Our Daily Dinner

Our Daily Dinner

July 9, 2010

Salad Days

According to Shakespeare, “salad days” refers to the time of youthful inexperience. To me, salad days means it’s so hot, all I want to eat is a refreshing salad.

Here are three of my favorites:

Corn Salad

With the temperature in the high 90’s I didn’t want to leave the house. Luckily, I had a box of whole corn kernels and one box of sweet green peas in the freezer. I also had a Persian cucumber, a box of grape
tomatoes and some Feta cheese in the refrigerator, plus and a jar of Piquillo Peppers strips on the shelve. I tossed these items together and produced a lovely summer salad.

1/2 box frozen corn, defrosted under running water, drained
1/2 box frozen peas, defrosted under running water, drained
1 Persian cumber, sliced and quartered
Leftover Feta cheese, cut into small pieces
About 1/2 cup of grape tomatoes cut in half
About 1/4 cup Piquillo* Pepper strips
Lemon/Dijon mustard vinaigrette
Sat and pepper

*Piquillo peppers are sweet, roasted, red peppers from Northern Spain.
If you can’t find them at your local specialty store, go to Despaña Brand Foods
at 408 Broome Street, Soho (212) 219-5050, or to 86-17 Northern Blvd.,
Queens (717) 779-4971. It’s the next best things to taking a trip to Spain.

Tuna & Cannellini Bean Salad

All you need for this is a can opener and a fresh baguette

1 can Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained
1 can light Italian tuna fish in olive oil, drained
Pitted Niçoise olives (optional)
Balsamic vinegar/olive oil vinaigrette
Dash of Tabasco
Rosemary leaves
Salt and pepper
Chopped Italian parsley for garnish

Serve on a bed of green lettuce

Watermelon Salad

Red onion, raspberries or strawberries add a new dimension to watermelon. The recipe comes from
Paolo Penati, once the chef of our former Long Wharf Restaurant in Sag Harbor.

Equal amounts of
Watermelon, seeded, cut into cubes
Red onion, thinly sliced
Raspberry or strawberry purée
Touch of lemon juice
Pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Sugar if needed

I used to make this salad with fresh raspberries or strawberries when I got them fresh from the farm.
Since most of berries I can buy today have little, if any flavor, I use frozen ones, adding some fresh berries for appearance.

Would love to hear about your favorite summer salad.


Lana said...

Since salads are pretty much the only dish I can make, I found this article on salads particularly interesting.
For some reason I never thought of making a corn salad, but now I’m curios to try. The only question I have what is Persian cucumber and is there a substitute for it?
I like to make tuna salad but now I want to try to add those Cannellini Beans you were talking about.
As far as watermelon salad goes I usually it the main ingredient before having a chance of using it in a salad.
My personal favorite summer salad is very simple to make. Sliced cucumbers slightly salted and sprinkled with dill, a bit of olive oil and touch of vinegar. That’s all.

Our Daily Dinner said...


The combination Cannelili Beans with canned Tuna is terrific. Even George, who is not a salad eater, likes it. It's a meal in itself.

You could get regular cucumbers, or the little Kirbies insetad of the Persian one. I justy like th pact that you don't have to peel them and that they don't have all those seeds.