I’ve been thinking a lot about cooking this summer!
One, because I’ve tried cooking an assortment of different things. I love new recipes.
Two, my kids still love cooking and even tried out a cooking camp.
Cooking camp was genius. My kids now have better knife skills than me.
They can, and do, make breakfast on their own (not cereal – pancakes and eggs). They’re always asking to help. And while it can drive me nuts sometimes when I just want to get something done, I love they’ve learned to cook so early on.
Among the things we’re cooking, given their mad knife skills and the fact that it’s 1,000 degrees outside, are salads! Every kind of salad.
I have to recommend this article from Country Living to you – 20+ Summer Salads.
We haven’t made them all, but we’ve made many and they’ve all turned out great.
Among my favorites, I highly recommend their charred corn salad. We grill corn, but typically in foil packets. For this salad, you roast the ears (shucked) directly on the grill. The key is the lime. I juiced more than they recommend because you don’t want the salad too dry. I never measure my salt and pepper either so I typically use more than the recipe calls for. You can sub the red chili for a seeded jalapeno. It’s great on the side, as a dip, or to top chicken or fish.
I don’t have the words to tell you how much I LOVE the honey mustard chicken salad. The marinade is amazing and we used to dress the salad too. (Honey, whole grain mustard, Dijon mustard, olive oil and vinegar!) I made up extra chicken breasts when grilling so I could use them all week long for lunches or even for a protein snack. Delicious. Now, I don’t eat pork so I didn’t add bacon to the salad. But I did add corn (from the grilled corn above) and hard boiled eggs.
We also tried the Peach Salad with Grilled Basil Chicken, the Dill Pickle Potato Salad, the Tomato Cucumber Feta Salad, and the Garbanzo Bean Salad. I can recommend them all. They’re cool and crisp and absolutely perfect for summer. Not to mention they’re healthy and my kids ate them.
My biggest adjustment is on seasoning. For example, with the garbanzo bean salad, I love the premise. But the carrots need to be super small because they are so crunchy (you could also cook them a couple minutes). And the salad needs a ton more flavor. When you make the dressing, add oodles of salt, pepper, dill and lemon. With all the yummy ingredients you wouldn’t think it would come out bland, but it does so amp up the seasoning.
So, what are you cooking this summer? Please share your favorite recipe. Bonus points if I can make it ahead because the kids go back to school next week. Yikes!
Photo Courtesy of Café Delites.