Summer chopped salad with cilantro-lime vinaigrette and crispy chickpea croutons

With the blistering heat of summer days, eating light becomes a necessity… and one-stop salads are the answer! Today’s chopped salad is a perfect example of the kind of meal I love to serve during the summer months – flavor-packed, refreshing and easy to digest, yet hearty enough to leave you entirely satisfied.

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Caprese with Sun Gold cherry tomatoes and mint chiffonade

During the summer months, I serve Insalata Caprese (the classic Italian salad made with mozzarella, tomato and basil) on a weekly basis… and sometimes even more frequently! It is my husband Marc’s and my favorite lunch, hands down – especially when the heirloom tomatoes from our garden are finally ready to harvest.

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Fava bean, sweet pea and asparagus salad with goat-milk ricotta and chive citronette

“Spring on a plate”… a perfect way to describe this salad, both in look and taste! The “greenness” of the fava beans, sweet peas and asparagus comes through not only in the color of the spring veggies, but in their flavor, too…. and the chive citronette is a perfect complement to this greenness. To contrast all that, the medley of vegetables is served with a spread of creamy homemade goat-milk ricotta. Then the whole dish is finished with a drizzle of Meyer lemon-infused oil – fragrant and only mildly lemony.

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Grilled kale salad with golden beets and fresh goat cheese

The classic “beet and goat cheese salad” has become such a standard that you’ll be hard-pressed to find a restaurant that doesn’t serve one… at least in my neck of the woods! And just like the legendary Caesar salad, the beet and goat cheese salad is here to stay. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be re-worked… turned on its heels, so to speak.

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Quinoa tabbouleh with pickled asparagus and tangelos

This salad, a spring version of the traditional tabbouleh, explodes with fresh flavors! First the parsley and mint – used generously here, as they should be with all tabbouleh – make the taste buds come alive, while the pickled asparagus adds quite a bit of punch. The sweet, skinless tangelo slices contribute their vibrant flavor as well as a bit of sweetness, and the quinoa tames all those vibrant flavors with its delicious nuttiness.

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