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My Favorite Summer Salads

Jan D’Atri | Jun 26, 2012, 2:58 p.m.
Endive Salad Jan D'Atri

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Jan D’Atri

The hotter it gets, the lighter the fare. That’s how we survive and stay nourished during July in Arizona. This month I’m sharing two of my new favorite salads that will keep you happily crunching and munching through the long hot summer and beyond.

The first is Out-of-this-World Endive Salad with a fabulous creamy crushed walnut base. I went crazy over this salad while on vacation and begged the chef for the recipe. The second is a beautiful green pea and cashew salad with flavorful Dijon vinaigrette.

Eat well, stay nourished and I’ll check in with you next month to share more delicious summertime recipes.

Out-of-this-World Endive Salad

3 heads endive, sliced in thin rounds

3 cups spring mix or greens of your choice, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 cup jicama, matchstick cut, about 2 inches long

1 crisp apple, matchstick cut, about 2 inches long

1/2 cup carrots, matchstick cut, about 2 inches long

1/2 cup Bleu cheese, grated, not crumbled

1/2 cup walnut halves (to be caramelized)

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Caramelize the walnuts: In a medium dry sauté pan, melt sugar on low heat. Add butter. Do not let sugar turn brown. When sugar and butter have melted, add walnuts. Immediately stir to coat walnuts. Place walnuts on parchment paper or aluminum foil to harden, quickly separating walnuts with forks.

In a large bowl, mix endive, mixed greens, jicama, apple, carrots, walnuts and Bleu cheese. Pour dressing over salad (recipe below) and toss. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a few caramelized walnuts.

For the dressing:

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup white wine or sherry vinegar (see Jan’s note)

1 raw egg yolk (optional, but it does add great flavor and thicken the dressing)

1/4 cup walnuts, crushed fine

1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar or honey (your choice)

In a small food processor (or bowl and whisk) blend ingredients together well. Pour over salad and toss.

(Jan’s note: While the white wine vinegar offers a light and delicate taste to the dressing, you may want to experiment with heartier vinegars like blood orange balsamic. The bolder vinegars will produce a more intense flavor.)

Green Pea and Cashew Salad

1 package (10 oz.) frozen petite peas, thawed (do not use canned)

1/2 cup green onions, sliced thin

1/2 cup celery chopped fine

2/3 cup cashews, salted and roasted

Whisk together dressing:

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon curry

powder (depending on how prominent you want the curry flavor to be)

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons tarragon vinegar

1/2 cup vegetable or olive oil

Pour dressing over salad and gently toss. Add cashews right before serving. Serve immediately.

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