Food

Jazzy Vegetarian: Spectacular Summer Salads

OPB | July 2, 2014 midnight

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Nothing can be more welcoming on a hot summer day than a freshly prepared salad. I love to serve salads for my main dish, a first course or snappy side dish.

Easy Summer Cucumber Salad adds a fresh, crunchy flair to any hot weather meal. For main dish options, Penne and Black Bean Salad takes a jazzy twist on the classic cold pasta dish, and Red Quinoa and Avocado Salad features tasty and tempting textures and an impressive, colorful presentation. Quick Tomato Salad whips up in a flash and tastes like “summer in a bowl.”

So, with some fresh seasonal ingredients and 30 minutes or less in the kitchen, these spectacular salads are ready to please your family and friends for any festive summer meal. Happy, healthy summer!


Penne and Black Bean Salad

David Kaplan

Ingredients (Makes 8 to 10 servings)

SALAD

  • 1 pound whole-grain penne, cooked al dente and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 1 sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1 sweet orange or yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 1 can marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 12 to 14 leaves chopped fresh basil
  • 4 to 5 leaves chopped fresh oregano
  • 4 leaves chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

DRESSING

  • 1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, plus more as needed
  • 1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar or any dry sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

 Directions

  1. Put all of the salad ingredients in a very large bowl.
  2. Put all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk briskly until smooth.
  3. Add the dressing to the pasta salad and toss gently until well combined. If a creamier consistency is desired, add more mayonnaise and/or Dijon to taste.
  4. Cover and chill for 3 hours or more until the salad is thoroughly chilled.
  5. Serve chilled over a bed of crisp greens with crusty whole-grain bread or rolls on the side.

Red Quinoa, Avocado and Chickpea Salad

David Kaplan

Ingredients (Makes 4 to 6 servings)

  • 3/4 cup red quinoa (see note), rinsed very well
  • 1 1/2 cups filtered or spring water
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup sweet red pepper, diced
  • 2 medium avocados

Directions

  1. Put the quinoa and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is soft.
  2. Meanwhile, place the chickpeas, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, diced onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, cayenne pepper and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Let the bean mixture stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
  3. Put the cooked quinoa in a medium bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil while it is still warm. Let the quinoa mixture cool for about 15 minutes.
  4. Add the quinoa to the chickpea mixture. Add the parsley, red pepper and remaining lemon juice. Stir gently to combine. Cover and chill for 2 hours.
  5. Right before serving, cube the avocados and add them to the salad. Toss gently to combine.
  6. Serve over lettuce leaves with whole-grain bread on the side. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

CHEF’S NOTE: White quinoa may be used in this recipe.


Summer Cucumber Salad

Peter Capozzi

Ingredients (Makes 2 servings)

  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 large sweet or red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika, plus more for garnish
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

 Directions

  1. Put the cucumber and onion in a medium bowl.
  2. To make the dressing, put the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and paprika in a small bowl and briskly whisk until smooth.
  3. Pour the dressing over the cucumbers and onions and toss to coat.
  4. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill for 1 to 6 hours.
  5. Sprinkle with additional paprika if desired and serve chilled.

Quick Tomato Salad

David Kaplan

Ingredients (Makes 2 to 3 servings)

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 to 3 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Toss all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Let sit at room temperature for 5 to 20 minutes and serve.

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