Summer Chopped Veggie Salad

chopped veggie salad

Chopped salads are nothing knew, in fact if you did a search on the Internet you would see thousands of different variations. Crisp, colorful veggies tossed into a light vinaigrette, it just screams healthy and fresh!

chopped veggie salad ingredients

The vegetables you choose are up to you, in the past I’ve added things like peas, asparagus, carrots, radishes, raw zucchini, yellow squash and even jalapeno , I’ve added cheese, different herbs, but mostly I like to keep it pretty simple and above all colorful!

This time I added green and yellow wax beans, something I saw Martha do on one of her shows, it’s a great addition for the color and texture it gives, and I always use planks of fresh corn for the taste and visual.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not the quickest salad to make, you have to do some chopping, after all it is a chopped salad, but I find it therapeutic. Play some music, watch a TV show or just drift into your own thoughts, it will go by fast. You can chop all your veggies the day before then mix everything together the day of.

 

chopped veggie salad ingredients

This salad couldn’t be more perfect as a side to all your summertime cookouts or just make it and eat it for lunch for a few days plus there’s no mayo required, so that’s a good thing with the summer heat.

chopped veggie salad

Chop and then dress adding more or less, it’s up to you, be creative!

5.0 from 4 reviews
Summer Chopped Veggie Salad
 
A fresh summertime salad, all flavors condensed into one bite. No mayo required.
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ pound of green beans cut into ¼ inch pieces
  • ½ pound of yellow wax beans cut into ¼ inch pieces
  • ½ can of garbanzo bean, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and cut into ¼ inch pieces
  • 2 ears of fresh corn
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped into ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 small red onion cut into ¼ inch dice
  • 4 or 5 tomatoes, seeded and diced into ¼ inch pieces
  • a handful each of fresh basil and fresh parsley, chopped
  • FOR VINAIGRETTE YOU WILL NEED:
  • olive oil
  • white balsamic vinegar or champagne vinegar
  • ½ minced garlic
  • dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. You need to blanch the beans for 2 minutes in boiling water, remove with slotted spoon and then place into an ice bath, then drain well, even wiping them down with paper towel until moisture is removed.
  2. Place corn in boiling water after beans for 5 minutes and also place into ice bath to cool down, when cool, cut corn into planks.
  3. Place everything into a large bowl, veggies, beans, herbs and toss to mix.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together, 2 ounces of olive oil, 2 ounces of vinegar, a dollop of dijon mustard, ½ minced garlic and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. This is just a general guideline, you can add more or less as needed to taste.
  6. Pour vinaigrette all over and toss!

 

 

Signature

Summer Entertaining with Grilled Whole Fish

grilled red snapper Are you intimidated by the thought of grilling a whole fish? Don’t be, the entire process is actually very simple! The most important thing you can do is to buy your fish from a reputable source and become friends with your fish monger. I trust the guys at my Whole Foods, in fact I told them that I wanted to grill a whole fish and they gave me a couple of suggestions, on the day I was there it was either sea bass or red snapper, to which they highly recommended the snapper, so that’s what I went with.

Your fish monger is your friend, he will do all the dirty work for you, he’ll scale, gut and remove the gills and all you have to do is take it home, stuff it, and stick it on the grill! I told you it was easy!

When you get it home make three or four diagonal cuts on the top of both sides straight down to the back bone, not only will it ensure even cooking but you’ll be able to tuck  lemon slices and shaved garlic inside the slits like I did. Open up the cavity and drizzle good olive oil inside, salt and pepper then stuff it with your favorite herbs, more lemon and a few tomato slices, finish by rubbing the whole fish with olive oil, both sides. It’s that easy, no measuring, just go for it!

 

grilled red snapper Place your fish on a hot oiled grill on low direct heat, flipping only once and cooking until completely opaque, about ten or so minutes per side. (my 2 lb. fish took about 25 minutes). Some of the skin might stick to the grill and peel off when you flip it over but for the most part it will stay intact and the skin will hold everything together and protect the meat from the flame.

grilled red snapper The end result is so delicious, a slightly smoky, moist but yet firm, sweet subtle flavor infused with herbs, lemon, tomato and garlic. So good!

Feel free to drizzle more olive oil on top to finish it off. Oh and if the eye creeps you out like it did me, cover it with a basil leaf!

red, white and blue potato salad Keep your side dishes simple because the fish is really the show stopper. Since it’s 4th of July weekend how about my Red, White and Blue Potato Salad? (recipe below).

red, white and blue potato salad This would go really nice with the fish. Roasted small red, white and blue potatoes along with roasted red pepper chunks, onions, parsley and lots of lemon zest all tossed while it’s warm in an olive oil and lemon dressing.

quinoa tabbouleh with kale Or how about a colorful healthy Quinoa Tabbouleh with Kale and Grilled Vegetables this would be a wonderful side as well plus can make it the day before, and that’s a good thing!

Cook 1 cup of rinsed quinoa with 2 cups of water, cool it down, then add any grilled veggies you want, I used red and yellow pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, then to that I added red onion, 1/2 can of chick peas rinsed, sliced grape tomatoes, lots of curly kale and parsley, all tossed in a lemon and olive oil dressing.  Sorry, no exact amounts, just add in as much as you want, you’ll know when to stop.

 

tomato, avocado and mozzarella salad Or you just might want to keep it real simple by making a layered Tomato, Avocado and Fresh Mozzarella Salad, just be sure to top it off with some good quality olive oil and fresh chopped fragrant basil, a summer staple for sure!

Have a Happy, Healthy 4th!

Red, White and Blue Potato Salad
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. assorted small red, white and blue potatoes cut in half
  • 1 large red bell pepper cut into 1 inch dice
  • ½ red onion sliced thin
  • 4 scallion, sliced
  • handfull each of chopped parsley and chives
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • lemon and olive oil dressing
Instructions
  1. Coat potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 425 F. until fork tender.
  2. Roast the chopped red pepper at same temp in a separate pan while potatoes are roasting, until tender.
  3. When potatoes and peppers are done, toss into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, parsley, chives, scallions, red onion and zest, toss well and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Drizzle on desired amount of lemon and olive oil dressing.
  5. LEMON AND OLIVE OIL DRESSING
  6. Start with fresh squeezed lemon juice, about 3 tablespoons, a small smashed garlic clove, whisk in good olive oil, salt and pepper. Taste it as you go along checking for the right balance of juice vs olive oil, you’ll know when you get it just right!

 

Signature

The Heat Is On!

The temperature is rising here in Chicago so lighter meals and salads are now on the menu.
This extremely delicious salad just screams summer! It’s fresh and bursting with healthy vibrant color, how could you resist?
Ribbons of yellow squash and green zucchini take center stage on a bed of mixed greens tossed in a light vinaigrette.
 The other components are, sliced mini heirloom tomatoes of various colors, red and orange pepper strips, purple onion,
peas and grilled corn, ( which I grilled inside) finished off with dots of creamy goat cheese and crunchy hazelnuts and a drizzle more vinaigrette.

Crispy bread and a tall iced tea and your set for the perfect summer meal, of course feel free to add in some grilled chicken for a little heartier fare, but I was totally satisfied.
There are no exact ingredients here just add in as much as you want, you can’t go wrong. I layered a platter with mixed greens to start. For mine I used 2 zucchini and 1 yellow squash, the ribbons were made with a vegetable peeler.  It was way too hot to go outside and grill so I put 2 ears of corn in the microwave for 5 minutes then threw them on my grill pan inside to give them a good char.

It looks beautiful spread out on a big platter because of all the colors, so keep this in mind for your July 4th cookout, it would work great as a side.

Stay Cool!

Signature