Coast Cooking

Try these cool salad ideas for the remaining hot days of summer

Olive and feta cheese give this salad a Mediterranean flair.
Olive and feta cheese give this salad a Mediterranean flair. Special to the Sun Herald

These remaining hot days of summer are the perfect time to add some cool salads to your menu.

To be honest, I’m not crazy about green salads, particularly of the iceberg lettuce variety, but there are plenty of other summertime vegetables from which to choose that are great in a salad.

Give the hot kitchen a break, visit the local farmers market, or the produce section of your favorite grocery store and load up.

Remember to buy fresh vegetables, and you can tell if they are fresh by how they smell. The vegetables will taste like they smell.

As a side note, you can now find some amazing olive oils from all over the Mediterranean in your favorite grocery stores.

Check out these recipes for some ideas on some excellent cool salads for the remaining days of this hot summer.

Mediterranean Style Salad

1-2 cups mix of green and black olives

1/4 cup finely sliced red onion

1/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper

2-3 pepperoncini per serving

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Best quality olive oil

1 peta bread per person

This is an easy salad to make. Combine the ingredients, mix well and chill. Use your judgment on how much olive oil to use. I like lots. Plate the peta, and garnish with the chilled salad. A pinch of coarse sea salt is an option.

Simple Tomato Sandwich

This may be a sandwich, but I’d serve it as a salad, well-chilled of course.

2-3 thick cut slices of red ripe tomato per person

1 thick slice dark or multi grain bread (in-store baked at most delis)

Homemade mayonnaise

Julienned basil

This salad goes together just as you would imagine, but let me tell you how to make the mayonnaise that should go with it. You will need an immersion blender and a cup (I use a Solo cup) or tall cylinder just slightly bigger in diameter than the blender.

Combine in the cup 1 whole egg, 1 cup oil (I live olive oil), 1 crushed garlic clove, 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

Place the immersion blended in the cup, all the way to the bottom, and turn on low. In something less than 30 seconds, you’ll have homemade mayonnaise.

Black Eyed Pea Salad

2 cups cooked black-eyed peas

1/3 cup whole sweet corn

1 cup diced tomato

1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

1/3 cup diced green bell pepper

Best quality olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Serve on croutons

This is another amazingly easy salad to prepare. Simply mix all the ingredients. Add as much olive oil as you like (and I like lots), then season. As always, taste and re-season as necessary.