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It's summertime and the living (and eating) should be light and easy, especially when garden produce begins to ripen. Here are a few salads for those hot summer days or a take along for a summer picnic or get together.

Creamy Deviled Egg Potato Salad

Rich, creamy, tangy, eggy and starchy, this is everything you want in a Father's Day or Fourth of July side salad.

12 eggs, hard-boiled

3 lbs. red potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 T. cider vinegar

1/4 c. mascarpone cheese

2 T. Dijon mustard

1/2 c. mayonnaise

1/4 t. cayenne pepper

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

2 scallions, thinly sliced

Smoked paprika, to garnish

In a large pot of salted water over high, bring the potatoes to a boil. Cook until tender, but not falling apart, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with the cider vinegar and allow to cool.

While the potatoes cool, make the dressing. In a medium bowl, mix together the mascarpone, mustard, mayonnaise, cayenne and a hefty pinch each of salt and pepper. Halve the hard-boiled eggs and remove the yolks. Mix the yolks into the dressing, mashing with a fork until smooth.

Chop the egg whites and gently fold into the dressing, along with the cooled potatoes and scallions. When ready to serve, sprinkle with smoked paprika. Serves 10.

Note: If you find the potato salad too dry, just add another spoonful of mayonnaise or a splash of water.

Cucumber Salad

Perfect recipe for garden’s bounty

1 long cucumber, thinly sliced

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 lg. yellow bell pepper, cut into strips

1 t. salt

3/4 c. white vinegar

3/4 c. sugar

1 t. mustard seeds

1/2 t. celery seeds

1/2 t. pepper flakes

In a bowl, combine the cucumber slices, onion and bell pepper.

Sprinkle on the salt and set aside.

In a saucepan, combine the white vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds and the pepper flakes. Bring the mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and add a small handful of ice cubes. Stir until the ice melts and pour over the cucumber mixture. Cover and refrigerate.

Spring Citrus Salad

There isn’t anything quite so delicious as freshly picked vegetables and fruits.

1/2 c. slivered almonds

2 T. butter

3 T. sugar

pinch of salt

pinch of cayenne pepper

In a small frying pan, toss together the slivered almonds, butter and sugar. Toast almonds slightly, and toss in the salt and the cayenne pepper. Set aside.

Vinaigrette

1/4 c. red wine vinegar

2 T. honey

1 t. Dijon mustard

2 oranges, juiced

1/2 c. olive oil

salt/pepper to taste

For the vinaigrette, whisk together the red wine vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard and the orange juice. Whisk in the olive oil until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

1 (5-oz) package spring salad mix

1 orange, peeled and sliced thin

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

Arrange salad green mix on salad plates. Arrange orange slices and red onion slices on top. Drizzle on vinaigrette. Top with roasted slivered almonds. Serve immediately.

Summertime Chicken Salad 

Sour cream adds a delicious tang good for brunch, light lunch or serve at cookout

4 c. poached boneless chicken breasts, diced
1 c. celery, finely chopped
1 c. pecans, chopped
1 c. dried cranberries
1 1/2 c. white seedless grapes, cut in fourths
1 c. white raisins
4 oz. sour cream
1 c. mayonnaise
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Poach chicken breasts and dice when cooled.
In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Add additional mayonnaise if necessary. Serve with crackers or it makes a great sandwich with lettuce and tomatoes.

Black Pepper Honey Fruit Salad

Give fruit salad zing with honey and black pepper

1 qt. strawberries, halved

1 pint blueberries

1 mango (about 1 lb), peeled, pitted and diced

20-oz. jar grapefruit segments, drained

2 nectarines, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 plums, cut into 1-inch pieces

Pinch of salt

½ t. ground black pepper

1 T. lime juice

2 T. honey

In a large bowl, gently mix together the strawberries, blueberries, mango, grapefruit segments, nectarines and plums.

In a small bowl, whisk together the salt, pepper, lime juice and honey. Drizzle the dressing over the fruit and stir gently to coat. Serves 10.

 

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