Simple Summer Salads

By Evanne Schmarder #65409

If you ask me, summertime is the best time in my RV kitchen. Sure, fall and winter are perfect for a steaming bowl of soup, stew or chowder, but summer’s bounty opens up all sorts of possibilities. The warmer weather discourages us from doing an abundance of oven or stovetop cooking, and that’s where simple summer salads come into play.

Imagine grilling a perfect chicken breast and serving it with an ample side of farm market-fresh tabbouleh—a flavor explosion! For company, why not grill up a few skewers of marinated shrimp to be artfully placed atop an easy, classic Caesar salad and served with a good bottle of Beaujolais? My watermelon feta salad is a remarkable accompaniment to your amazing grilled pork chops, honest! Any one of these three salads can stand alone as a light meal, too. If these dishes have you salivating, you’re going to love my three simple summer salad recipes, perfect for serving al fresco with friends and family and soaking in all of summer’s goodness. Keep in mind that these recipes are not set in stone. Add an ingredient if it tickles your taste buds. Omit one if it isn’t to your liking. Experiment, explore and, as always, enjoy!

Farm Market Fresh Tabbouleh

Makes four ample servings.
• 1 cup of medium-grind bulgur wheat (uncooked)
Place bulgur wheat in a large bowl that can be covered and fits into the refrigerator.
• ½ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (3 to 4 large lemons)
• ¼ cup water
• 2 T high-quality extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 t kosher salt, divided into ¾ t and ¼ t
• 3 cloves of garlic, minced
Combine lemon juice, water, olive oil, ¾ t salt, and garlic in a small bowl. Stir well and allow to sit while chopping the veggies.
• 1 small red onion, finely chopped
• 2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
• ½ cup each fresh parsley and fresh mint, chopped
• ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped
• 1 large peeled cucumber, chopped
• 1 medium red pepper, chopped
• ¼ t fresh ground black pepper
Drizzle juice/water mixture over the bulgur wheat. Layer the vegetables evenly over the bulgur wheat in this order: onion, tomato, parsley, mint, dill, cucumber, red pepper. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ t salt and black pepper.
Cover and refrigerate at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours to allow the bulgur wheat to soften and the flavors to infuse. This is a beautiful salad!

The Wilsons’ Classic Caesar Salad

Serves four as a meal salad with a protein.
• 3 hearts of romaine lettuce
(available in the packaged lettuce section of the grocery)
Prepare the romaine lettuce by removing thick outer leaves, rinsing, then drying the lettuce completely, chopping it into large pieces and refrigerating at least 30 minutes so it can get very cool and stay crisp.
In a large salad serving bowl, combine:
• ¼ t salt
• ¼ t fresh ground pepper
• 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
• 2 anchovy filets
Using the back of a fork, mash the salt, pepper, garlic and anchovies into a paste.
To the bowl, add, then mix:
• 2 pasteurized raw egg yolks, room temperature (find pasteurized eggs in the grocery store or you can substitute mayonnaise if you’d prefer not to use eggs)
• 1 generous T Dijon mustard
Slowly whisk in ½ cup sunflower oil (do not substitute another type of oil)
Mixture should begin to thicken. Add:
• 1 T red wine vinegar
• 1 t Worcestershire sauce
• Juice of gently-squeezed half a lemon (don’t be too aggressive with the lemon or you’ll have too much juice)
Mix ingredients well and remove a little less than half the dressing from the bowl.
Add the romaine lettuce to the bowl of dressing and toss. Add more dressing as needed. Add:
• 1 cup of croutons
• ½ cup fresh, high-quality Parmesan cheese, grated
Toss. Give a good dose of fresh ground black pepper. Toss again and serve immediately with more cheese to sprinkle on at the table if desired. Yep, this is the real deal…delish!

 Wonderful Watermelon and Feta Salad

Serves four as a side salad.
The ingredient amounts are approximate. Feel free to add a bit more of this or slightly less of that to customize to your taste. I’ve seen mint substituted for parsley, lime for lemon juice, even the addition of thinly sliced red onion. The recipe below is my fabulous, simple and delicious version of this special salad.
• 4 cups seedless watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes
• ½ pound feta cheese; buy the block and break it into ½-inch pieces
• ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
• 2 T loosely packed fresh parsley, chopped
Dressing is a 3:1 ratio of canola oil and fresh-squeezed lemon juice
• Juice of half a lemon—measure the amount you have
• Canola oil to equal 3 times the lemon juice
• Fresh ground pepper to taste
Combine the watermelon, feta cheese, pine nuts and parsley and gently toss. Sprinkle with about half the dressing and again gently toss. Give a good grind of fresh black pepper. Taste, adjust ingredients, add more dressing as you wish, and prepare to amaze and inspire your diners!

Evanne is sure she got the wanderlust bug from her grandparents who traveled the U.S. in their city bus conversion in the 1940s as what we now call “work-campers.” In 2000 she and her husband, Ray, set off on their own adventure, affectionately called Operation Sunshine, from hip but rainy Portland, Oregon, in search of a sunny place to settle down. Twelve-plus years later, they’re still roaming the country, sharing interesting destinations and cooking up delicious RV kitchen recipes in their popular RV TV series, RVCookingShow.com. Like so many Escapees, they love to travel and love to eat and have
adopted the motto: simple dishes as souvenirs and menus as memory makers. You can reach Evanne at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit her Website at www.RVCookingShow.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.