Summer salads are one of my favorite things. If you couldn’t tell, look through the salad archives. I am all ABOUT the cool, the crispy, the sweet and the tangy, and the fresh fresh fresh. Summer is the single best time of the year for salads, because we can experiment, we have access to fresh produce that we won’t see for half of the year, and it’s hot outside. Cool salads rule in the summer heat!
Summer is upon us, and one of my favorite things about the season are fresh, chilled salads. They make a great snack, side dish, or even a light lunch. This time of year, there are always at least one, and up to three or four, different kinds of chilled salads in our fridge. One of my favorites is Tabbouleh, a Middle Eastern dish made with coarse bulgur wheat, tomatoes, cucumbers, and parsley. It’s fresh and light, with the brightness of lemon juice, and I learned a tip from the amazing folks at America’s Test Kitchen that makes every bite a burst of amazing summer flavors.
Chayote is a fruit/vegetable native to Mexico, which is known around the world for its versatility, nutrition, and just plain deliciousness. It has about as many names as it has different recipes and ways to prepare it. I call it a Squash, but it is so much more than that!
This week at the farmers market, cauliflower and broccoli were in great abundance. One farm had broccoli on the stalk, instead of just the flowery crowns, and to me that was absolute perfection. I think the broccoli stem is highly underrated! It’s delicious, raw or cooked, great in soups, salads, or even sautéed. This week, though, I made some very easy broccoli and carrot slaw with the stems and reserved the crowns for steaming later.
Next time you are debating between paying more for the crowns and skipping the stalks, don’t! Get stalks! Then do this!
In case I haven’t previously made it clear, I am a fan of salads. I love them in the spring and summer, but also in the fall and winter. Pasta salads, slaws, cucumber-tomato salad, salads with grains and veggies, I love them all, no matter the season. So, as summer slips away and we move to cooler days, why not have another cold salad?
Mizeria is a traditional Polish cucumber salad that couldn’t really be easier to make. It’s basically 3 ingredients and takes almost no time. The name translates to “misery,” although I have absolutely no idea why — it’s one of the least miserable things ever! I have actually been trying to write this post for a couple weeks, because every time I made Mizeria salad, it disappeared within a day or two. I could take pictures of making it, but never had a picture of the finished product! I finally just made one enormous batch and bought myself a couple of days for pics, but it was still all gone within 3 days. This is addictive stuff. Continue reading
I know I’ve been on kind of a pickling kick lately, what with pickles, and okra pickles, and more pickles, and then I made MORE okra pickles. I’m going to turn into one big pickle.
But before I do, I have another great kind of pickle to share with you, and these can be made year-round.
Have you ever been to a Mexican restaurant or taqueria and been either directed to a little condiment bar, or had different condiments brought to you? If you have, then you’re probably familiar with what folks around these parts call “Mexican Relish.” These are Mexican pickled jalapenos, pickled onions and pickled slices of carrot, all melding flavors in the same jar, and they’re FANTASTIC. So fantastic that our recipe is for two jars!
Cold, crisp, bright fruit and vegetable salads are one of my favorite things during the summer, but some of them enjoy a place in our kitchen year-round. Here’s one that is part of the menu at Casa Sass most of the time, and I hope you’d enjoy it as much as we do.
I come from a long line of German cooks, and one of the favorites around my house growing up was a type of marinated sliced cucumbers and onions, and they’re bathed in a very vinegary brine with salt and pepper. It’s still on my “great stuff to eat” list, and I tend to make it around holiday meals since we always had it at larger family meals at my mom’s house. I don’t remember exactly when I started making this variation, but I have learned that other people also have their own versions of it, so it’s not the most unique side dish in the world. However…
This is cucumber-tomato salad. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
(Apologies to the USMC). 🙂