Best Summer Salads (vegan or otherwise)

Believe it or not, I’m not much of a salad eater. Don’t get me wrong … I love LOVE love salads, but, I like them to be chalk full of all kinds of veggies and typically I get a little too impatient to spend time cutting everything up. Yes, I know, I could (and sometimes do) prep stuff in advance for a few days of drool-worthy salads but other times I just don’t. Which is why I tend to order salads at restaurants … not because I’m “that” girl, but because I’m just too damn lazy to make one at home. I know. It’s weird. I’ll make a gazillion other things but salad? Eh. Go figure. Gastro Gabe will, undoubtedly, have his snarky remarks to add in about that, I mean I did kinda leave the door open for it with the whole “lazy” bit … but all’s good. He knows I’m not lazy. If anything I’m far from it. I just don’t like to peel and cut stuff. So there’s that.

“TO REMEMBER A SUCCESSFUL SALAD IS GENERALLY TO REMEMBER A SUCCESSFUL DINNER; AT ALL EVENTS, THE PERFECT DINNER NECESSARILY INCLUDES THE PERFECT SALAD.” ~ GEORGE ELLWANGER, ‘PLEASURES OF THE TABLE’

Anyhoo, seeing how it’s straight up SUMMER (YAAAAYYYYYY) I thought I’d try and enjoy the bounties of nearby farmers markets and make a different salad every day—see below. But first, before I jump into the week-long field forecast (field, get it … like a field of greens … salads are typically green … no? I tried) I’m going to share this gem of a creation.

My friend actually made it for me when I returned home from knee replacement surgery (more on that in another post) only he used shrimp and I served it on top of wilted kale. I mean why not? And it was so good I decided to recreate using some of the amazing leftover Prince William Sound sockeye salmon we cooked the other night. It makes for a perfect summer dinner, and is equally as good when tossed with a little quinoa and packed for lunch the next day. So have at it peeps … and remember, it’s OK to flex your flexitarian self every now and then and adding reliably-sourced, wild-caught salmon from Alaska is probably the best way you can do so (don’t forget the French brie while you’re at it.

CHILLED SUMMER SALMON SALAD WITH TARRAGON

PREP TIME: 15 minutes + 1 hour to chill and set the flavors before serving

  • 1 to 1 ½ cups leftover cooked salmon, flaked or cut into bite-size
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, cut in inch-long strips or any leftover grille green veggies like zucchini
  • 1 cup edamame, or lima beans or green peas
  • ½ cup sweet corn, shaved from leftover cobs if you have them
  • ½ cup asparagus tips, if you have them
  • 2-3 scallions, white part only, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh tarragon, finely chopped
  • 2-3 TBS lite balsamic vinaigrette of your choosing
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional, crumbled feta vegan or otherwise should you choose

Combine ingredients in a large bowl and lightly mix together being careful not to “hammer” the ingredients or separate the salmon too much. Ideally you want it to stay in bite-size pieces Note, tarragon has a rather strong black licorice flavor to it, which I love and think it compliments this salad well. However, some people might want to cut the amount down a bit … so start small and add as you see fit. Serve chilled with a hunk of rustic, crusty French bread and a glass of your favorite chardonnay. Enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: Our recipes are just that, ours. Some are modified versions of dishes we’ve had elsewhere or old-favorites that contained animal proteins, while others are a concentrated effort of trial and error. But all are intended to be altered by you and made to suit your tastes. So if you want more garlic or none at all, go for it. You do you ; )

Here are seven more salads worthy of making every night, salad night, for one delicious week …

  • GREEK: Cucumber, fresh dill, thick sliced onions, kalamata olives, red wine vinegar and lots of pepper
  • POTATO: Cooked and smashed red potatoes, green onion, fresh green beans, fresh parsley, white vinegar
  • SPINACH: Baby spinach leaves, sliced strawberries, walnuts and crumbled vegan feta
  • FRUIT: Watermelon hunks with fresh mint, crumbled vegan feta and pickled jalapenos
  • CLASSIC: Spring mix with sliced red peppers, sunflower seeds.
  • OLD SCHOOL: Romaine hearts with shredded carrots, frozen peas, avocado, kidney beans and 
  • CAPRESE: Thick slices fresh tomatoes, vegan mozzarella, fresh basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar

On Being a Flexitarian

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