3 Easy to Make, Easy to Take Summer Salad Recipes

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Whether you’re heading out to a BBQ or having a picnic in the park, these 3 summer salads are sure to be a people pleaser wherever you go!

Couscous salad

Ingredients
• 3 (6 ounce) packages garlic and herb couscous mix (or any flavor you prefer)
• 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
• 1 (5 ounce) jar pitted kalamata olives, halved
• 1 cup mixed bell peppers (green, red, yellow, orange), diced
• 1 cucumber, sliced and then halved
• 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
• 1 (8 ounce) package crumbled feta cheese
• 1/2 cup Greek vinaigrette salad dressing

Directions
1. Cook couscous according to package directions. Transfer to a large serving bowl to cool. Stir to break up clusters of couscous.
2. When the couscous has cooled to room temperature, mix in tomatoes, olives, bell peppers, cucumber, parsley, and feta. Gradually stir vinaigrette into couscous until you arrive at desired moistness.


Becky’s Joy Bistro’s Spinach, Strawberry and Pine Nut Salad with Berry Dressing

Salad for 2 – 3

3 cups fresh spinach
6 large strawberries, sliced
Asiago or Parmesan cheese – a few thin slices, peeled with a cheese slicer or potato peeler
(Also delicious with goat cheese, feta or blue cheese)

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds (or a combination) Walnuts or pecans would also work great!

Lightly toss above with a sprinkle of sea salt

Then top with a drizzle of the following dressing. Now this recipe makes a nice batch of dressing, you can put in a jar and use again. It’s one of the most delicious I’ve ever had. The balsamic is not too strong or vinegary because you reduce it first with sugar. Oh my goodness. Yum.

Berry Balsamic Dressing

½ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 cloves garlic roasted and minced or minced then quickly sauteed in a bit of oil
½ cup berry preserves (whatever you have on hand, whatever you like)
1/4 c dried berries (any kind, I used cranberries)
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 cup canola oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the balsamic vinegar and sugar to a simmer, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Simmer the mixture, uncovered, until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. It should look like thick syrup, close to molasses. Add the roasted or sauteed garlic and berry preserves and cook until preserves melt. Remove from the heat and let cool. When room temperature, whisk in the red wine vinegar and then the canola oil (pour in a ribbon as you whisk like crazy.) Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Pillsbury’s Caramelized Pears and Gorgonzola Salad

Ingredients

Vinaigrette
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Caramelized Pears
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
4 firm ripe pears, peeled, quartered, cored and cut into eighths
1 teaspoon sugar

Salad
8 cups mixed spring greens
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup coarsely chopped candied pecans (from 5-oz bag)
1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

Directions
1. In small bowl, beat vinaigrette ingredients with wire whisk. Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours.
2. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, melt butter over high heat. Add pears and sugar; cook and stir 6 to 8 minutes or until fruit is tender and golden. Cool slightly.
3. In large salad bowl, toss greens, onion and half the vinaigrette. Transfer to large platter. Arrange pears, pecans and cheese over greens. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

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