Summer Salads Week 4

I am not the least bit sick of salads – I’m loving them so much I considered extending this month’s theme into August. Below are EIGHT more salads to finish out the month! I started visiting the Farmer’s Market and I wanted everything I saw, in a salad.

FARMER’S MARKET SALAD

This salad was entirely inspired by all of the fresh vegetables I saw. I decided to use a few types of greens, and grill fresh corn & zucchini in pesto sauce. And then some shrimp too. I used fresh basil from my Aerogarden to make a light dressing. The sweet goat, tangy goat cheese, and rich pesto made a satisfying combination of summer ingredients. Husband deemed this as top 3 for the month – and I made 20 total!

  • FRESH: Bibb lettuce, spinach, and zucchini and corn both brushed with pesto & grilled
  • PROTEIN: Shrimp marinated in pesto & grilled, goat cheese
  • CRUNCH: Homemade croutons
  • DRESSING: Lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh basil

FATTOUSH SALAD

When I first saw the recipe for this salad, I wasn’t sure it was enough for me. I was tempted to add protein; it would have been delicious but I am glad I enjoyed this in simple form. The fresh veggies, the bright citrus dressing, and the crunchy pita chips made for a super satisfying lunch. Also fun fact, my great grandmother’s maiden name was Fattoush; likely the name given to her when she came to America.

  • FRESH: Romaine, red onion, cucumber, tomato
  • PROTEIN: None used, but you could add chicken and feta cheese
  • CRUNCH: Pita chips (Trader Joe’s)
  • DRESSING: Olive oil, fresh lemon juice, garlic, ground sumac (my local grocery store didn’t carry this so I bought it on Amazon), salt

NANCY’S CHOPPED SALAD – SMITTEN KITCHEN

Another week, another salad for golf. I’ve mentioned Smitten Kitchen a few times, for all of her amazing savory (and sweet!) recipes. This salad is no exception – an Italian chop salad. I made a few modifications to add more protein (chicken), and use up things in my fridge (mozzarella, artichokes), and because I love carbs (croutons). I did forget the pepperoncini and was a little sad about that, because I love the zing they add to this salad!

  • FRESH: Romaine, red onion, tomato, marinated artichokes (original recipe calls for perroncino, which are the best in this salad for a little zing!)
  • PROTEIN: Italian seasoned grilled chicken, salami, provolone, mozzarella, garbanzo beans
  • CRUNCH: Homemade croutons
  • DRESSING: Fresh lemon, garlic, oregano, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt & pepper

BBQ CHICKEN SALAD

A classic salad that couldn’t be easier. I happened to grill my chicken for this, but rotisserie would be perfect. I used bottled BBQ sauce & bottled ranch. Fresh corn, but canned or frozen would work in the winter. This was another favorite for the month, and a salad I’ll make on repeat. The ingredient to top it all off – crunchy fried onions, like the ones you use for green bean casserole.

  • FRESH: Romaine, corn, tomato, avocado
  • PROTEIN: Grilled chicken with BBQ sauce, black beans, shredded cheese
  • CRUNCH: Crunchy fried onions
  • DRESSING: Bottled Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce + bottled ranch – about half of each mixed together

EAT CHOW SPANISH CHICKEN SALAD WITH SMOKEY TOMATO VINAIGRETTE

Ok, this salad one MY Favorite Salad of the Month award. I’ve started writing down unique salads I see on restaurant menus so I can make my own version (like last week’s Cheesecake Factory Chop Salad?). This particular salad I’ve ordered the last few times I’ve gone to Eat Chow in Orange County. Eat Chow was one of my favorite places when I lived in Newport Beach, for it’s upscale comfort food, including delectable parmesan truffle fries. I try not to get fries TOO often, so the last few times I’ve visited, I chose their Spanish Style Roasted Chicken Salad, and I wasn’t even sad without fries. Sweet, tangy, chewy, salty, crunchy and flavorful – it was pretty easy to replicate once I found a dressing recipe on Pinterest. Also now I have a huge container of dates and I hate wasting ingredients – so I guess I better wrap the extras in bacon?

  • FRESH: Romaine, bibb lettuce, corn, dried dates (chopped)
  • PROTEIN: Paprika grilled chicken (I made this a second time and used shredded pork instead), goat cheese
  • CRUNCH: Chopped smoked almonds and salted peanuts
  • DRESSING: Whole tomato, olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, dijon mustard, liquid smoke, basil, salt & pepper (scaled down from this recipe) – blended in the food processor

SKIRT STEAK FAJITA SALAD

I already covered taco salad – so a fajita salad is a totally different game! Marinated skirt steak grilled to medium rare, grilled peppers and onion, and obviously avocado. I used my current favorite chips, the Elotes corn chips from Trader Joes, but any corn or tortilla chip adds the perfect crunch to this salad!

  • FRESH: Romaine, grilled onion & bell peppers, avocado
  • PROTEIN: Marinated flank steak, cotija cheese
  • CRUNCH: Elotes corn chips (Trader Joe’s)
  • DRESSING: Cilantro lime vinaigrette

COBB SALAD

The last salad of the month. In my search for recipe ideas, I found a ton of variations on the cobb salad. With chicken, shrimp, or steak. Some with fruit, or other cheeses. A typical cobb contains greens, tomato, bacon, chicken, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, chives, Roquefort cheese, and red-wine vinaigrette. The only changes I made were to use chipotle seasoned chicken, which I grilled, and a jalapeño corn vinaigrette, inspired by this recipe from Half Baked Harvest. I used my shrimp on the farmer’s market salad but still wanted the chipotle flavor! The dressing was a little sweet with a kick and was a great compliment to the salty bacon and bleu cheese.

  • FRESH: Romaine, tomato, avocado,
  • PROTEIN: Chipotle seasoned grilled (grilled), hard boiled egg, blue cheese
  • CRUNCH: Crispy bacon
  • DRESSING: Corn, jalapeño, lime, honey, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, cilantro, salt

Below are all twenty salads I made this month! Some I made a few times with leftovers. Salads are a great lunch because I can prep my ingredients and chop everything for the week on Sunday. Sometimes at the end of a week, I will take all of the random leftovers in my fridge – meat, veggies, cheese – and make a salad. A good honey mustard or balsamic vinaigrette can work with most ingredients. Even though #julysummersalad month is over, I’ll be making salads regularly the rest of the year!

Pictured, from top left to right: Cobb, farmer’s market, fattoush, Nancy’s chopped salad, BBQ chicken, Eat Chow paprika chicken salad, fajita steak salad, Cheesecake Factory Chop Salad, crispy chicken BLT, black raspberry balsamic & fried goat cheese, potato salad, San Chez Ensalada Mixta, grilled peach & balsamic chicken, southwestern chicken salad, broccoli slaw, panzanella caprese, Asian chop salad, buffalo chicken salad, Cuban salad, taco salad.

And next up…#augustgrillinggoals! What fun new things should I grill this summer??

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