My Favorite Summer Lunch Salad

July 23, 2013

One of my absolute favorite foods is salad. As a kid I could eat a head of lettuce in two meals, and as adult my students have managed to peg me as vegetation (they mean vegetarian) every school year.

My absolute favorite time of year to eat salad though is obviously in the summer, all my favorite veggies are abundant and I can take home bags full from my parents house or on the occasion I get to visit my in-laws in Tennessee I bring home bags full from there too.

 It really pays to be related to men with green thumbs when you are a plant killer yourself.

I always say that I can keep it alive if it can feed and water itself, or make noise when it isn't watered. Hence, Ellie will push her dog food bowls around or stand in the middle of the mat and scratch like crazy until someone gets the point that she wants food.

If only my poor rosemary plant had the insight to knock on the door, it would be in much better shape.

For some reason this plant talk reminds me of the first year we were married, I was bound and determined to grow my own veggies. I planted seeds for cucumber, bell pepper, and a few herbs only to have them wither away. 

Except the herbs, they did okay. 

That is, until they were almost ready to pick and Maddie (our nutty dachshund who was a puppy at the time) decided to eat them all. She ate an entire dill plant as well as what would have been basil. 

My Dad and Pop's response, "I thought you could throw cucumber seeds in the yard and they'd grow? How on earth did you kill that!"

I'm telling you my propensity for killing plants is a gift, and it's exactly why nothing in this salad came from my house. 

The cucumbers came from my parent's house... where I once lived, but again, I didn't grow them. 

Keep in mind with this recipe, this is what I will eat for lunch for a week. I store everything separate and then toss together the day of. Also, remember the dressing from last week? This is what I put it on. 

My Favorite Summer Salad::
serves 6

2 cucumbers, quartered and sliced
1 bell pepper sliced, thin
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
4 carrots, shaved or cut thin
3 green onions, chopped
7 oz olives
1/2 pint grape tomatoes
1 avocado, scooped out and diced 
1 lemon
10oz baby spinach
16 oz chopped kale

Dressing ::

Directions :: 
Mix first 7 ingredients in a large Tupperware and store in the fridge. Scoop out and dice avocado, place in a small container and squeeze lemon on top. This will keep it from browning quickly. When ready to make a salad take a few good handfuls of kale and spinach and place in the bottom of a bowl, top with plenty of the veggie mix, a spoonful of avocado, and toss with Pear St. Salad Dressing

I also like to top this with grilled or rotisserie chicken. You could also use any other protein you like, during the school year I tend to replace the chicken with two hard boiled eggs for an easier to prep protein. 

What are some of your favorite summer veggies?