I have made it a personal goal to share more seasonal recipes with you, and I am finding that I enjoy it a lot. It has stretched me as a cook/baker and has been a lot of fun and helped us eat healthier, too. Triple win! :)
Today's seasonal offering is a Simple Summer Salad that I hope you will enjoy as much as my hubby and I did! I made it sans dressing, but if you are looking for one for it, the Sweet Vinaigrette posted with my Strawberry Spinach Salad would be lovely, though it really can stand on its own without it. It has pears and dried cherries, walnuts and Swiss cheese...It is a perfect combination of sweet and salty, crunchy and chewy. It was an instant hit with the hubster without dressing, and that's saying something because he never eats salad without dressing! *silent cheer*
I am sure there are probably similar recipes like this one out there, but I did not use anyone else's recipe as a guide or anything, so I feel safe claiming this one as my own. It is soy (if you use all soy-free ingredients), wheat, fish and egg-free and can be milk and nut-free (see variations).
Now, without further adieu...The recipe!
Simple Summer Salad
romaine lettuce, chopped or torn into bite-sized pieces
baby or regular spinach, chopped or torn into bite-sized pieces
fresh pears, chopped into bite-sized pieces
(I used Bartlett, but whatever you like will work)
soy-free dried cherries
(Check labels well on this! I was able to find them, but it took some searching.)
shredded Swiss cheese
- Toss desired amounts of each ingredient in a large bowl until well mixed together and either serve immediately or keep in the fridge until ready to serve. (Note: All ingredients are to taste and depend on how many you want to serve, that's why no amounts are given. This recipe can feed 1 to 100+ easily. I recommend using no more than 1/2 the amount of spinach as you do romaine, though, and starting with handfuls of the cherries, walnuts and cheese and adding more as needed. I would also start with one pear and add more as desired, as well.)
Variations (Please keep your individual allergen needs in mind when using substitutions/additions!):
- Milk-Free: Omit the cheese or use a dairy-free cheese.
- Nut-Free: If you can have pecans, you can use them in place of the walnuts. If you can have seeds, you can use your favorite (i.e. sunflower or pumpkin) in place of the walnuts. You can also eat this salad without nuts.
- Substitute Fruit or More Fruit/Veggies: You could easily substitute or add other summer fruits in here such as raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, even oranges or grapefruit - whatever you like. You could also add more veggies like carrots, radishes, celery, green onions, broccoli, etc. if you wished. Add or omit as you like.
- Other Cheese: If you do not like Swiss, by all means, use another type. Cheddar, especially sharp cheddar, would be fantastic in this. We have a cheese called Pinconning here, and it would be lovely in here, too. If you're a fan of bleu cheese or goat cheese, that would probably be a good fit here as well.
- Add Some Meat: My hubby is a meat guy, and normally wants meat on his salads. He added some diced ham to his and enjoyed it a lot! You could also had crumbled back, turkey, chicken - whatever you think would taste good.
- Add Some Salad Dressing: As I mentioned before the Sweet Vinaigrette posted with my Strawberry Spinach Salad would be lovely on this, but you could also use another sweet vinaigrette, vinegar and oil dressing or even just balsamic vinegar or a raspberry vinaigrette would be great, too.
As you can see, this salad is very versatile (which I love in recipes and love to share with you). You'll be sure to find a winning combo in this Simple Summer Salad any way you put it together!
What's your favorite summer recipe?
Do you prefer salads or BBQ when it's hot out?
What do you do to beat the heat?
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