A big bowl of greens to me is what a fresh canvas to an artist is—a great starting point for creation. The awesome thing about a salad is that you can put whatever you want in it. It’s yours to experiment with.

Here are my most favorite summer salad recipes:

Salmon and Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Salad

Yield: Serves 4 as a main dish or 6 as a side

1 large bowl of salad greens, preferably organic

8 ounces cooked salmon (smoked, canned, baked, grilled or poached) cubed, any visible bones removed

4 radishes, sliced thin

1 summer squash, ends removed, chopped

1 jar of sun-dried tomato pesto

Lightly steam squash and radishes in 1 inch of water, just long enough for them to remain slightly crisp. Drain and let cool.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Salad greens will wilt slightly, but all the favors should infuse. The radishes add quite a kick.

Grilled Fruit and Honey Salad

Yield: Serves 4-6

For the salad:

1 large bowl of salad greens, preferably organic

2 handfuls of figs, apricots or both, halved

4 ounces shaved Parmesan cheese

For the dressing:

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons flax oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

To prepare the salad: Grill the halved figs or apricots until soft. Set aside, and allow them to cool. Combine the salad greens, fruit and cheese in a large bowl.

To prepare the dressing: Warm honey in a small bowl so that it softens. Let cool slightly, and whisk in flax oil and balsamic vinegar. Toss into salad. This salad pairs deliciously with roasted pork tenderloin.

Asian Pear, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad

Yield: Serves 4-6

1 large bowl of salad greens, preferably organic

4 Asian pears, quartered and then diced

4 ounces blue cheese, such as gorgonzola

4 ounces chopped raw walnuts

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

Asian pears should be purchased and eaten when crisp. They have a slight hint of vanilla in their flavor.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Enjoy as an entree or with a lean grilled meat, such as sirloin steak.

Tom Casey
Amy Clark
Angelika Torres
Anthony Zolezzi
Chelsea Vurciaga
Dave Carter
Elizabeth Chatellier, MA, RDN
Linda Bonvie
Liz Latham
Sebrina Zerkus Smith
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