Summer Panzanella Salad

Start to finish: 30 minutes
Impresses: 6

Ingredients
4    cups French bread, cubed
6    tablespoons salted butter, melted
¼    cup olive oil
2    tablespoons red wine vinegar
½    cup cucumber, sliced
½    cup roasted red peppers, sliced
¼    cup red onion, sliced
      salt and pepper

Method
Heat oven to 400 F.

Toss together bread and butter on a large baking sheet to coat. Spread in an even layer and bake until fully toasted, about 12–15 minutes. Set aside.

In a large serving bowl, whisk together olive oil and vinegar. Add in cucumber, red peppers, onion and croutons. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Bread Support
When your base is a balance of buttery croutons and a drizzle of vinaigrette, you can’t go wrong with the extras that get tossed in. If Italian-style isn’t your speed, give our other combos a try that stretch a day-old loaf to a salad that stuns.

Spicy does it
Add ¼ cup hot sauce with the butter and bread mixture before toasting. Toast and let cool. Whisk together ¼ cup olive oil and 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar in a large bowl. Toss in spicy croutons, ½ cup chopped celery and ¼ cup bleu cheese crumbles. Serve immediately.

Californ-i-ay
Whisk together ¼ cup olive oil and 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar in a large bowl. Toss in croutons, 1 chopped avocado, ¼ cup fresh basil and ½ cup mozzarella pearls. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

BLT
Whisk together ¼ cup olive oil and 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar in a large bowl. Toss in croutons, ½ cup halved cherry tomatoes, ½ cup chopped bacon and ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese. Serve immediately.

Ranch Pasta Salad

Start to finish: 40 minutes
Impresses: 8

Ingredients
1    package ranch seasoning
1    cup buttermilk
1    cup mayonnaise
1    cup pasta shells (We use the noodles from a box of macaroni and cheese.)
8    ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
1    cup frozen peas, thawed
4    slices bacon, cooked and chopped
    salt and pepper

Method
Whisk together the ranch seasoning, buttermilk and mayonnaise. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Cook pasta to box instructions. Drain and cool. 

Add cooked pasta, cheddar, peas and bacon to a large serving bowl. Toss together with ranch dressing, beginning with ½ cup, adding more if desired.

Season with salt and pepper.

Chicken Little Salad Cups

Start to finish: 25 minutes
Impresses: 4

Ingredients
For the salad:
    butter lettuce leaves
2    cups shredded rotisserie chicken
½    cup grapes, halved
2    stalks celery, diced
¼    red onion, diced

For the dressing:
½    cup cottage cheese
      salt and pepper

Method
Combine cottage cheese, salt and pepper into a small blender cup and pulse until smooth. Set aside.

Carefully separate lettuce leaves from the core. Using a damp paper towel, gently wipe down each lettuce leaf and place onto a tray.

In a large bowl, combine all remaining salad ingredients and toss together with pureed cottage cheese. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before scooping into lettuce cups
and serving.

Slammin' Salmon Salad

Start to finish: 30 minutes
Impresses: 4

Ingredients
For the salad:
1    lemon
4    3-ounce salmon filets,
      skinned and deboned
      salt and pepper
1    5-ounce container arugula
1    cup fresh spring peas
¼    cup dill
1    cup quinoa,
      cooked to package instructions

For the dressing:
¼    cup extra virgin olive oil
¼    cup lemon juice
½    cup plain yogurt
1    garlic clove, minced
      salt and pepper
½    cup feta cheese

Method
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Set aside four pieces of parchment paper, each about the size of a magazine.

Slice lemon into thin rounds. Grab a sheet of parchment and place two lemon slices in the middle. Place a salmon filet on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold one side of parchment to meet the other, then starting from the left, fold the bottom portion of parchment over the top. Repeat all the way around to create a sealed pouch. 

Repeat with rest of lemon, salmon and parchment pieces. 

Place salmon pouches onto a baking sheet and cook for 15–18 minutes or until salmon is a light pink color and flaky. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before opening pouches.

While salmon steams, make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients, except feta, until fully combined. Stir in crumbles of feta. 

Divide arugula onto four plates or bowls and top with equal parts peas, sprigs of dill and quinoa. Top with piece of poached salmon and drizzle with a few tablespoons of dressing.

Breakfast Cobb

Start to finish: 40 minutes
Impresses: 4

Ingredients
For the salad:
1    medium-sized sweet potato
2    tablespoons olive oil
      salt and pepper
4    eggs
1    5-ounce bag baby spinach
4    ounces bleu cheese, crumbled
4    slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

For the dressing:
1    cup buttermilk
½    cup mayo
¼    cup fresh chives
¼    cup fresh dill
1    clove garlic
½    lemon, juiced and zested
      salt and pepper

Method
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 

Cut the ends off the sweet potato and discard. Slice it in half long ways and cut each half into spears. Place on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

Roast for 25–30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Set aside to cool once finished.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to simmer and carefully place eggs in one at a time. Set a timer and simmer for 6 minutes.

While the eggs cook, fill a medium-sized bowl with ice water. Set aside.

To make the dressing, whisk all ingredients together until combined.

Once timer has ended for the eggs, immediately transfer them to ice water for one minute to stop cooking. Remove and carefully peel each egg.

Serve up spinach on plates or in bowls and top with crumbles of bleu cheese and bacon, a few sweet potato spears and a soft-boiled egg sliced in half. Drizzle with the buttermilk ranch dressing.

 

Herby Grain Salad

Start to finish: 1 hour
Impresses: 4

Ingredients
1    cup barley
2    cups chicken broth
1    stick European-style butter
½    cup parsley
¼    cup basil
¼    cup dill
2    tablespoons oregano
2    tablespoons sage
½    cup parmesan cheese
      salt and pepper

Method
In a medium-sized sauce pan, combine barley and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cover. Cook for 40 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.

While the barley cooks, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently until it turns a toasty, amber color. (You’ll be able to smell it during this step.) 

Remove from heat and carefully pour through a fine mesh sieve into a jar or small bowl. Set aside.

Roughly chop all of the herbs and place into a large bowl. Once barley is cooked, add to the bowl with herbs. Toss together with butter, parmesan, salt and pepper. Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve chilled.

This Salad is Rad-ish

Start to finish: 15 minutes
Impresses: 6

Ingredients
1    cup whole milk cottage cheese
     salt and pepper
2    bunches radishes
1    fennel bulb
¼    cup mint

Plating tip
Assorted cut vegetables for serving (we love carrots, celery and cucumber).

Method
In a large bowl, mix together cottage cheese, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Cut off the top and bottom of each radish and discard the stems.

Wash the radishes and dry before slicing into thin rounds. You can do this carefully with a sharp knife or with a mandolin.

Cut fennel bulb in half and then into thin slices. Roughly chop mint.

Add sliced radishes, fennel and mint to bowl with cottage cheese. Stir to combine.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. Serve chilled.

Meant to Brie

Start to finish: 10 minutes
Impresses: 4

Ingredients
For the salad:
1    5-ounce container spring mix
2    grapefruits
4    ounces brie cheese

For the dressing:
¼    cup extra virgin olive oil
2    tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
2    tablespoons honey
      salt and pepper

Method
Slice each grapefruit in half long ways and remove the peel and white flesh. Place one half cut-side down and identify the thin, white lines in-between the flesh of the grapefruit. Using a paring knife, carefully slice between each white line to create segments. Repeat until entire grapefruit is sliced. Set aside.

Cut brie into 1-inch cubes and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the dressing until emulsified.

Toss together spring mix, grapefruit segments, brie and dressing. Serve immediately.

Everyone’s Favorite Italian Salad

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Start to finish: 15 minutes
Impresses: 6

Ingredients
1 5-ounce container spring mix salad greens
¼ cup jarred roasted red peppers, sliced
¼ cup canned artichoke hearts, quartered
¼ cup kalamata olives, halved
¼ cup pine nuts
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 bunch fresh parsley, sans stems
½ cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup fresh oregano leaves
2 cloves garlic, smashed
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper

Method
Place pine nuts in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Toast, stirring frequently, until fragrant and slightly browned — about five minutes. Let cool.

In a blender, combine olive oil, vinegar, parsley, basil, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Pulse until fully combined.

In a large salad bowl, toss together greens, red peppers, artichoke hearts, olives, pine nuts and red onion with ¼ cup (more or less as desired) prepared dressing. Top with extra Parmesan cheese.