Summer Salad Recipes

By Lori Mork

Summer SaladsLooking for a new salad to bring to that potluck dinner or summer picnic with family and friends? Here are a few ideas that are sure to be hits!

Lemony Vegetable Pasta Salad

Easy and delicious, this vegetable pasta salad feeds a crowd. If you’re looking for a main dish, just toss in some cooked chicken or ham.

Lemon Mayonnaise
2 cups mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 cup Yoplait® Fat Free plain yogurt (from 2 lb. container) or sour cream
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh or 1 Tbsp. dried tarragon leaves
1 tsp. salt

Pasta Salad
2 pkgs. (16 oz. each) medium pasta shells
3 lb. asparagus, blanched*, cut into 4-inch pieces
2 lb. snap pea pods, blanched*
16 med. green onions, sliced (1 cup)
2 med. yellow bell peppers, coarsely chopped (2 cups)

In large bowl, mix all lemon mayonnaise ingredients until well blended; set aside. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Rinse with cold water; drain. In large bowl, mix pasta and remaining Pasta Salad ingredients. Stir in Lemon Mayonnaise until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate to chill.

*To blanch asparagus and pea pods, plunge in boiling water 10-15 seconds or until they turn bright green. Remove from water, then plunge into pan of ice and water to stop the cooking; drain.

Prep time: 35 minutes
Total time: 2.5 hours
Makes: 24 servings

Chicken or Turkey Wild Rice Salad

2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup milk
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. dried tarragon, crumbled
3 cups cubed chicken or turkey
3 cups cooked wild rice
1/3 cup finely sliced green onions
1 8-oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 lb. seedless green or red grapes (1 cup), halved
1 cup salted cashews
Grape clusters for garnish
Blend mayonnaise, milk, lemon juice and tarragon; set aside.
In large bowl, combine chicken, wild rice, green onions, water chestnuts, salt and pepper. Stir in mayonnaise mixture until blended. Refrigerate, covered, 2-3 hours. Just before serving, fold in halved grapes and cashews. Garnish with grape clusters.
Makes: 8 1-cup servings.

Cauliflower Bacon Salad

1 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 small onion, chopped
1 head iceberg lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces – could add Romaine or Boston lettuce for color 1/4 to 1/2 head cauliflower, chopped 8 oz. bacon, fried and crumbled, or bacon bits
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Mix mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar and onion. Refrigerate 4-8 hours. Break up lettuce and cauliflower; add bacon. Toss with dressing mixture and top with Parmesan cheese.

Salmon Pasta Salad

1 pkg. (8 oz.) spiral pasta, cooked and drained
2 cups cooked salmon chunks or 1 can (14-3/4 oz.) pink salmon, drained, bones and skin removed
1-1/2 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
1 med. cucumber, quartered and sliced
1 small red onion, sliced
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 tsp. dill
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 head lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces (optional)
In large bowl, toss pasta, salmon, tomatoes, cucumbers and onion. For dressing, combine oil, lemon juice, dill, garlic, salt and pepper; mix well. Pour over pasta and mix. Cover and chill. Serve over lettuce, if desired.

Marinated Pasta Salad

1 pkg. (16 oz.) tricolor pasta, cooked, rinsed under cold water and drained.
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 cup cubed cheese – cheddar, Monterey jack, whatever you like
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 jar (6.5 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and halved.
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1 cup chopped carrots and/or any other vegetables you wish
1 can or jar of ripe or green olives, drained and halved
1 jar Italian salad dressing, approximately 1-1/2 cups

Mix all ingredients together, chill until marinated and ready to serve.

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