Simple Summer Salad
It. Is. Hot.
Weather like this calls for a celebration of all things summer… even if it is only May.
We’re picnicking in our yard, enjoying fresh veggies dipped in homemade hummus, and barbecuing sausage to savor while we watch the Red Sox game.
I don’t really like hot weather, but this sure is fun.
Don’t remind me that I said that in October when it’s still 100 degrees… Actually, I may be over it already… Oh wait, there’s salad, and stone fruit, and watermelon season is soon. I’ll just have to keep repeating those things to myself.
Salad. Crispy, crunchy, wonderful salad.
My salad spinner just plum rolled off the counter and smashed the other week. I have to wash and dry the lettuce by hand. It has become a chore. But, I get to eat salads like this as a result of my hard work, sooooo yeah.
Can I say “plum rolled off the counter”?
You can totally make your own croutons. It’s so easy. I had the oven on anyways (why did I pick the week when it’s one million degrees outside?!). I was working on some dried tomatoes, for a later post. That’s why the oven temp is low. I thought about changing it, and you can, but these turned out great. If you up the temp, decrease the cooking time. Obvious.
Old bread makes great croutons. Not like moldy bread. Like stale bread. If you freeze it, not only do you get to open the freezer and enjoy a blast of cold air on a hot day, but if you want to rub a clove of garlic over the bread, it’s much easier.
Garlic plus olive oil plus salt equals some darn good croutons.
Raw squash is not Tim’s favorite. But, if it’s sliced thin like this he’s cool with it.
Almonds for crunch and protein.
A beautiful new cutting board makes for an excellent salad making station.
Peas add a delicate reminder of spring to this salad. I used frozen, but fresh would be even better (although then there’s no freezer action, so up to you).
I prefer to make my salad dressing from scratch. This one is a simple vinaigrette. There are also some herbs and garlic, and a bit of dijon mustard to help it emulsify. And salt, always need a bit of salt.
Table for two. (Side note: I totally love the new kitchen island that Tim made for me. Just gotta brag about my sweet man sometimes.)
- 1 clove garlic
- 2-3 slices stale bread (frozen is best, for garlic)
- 1 T olive oil
- 3-4 C lettuce, torn
- 1/4 C peas (fresh or frozen)
- 20-30 almonds, chopped
- 1/2 C squash, thinly sliced
- parmesan cheese, grated
- dressing: 2 T balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 t dijon mustard
- 1 t fresh savory, chopped
- 1 T fresh or 1/2 t dried basil, chopped or crushed
- 1 t fresh or 1/4 t dried oregano, chopped or crushed
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- to taste salt
- to taste pepper
- 3 T olive oil
- Pre-heat the oven to 250F.
- Rub a clove of garlic onto the slices of frozen bread. Cut bread into cubes. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until bread is crispy, turning once or twice. Let stand and cool.
- Whisk together balsamic vinegar through pepper. Slowly stream in olive oil, whisking as you do, creating an emulsion. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Assemble lettuce, peas, almonds, squash, cheese, and croutons. Top with dressing.