Potato salad has been done and done and done again. Why not try one of these new lighter salad for your Father’s Day cookout instead and use up some of your garden produce?
These recipes are hardly recipes at all… they’re rough approximations of salad recipes many of us have known and loved for years that we’ve always done by adding a little of this and a little of that and with an eye (and tongue) towards what looks aesthetically pleasing and suits our palates. Sometimes we forget how good and easy these simple things can be. So take the measurements with a pinch of salt, feel free to experiment, substitute or ad lib, and let your taste buds free.
Tomato, Cucumber & Bocconcini (Serves 4-6)
Bocconcini (pronounced boh-con-chee-nee) is unripened balls of mozzarella cheese. This salad is super quick, refreshing, and requires no special refrigeration or marinating.
- 1 large English cucumber, cubed
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 2 cups mini bocconcini
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Fresh basil to garnish (optional)
In a bowl, toss together your tomatoes, cucumber, and bocconcini. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the top, and top with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and your fresh basil. Yup, it’s that easy.
If you want to be extra fancy, use larger tomatoes and bocconcini , then slice and layer the ingredients in a casserole dish like Ratatouille.
Estimated nutrition information (based on 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of balsamic, 1 cup serving size): 197 calories, 5g carbs, 17g fat, 7g protein, 4mg sodium, 2g sugar
Dilled Cucumber Slices (serves 6-8)
This recipe calls for a marinating time of a minimum of 2 hours, but most people in the know agree that marinating up to 8 hours is better!
- 4 English cucumbers, sliced
- 1/2 sweet onion (like Vidalia), sliced very thin
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 3 tbsp fresh dill (or 1 tbsp dried)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- A small drizzle of olive oil (optional)
- Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Combine the cucumber, onion, and dill in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix the vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and olive oil. Stir until sugar is dissolved, then pour over the cucumbers. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for at least 2 hours before serving.
Quinoa “Pasta” Salad (serves 6-8)
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is very similar to rice and is labeled as an ancient grain, but is actually a relative of the tumbleweed! If you’ve never made quinoa, there’s no reason to be intimidated. Not only is it fairly similar to rice in taste and texture, but it’s also similar in the way you prepare it. Just one word of caution: if your package doesn’t specify that it is prewashed, make sure you rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a sieve, or you may find it has a soapy, bitter taste.
- 3 cups cooked quinoa
- 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes, sliced
- 1/4 red onion, chopped
- 1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
- 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup fresh spinach, torn into bite size pieces
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- Your favourite vinaigrette dressing, to taste
Toss all the prepared ingredients in a bowl, and gradually stir in the vinaigrette dressing to taste. Allow to chill for 1 hour to allow the quinoa to absorb the taste of the vinaigrette.