Recipes – Summer Salads
As I write, in mid July, the wind is blowing, storm clouds are rolling in from the west, I’ve just made a cup of tea so I can wrap my hands around something warm and I’m debating lighting the wood stove to take the chill out of the air. It’s the kind of weather that lends itself more to soups than to salads, but I live in hope that summer won’t forsake us altogether this year and that it might yet put in an appearance in August, in which case you’ll be glad to have a few summer salad recipes to hand.
Salads are the summertime equivalent of wintertime one-pot wonders, but with the added benefit of coming together in no time at all. The flavours in this Vietnamese chicken and mint salad one are cool and crisp, but it’s still substantial enough for a main course. It’s one of my favourite salads that I make at least once every summer.
This white bean and tuna salad always reminds me of my honeymoon in Italy, where I had it for lunch on a rooftop café in Tuscany on my honeymoon, looking out over rolling countryside that was hazy in the middle of the heat wave they were having at the time – a far cry from an Irish summer! Still, it’s a cheap and cheerful dinner that’s easily made with store cupboard staples.
One of the quintessential smells of summer for me is a bunch of fresh basil. Ireland’s climate is too cool for it to grow with much success outdoors, but I have six pots of it that are thriving on my kitchen windowsill. This ravioli and tomato salad combines two of summer’s most popular foods – ripe in-season tomatoes and basil – and has the added advantage of being a good make-ahead meal.
Even if the weather outside can feel more like November than the end of July, I’m making salad for dinner anyway, because goodness knows I certainly won’t want to when it really is November!
From our kitchens to yours,
Kelly & Kristin
You can find these recipes and more family favourites on our blog, www.dinnerdujour.org.