Looking for something different to make for dinner?

Take advantage of some great produce to be found in the markets at this time of year. There are so many choices and great meals can be prepared with these veggies, even though it is hot outside. These refreshing salads make delicious sides to grilled meats or fish. And, you have a great tasting, healthy meal for tonight’s dinner.

Italian Caprese Salad

refreshing salads 1
2 servings

Ingredients:

2 large vine ripe tomatoes
4-5 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
Fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Black Italian olives
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella cheese into 1/4″ slices.

Assemble the salad by layering slices of tomato, mozzarella, and basil leaves on a serving plate. Season with salt, pepper, and drizzle with the olive oil.

Scatter a few olives around the serving plate and serve.

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For a delicious low carb version of this salad use rutabagas instead of potatoes.

Potato or Rutabaga Salad

JC - refreshing salads 2

Serves 2. (Double the ingredients for extra servings.)

Ingredients:

1 pound small Yukon gold potatoes or one rutabaga, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons mixed chopped herbs, such as dill, parsley, basil, chives and thyme
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 scallions (green onions), chopped

Directions:

Put potatoes or rutabagas into a pot, cover with salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to overcook.

To see if the potatoes or rutabagas are cooked, test by inserting a fork into a potato or rutabaga chunk. It should slide in easily without breaking apart the potato.

Immediately drain well and let cool 10 minutes.

Gently toss potatoes or rutabagas with sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, herbs, lemon juice, celery, onion, salt, and pepper. Cover and chill several hours before serving.

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Fresh Green Bean Salad

refreshing salads 3
4 servings

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

Directions:

To make the vinaigrette:

Whisk together the vinegar, oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a serving bowl; set aside.

For the green beans:

Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil; add the beans and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to a bowl of ice water. Drain well and toss with the vinaigrette, oregano, feta, and onion. Chill several hours before serving.

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This salad goes very well with grilled lamb chops or grilled fish fillets.

Tzatziki Cucumber Salad

JC - refreshing salads 4

Ingredients:

2 medium cucumbers, peeled
½ teaspoon sea salt

Dressing:

1 cup plain, whole milk Greek yogurt
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 of a sweet onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, grated
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

Cut the peeled cucumber in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.

Cut each half into ½ inch thick slices (half moons). Place in a colander and sprinkle with the ½ teaspoon of salt. Toss gently to evenly distribute the salt.

Let the cucumbers drain while you make the dressing.

To make the dressing:

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a storage bowl with a cover.

Place the salted cucumbers on several thicknesses of paper towels and squeeze gently to rid them of extra moisture.

Add them to the dressing and mix well. Cover the bowl and chill several hours before serving.

After these refreshing salads, check out more ways to enjoy August Produce.

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