Light Fare for Summer Evenings, Part II

Fantastic salads are a great addition to the menu rotation during the summer heat. They are lighter than so many dishes, don’t tend to heat up the kitchen, and can often be made ahead so they are ready to serve whenever needed.

Here are 3 more great salads culled and adapted from the Brand Name Light & Natural Cookbook I picked up recently at a garage sale. Quick, light and easy – that’s my plan for August meals!

Primavera Pasta Salad

1  1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1  1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1  1/2 cups broccoli florets

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced

3/4 cup julienned zucchini

1/2 cup julienned carrot

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup lemon juice

1  1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel

3 3/4 teaspoon dried basil, crushed

3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

6 ounces linquine or fettuccine noodles, cooked

Parmesan cheese, grated

Heat oil and butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add broccoli and garlic and stir fry 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add tomatoes, zucchini, carrot, honey, lemon juice, lemon peel and seasonings. Simmer and 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring gently. Toss with noodles. Cool. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Serves 6.

Spicy Cucumber-Orange Salad

1 cucumber, sliced thin

1 large orange, peeled, sliced thin and cut into quarters

1/2 red onion, sliced thin and separated into rings

1 large Anaheim chile, seeded and chopped

1 cup white vinegar

1/3 cup salad oil

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped or 1 teaspoon crushed dried oregano

2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon ground dried sage

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a deep glass bowl toss together the cucumber slices, orange pieces, onion and chile.

In a covered container place the vinegar, oil and remaining ingredients; shake together until blended. Pour over salad mixture, stirring occasionally. Serve wiht a slotted spoon as a side-dish salad or relish. Marinade can be saved and used for salad dressing. Yields 3 cups salad, serves 3.

Chilled Dilled Carrot Salad

2 cups carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 cup diced shallots or red onions

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

2-3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

Parboil carrots until tender yet crips, about 2 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain. Combine carrots and onions. Mix remaining ingredients in small bowl until well blended. Pour over carrot mixture and toss well. Refrigerate at least 3 hours to blend flavors. Serves 4.

For more great fast, delicious dinner recipes and ideas, try 25 Quick & Easy Quesadilla Recipes, available online for only 99 cents at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Sony or Smashwords.

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