Thursday, August 22, 2013

favorite summer salads

With Labor day coming up next week and still a few weeks of summer left, I figured that it wasn’t too late to post my favorite summer salads. If you are new to reading my blog you may not know that I hold Ina Garten to be my culinary favorite.

She’s basically taught me how to cook and inspired me to want to eat just about anything. Way back 7+ years ago I went to France on a summer missions trip through Campus Crusade and I fell in love with open markets and the beauty of fresh food. When I came back I began cooking more for the family I nannied for and food from Ina Garten’s cookbooks was what I prepared. It’s everyday, classic, comfort food that gets taken up a notch.

From Ina I’ve learned to use the best ingredients I can afford and find, that good food doesn’t have to be super fancy or made from things I’ve never heard of, and that simple can be elegant. If you get a meal from us or you come and eat at our house I can assure you that something on our table will be inspired by Ina. She’s never let me down yet and I’m certain she may never.

So back to my three favorite salads for summer…I should note they are all free of greens. I’m not sure what it’s been this summer but salads with greens just haven’t been what I’m craving. Instead I’m loving vegetables mixed with pasta, bread or atop gooey cheesy tortillas. I love that most of these just require pantry staples and fresh vegetables which makes summer cooking even easier. So here they are, all recipes from Ina Garten with a couple changes here or there.

1. Greek Panzanella


While I love Ina’s traditional Panzanella, I love her Greek version even more. I love the crispy bread croutons, the bite of feta, and freshness from all the vegetables. I’d eat this everyday.

2. Guacamole Salad

We make this one often because we always have these ingredients on hand. I guess you could say we like Mexican-inspired dishes. The main change I make to this one is that I add cilantro (Ina has an aversion) and we usually have it atop cheese quesadillas to make it a bit heartier.

3. Roasted Vegetable Orzo


This is seriously my favorite. I’d eat it everyday. Literally. The creaminess of the orzo mixed with the bright lemon and feta, so amazing. It gets better after it sits and it’s perfect warm, room temperature, or cold right out of the fridge. Oh and I always use less oil than mentioned. Just eyeball it:)

Do you have a favorite summer salad?

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