This morning I noticed just a whisper of fall in the air. The breeze coming through the open window was crisp and cool and felt so good as I sipped my coffee. And as much as I can appreciate the weather cooling down just a little bit, I’m not ready for summer to slip away.
My weekly trips to the farm stand down the road from my house make me wish for summer forever. The baskets are overflowing with peaches and pears, early apples, fat ripe tomatoes, sweet corn, green beans and potatoes. The options of what to do with all that goodness are practically endless but I find myself making a few things over and over again. (surprise surprise)
I’ve fallen off the salad bandwagon this summer. I think I needed a break from spinach and kale and lettuce. But all the goodies the farm stand offers brings back the love and thankfully only one of these recipes has lettuce. Whether you need a quick weeknight side dish or a potluck crowd pleaser, these easy salads come together quickly and taste like every good thing summer has to offer.
Fresh Corn Salad
- 6 ears of corn, corn cut from the cob
- 1 red pepper, diced
- ½ walla walla onion, diced
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
Shuck the corn and using a sharp knife, cut the corn from the cob. No need to cook the corn, if you buy it at the farm stand it’s so fresh and sweet, it doesn’t need to be cooked. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients, stirring well. Leave on the counter or cover and put in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to intensify. This salad tastes best when made a few hours ahead of time. Cherry tomatoes are an easy swap for the red pepper and a sprinkle of feta is also delicious with this salad.
Watermelon Feta Salad
- 3 cups seedless watermelon, diced into bite size pieces
- 8 cups spring greens or arugula
- ½ cup crumbled feta (goat cheese is a great substitute)
- ¼ red onion, sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint
- Juice and zest of two limes
- ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl layer the watermelon, feta and red onion over the greens. In a separate bowl combine the lime juice, zest, vinegar and olive oil. Dress the salad, sprinkle with fresh mint and salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Quick Cucumber Salad
- 2 cucumbers, peeled and cut into ½ inch slices
- ½ yellow bell pepper, diced
- ½ red onion, diced
- ½ cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- Dash of red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper
In a bowl toss the cucumbers, bell pepper and red onion together. Pour the vinegar over the vegetables, sprinkle with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Add the toasted sesame oil and gently mix the vegetables with a spoon. The oil has a very strong flavor and can quickly overpower the dish. Consider adding the oil a teaspoon at a time (three teaspoons for every tablespoon) to get the flavor just right for your taste buds.