picnic side.  It was nice with grilled pork chops.

 

Recipe!

Cucumber Melon Salad

I was surfing around for interesting salad ideas for our Memorial Day cookout, and this one caught my eye on Chowhound.  It seemed like a pretty nifty one, and I really liked it.  Very refreshing and easy.  Plus I love anything that includes cucumber and mint, so there you go.  I would definitely repeat this with any number of grilled main dishes for a nice summer side salad.

cucmelon

Recipe!

German Potato Salad

I was looking for a mayo-less potato salad…I’m not a huge fan of taters in the first place, and mayo salads even less.  Though I do recognize that many people are fans of both ;), I didn’t feel like a salad of that type went with our Memorial Day cookout menu.  I found this on Chowhound, and was very pleased with it – even I ate a serving!  It has done well leftover too, and is even more flavorful.  The only thing I did differently from the original recipe was that I served this cold, and the general consensus preferred it that way as well.

germanpotato

Recipe!

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Not really a recipe, but a good starting point for a great summer side salad.  We served this at our Memorial Day cookout, and I also frequently use it as a quick side with grilled meats.  Especially delicious with fresh basil!

heirloomtomato

Combine sliced tomatoes, basil, parsley, a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper and gently toss.  That’s it!  Alter to taste.

Pasta and Greens Salad

I can eat an army’s worth of pasta salad, seriously.  It’s kind of ridiculous.  This is a taken from something my mom emailed me about 10 years ago that I think *she* had on hand for 10-15 years. I could never get enough. I started mixing it with far less pasta and lots of greens (arugula or a spring mix are best…something a little bitter takes the dressing well and doesn’t get lost in the pasta) and using whole wheat  pasta and here we are.  No less delish, and it’s actually a complete meal or a nice cookout side dish, whichever works for what you’re doing. Very bright, adjustable, and great leftovers for lunches.

pastasalad
Recipe!

Roasted Vegetable Panzanella

Panzanella has been one of my favorite things ever since my friend Missy first made it for a dinner party a few years ago.  This was a fun way to use some roasted veggies, and it made a great side dish for some steamed mussels.  Originally from Gourmet, I didn’t do too much to this…cut the olive oil to make it a little healthier, and I don’t care for capers so we substituted olives.  I did leave out the beans because I really wanted a less filling salad.  That said, beans included and this would be a full meal.  Recipe below is as printed.  This would be great with any vegetables you have on-hand.  We’ll be repeating this one, and I think it will be especially good when the summer veggies grow.

panzanella

Recipe!

Spinach Walnut Salad

Great side salad that you can adjust however you like.  I’ve used walnuts, hazelnuts, cranberries, goat cheese, feta, etc.  I do prefer that the oil used in the dressing go with the nuts, but you could play with that as well.

Recipe!