Corn Chowder Salad

Crispy bacon and hearty potatoes bring the flavors of the classic summer soup to create a side dish perfect with grilled vegetable, fish, chicken or steak.

3 small red potatoes (about 2 cups), diced

3 strips thick-cut bacon

2 ears corn, kernels removed from the cobs (about 2 cups)

1/3 cup sour cream

2 scallions, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons apple-cider vinegar

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves or ½ teaspoon dried thyme

¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Wash and cut the potatoes into ½-inch dice and put them into a small pot of boiling water. Cook 8-10 minutes, until tender when pierced with a knife. Drain into a colander and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate. When cool, crumble and set aside. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan. Add the corn and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the kernels are bright yellow and crisp, about 3-5 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix together the sour cream, sliced scallions, vinegar, thyme, paprika, salt and pepper. Add the potatoes, parsley, and bacon to the corn, and toss with the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with parsley. Serve at room temperature. Serves 4-6.


Salad-e Shirazi – Persian Cucumber, Tomato and Herb Salad

Originating in Shiraz, Iran, this traditional salad finds its way on to every Iranian table at practically every meal. Think of this as a juicier version of a Greek salad, where the herbs dominate. We love adding chunks of feta cheese and even croutons just before serving, but then it is no longer a traditional Iranian salad!

3 to 4 Persian cucumbers (about 3/4 pound)

2 to 3 medium tomatoes (about 1 pound)

½ C any combination of finely chopped fresh parsley, cilantro, basil, mint and/or dill

½ red onion, diced into 1/4-inch pieces

Dressing

¼ C freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 2 limes), plus more as needed

½ t sumac*

1 T extra-virgin olive oil

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Optional – ½ cup crumbled feta, ½ cup fresh made croutons

Dice cucumbers into 1/4-inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Remove tomato cores, dice remaining tomatoes into 1/4-inch pieces and add to bowl. Add the chopped herbs and onion.

In a small bowl, make the dressing by whisking together 1/4 cup lime juice, sumac, olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Just before serving, dress vegetables and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and lime juice as needed. Serve at room temperature or lightly chilled. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 days. Serves 6.


Fiesta Green Bean Salad

1lb fresh green beans, strings removed, ends snapped off, cut into about 1½-inch length pieces

¼ C red onion, finely chopped

2 T fresh lime juice (1-2 limes)

2 T olive oil

½ t sea salt

1 t dried oregano or 1 T fresh oregano

¾ C packed, chopped cilantro

1 jalapeno, minced, or 1/3 C pickled jalapeño chili peppers, sliced (optional)

1/3 cup chopped red onion

1 medium tomato, cut into 8 wedges, or a cup of halved cherry tomatoes

¾ cup cooked corn kernels, from one large ear

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

1 ripe avocado, sliced or cut into chunks

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the beans and simmer until just crisp tender, 7 minutes. Drain the beans and run cold water over them to cool them quickly. Drain completely; pat dry with paper towels and transfer to a large serving bowl.

In a mini-food processor or in a jar, combine lime juice, olive oil, 1/4 cup onion, sliced pickled jalapeños, sea salt, oregano and cilantro. Process until well mixed, then pour over beans and toss; refrigerate about half an hour. When ready to serve, mix in the chopped red onion, tomatoes, corn and feta. Carefully fold in the avocado chunks. Serves 6.


Zucchini Salad with Lemon, Herbs and Ricotta

Adapted from Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Magazine

2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound)

2 T lemon juice

2 t fresh rosemary, minced

1 t honey

½ t sea salt

½ C whole milk ricotta

2 t lemon zest

2 T extra virgin olive oil

¼ t sea salt

¼ C pistachios, chopped

1 T sesame seeds

Garnish – ½ – 1 C lightly packed fresh herbs, chopped (mint, chives, parsley)

Thinly slice the zucchini (use a hand-held slicer or a mandolin if you have one) and transfer to a bowl. Mix together the lemon juice, rosemary, honey and salt and add to the sliced zucchini; toss well and let stand 15-30 minutes. Left longer, the slices will turn limp and continue to release moisture, which changes the texture of the salad and can dilute flavors.

In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta with the lemon zest, olive oil and salt. Set aside.

In a small skillet (or in a toaster oven), combine the pistachios and sesame seeds and toast, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Transfer the zucchini to a platter, add half the fresh herbs and mix gently. Dollop the ricotta mixture on top. Scatter with the pistachio-sesame mixture and the remaining fresh herbs. Drizzle with additional oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Serves 4.


Raw Beet Salad with Orange Supremes and Spring Greens

This salad is not only beautiful with different colored beets, but it is packed with antioxidants, vitamin A and C, iron, potassium, folic acid and fiber.

½ lb. raw beets, a mix of colors if possible (about 4 small or 3 medium), peeled

1 orange, peeled and segmented (“supremes”)

6 C spring greens, washed and spun dry

¼ C fresh chives, finely cut, or other fresh herbs of your choice (tarragon, basil)

Optional – crumbled feta cheese or soft goat cheese, for garnish

Dressing

1 T white wine or champagne vinegar

1 T fresh lemon juice

1 t Dijon mustard

3 T extra virgin olive oil

½ t sea salt

Peel the beets and, using a hand guard, carefully slice them paper thin on a mandolin or hand-held slicer. (If you don’t have a mandolin or a hand-held slicer, you can grate the beets, but it will change the texture and look of the salad.) Set the sliced beets aside and prepare the orange: cut both end off the orange, stand it on one side and guide the knife down to the bottom end, following the shape of the fruit. Remove the rind and as much of the white pith as you can. Slice along the inside of the membrane, gently removing each segment into a bowl.

In a small bowl or jar, mix together the vinegar, lemon juice and Dijon mustard. Drizzle in the olive oil and salt, whisking well to emulsify the dressing. Taste and adjust for salt. Assemble the salad: in a bowl or a deep-dish platter, scatter the spring greens evenly and layer with the beet slices and oranges. Drizzle half the dressing over the salad, and toss gently to coat the salad greens, taking care not to break apart the orange supremes. Garnish with finely-sliced chives and/or fresh herbs of you choice. Serves 6.

½ lb. raw beets, a mix of colors if possible (about 4 small or 3 medium), peeled

1 orange, peeled and segmented (“supremes”)

6 C spring greens, washed and spun dry

¼ C fresh chives, finely cut, or other fresh herbs of your choice (tarragon, basil)

Optional – crumbled feta cheese or soft goat cheese, for garnish

Dressing

1 T white wine or champagne vinegar

1 T fresh lemon juice

1 t Dijon mustard

3 T extra virgin olive oil

½ t sea salt

Peel the beets and, using a hand guard, carefully slice them paper thin on a mandolin or hand-held slicer. (If you don’t have a mandolin or a hand-held slicer, you can grate the beets, but it will change the texture and look of the salad.) Set the sliced beets aside and prepare the orange: cut both end off the orange, stand it on one side and guide the knife down to the bottom end, following the shape of the fruit. Remove the rind and as much of the white pith as you can. Slice along the inside of the membrane, gently removing each segment into a bowl.

In a small bowl or jar, mix together the vinegar, lemon juice and Dijon mustard. Drizzle in the olive oil and salt, whisking well to emulsify the dressing. Taste and adjust for salt. Assemble the salad: in a bowl or a deep-dish platter, scatter the spring greens evenly and layer with the beet slices and oranges. Drizzle half the dressing over the salad, and toss gently to coat the salad greens, taking care not to break apart the orange supremes. Garnish with finely-sliced chives and/or fresh herbs of you choice. Serves 6.