Tuesday Open Thread ~ Summer Salads


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“August is like the Sunday of summer. ~ Anonymous
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Good Morning!

Welcome to Tuesday's Open Thread. As we near the end of summer, here's hoping you all had a chance to dip your toes in the ocean, or sit by a cool lake under the shade of a tall cypress, or enjoy a memorable picnic with friends and family. This was definitely the season for it. Not only did I take advantage of living so close to Southern California's beautiful coast line this summer, I indulged myself in some of the freshest, sweetest, juiciest watermelons, peaches, and plums I can remember eating since I was a kid. So, today, I’d like to share two recipes highlighting a bountiful season of fresh fruit and produce!

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Forget the Iceberg Lettuce and Tomatoes

Salads aren’t what they used to be. Nowadays we fuse lots of different flavors and foods in our salads from root vegetables to tropical fruits. While I can’t speak to the traditional meat and potato eaters who don’t consider a salad a meal, for those of you who are looking to eat on the lighter side, this salad is delightfully flavorful and easy to put together. I usually have a rotisserie chicken in my fridge for salads, and avocados in my fruit bowl, so all I really had to buy were the mangos. Easy enough. A few steps later, and voila! A fusion salad with lots of flavor. For extra texture, you can add rice noodles on top. Bon Appétit.

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Chicken, Mango & Avocado Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

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Ingredients:

The Salad
2 Avocados
2 cups of roasted chicken
2 mangos
2 – 5 ounce bags of organic baby lettuce mix (or romaine lettuce)

The Dressing
TJ’s Spicy Peanut Dressing
TJ’s Garlic Dip
1 Tablespoon of Peanut Butter

Instructions:

  1. Pour ½ cup of peanut dressing in large measuring cup
  2. Add 1 Tbl. of Peanut Butter
  3. Add 2 Tbl. of Garlic Dip
  4. Mix well until all ingredients are blended and set aside
  5. In a large mixing bowl add lettuce, sliced mango, avocado, and chicken
  6. Pour peanut dressing over salad, mix and plate

Serves 4

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My Mother’s Tuna Salad

I grew up on homemade mayonnaise. Something I’m sure my Father taught my Mother how to do, and once she learned how to make it, she never went back. As you might imagine, store bought mayonnaise really can't compete in the flavor department with homemade mayonnaise. And for those of who might be intimidated by the thought of making mayonnaise, fret not. It’s so much easier than you could possibly imagine. So, today, we are making my Mother’s Tuna Salad with her homemade mayonnaise. Prepare to be amazed and delighted!

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Tuna Salad with Dill and Homemade Mayonnaise

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Ingredients:

Homemade Mayonnaise
1 Egg
1 Egg Yolk
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
½ teaspoons of salt
2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon of sugar
1 cup grapeseed oil

Tuna Salad
2 – 5 ounce cans of tuna in water
4 tablespoons of homemade mayonnaise
1 tablespoon of TJ’s garlic dip
3 teaspoons of prepared horseradish
1 large celery stalk, or 2 small celery stalks, diced small
2 green onions finely chopped
4 teaspoons of fresh dill
Salt and Pepper to taste
Endive Lettuce (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Add all the ingredients for mayonnaise in large mason jar, or a tall mixing glass where you can fit a hand blender
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    image_17.jpg
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  3. Begin at a slow speed holding the blender straight until mixture begins to blend
  4. Keep hand blender still until ingredients are blended
  5. When ingredients are blended slowly move hand blender up and down until mayo is thick and has volume
  6. Store in sealed container and refrigerate (will be good for up to a week)
  7. ~

    pro tip chef hat2.jpg Here’s a video showing you the method described above for making mayonnaise:

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  8. Once the mayo is made, drain tuna well and place in large mixing bowl
  9. Add mayonnaise, garlic dip, horseradish, celery, green onions, dill, salt & pepper, and mix together until everything is coated
  10. Tear off endive leaves and place a spoonful of tuna salad in each one
  11. Plate and serve

Serves 4

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And Now for Something Different...

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Well, that about wraps things up for this week's edition.
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Enjoy the rest of your summer!
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Anja Geitz's picture

Anyone in the Midwest do some firefly gazing this summer?

image_19.jpg
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Play me another broken record Joe. Maybe then I'll learn why we pay twice as much for healthcare as everybody else in the world. ~ Not Henry Kissinger

lotlizard's picture

@Anja Geitz  
Or as I tend to call ’em, glow-worms.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@lotlizard

When I lived in Kansas City for a brief time, they used to call their fireflies "katydids". Glow worms works for me too though Smile

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Play me another broken record Joe. Maybe then I'll learn why we pay twice as much for healthcare as everybody else in the world. ~ Not Henry Kissinger

@Anja Geitz

I've been trying to capture a little video or snap a decent picture of them in the yard (I'm in the Ohio Valley) but of course the light is always scant when they're about and my photog skills are...rudimentary. They put on a nice evening show, though.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@Reverend Jane Ignatowski

They do indeed Smile

I grew up in Southern California where I had never seen a firefly. It wasn't until I found myself in Kansas City that I witnessed that impressive light show. Quite magical. Like little fairies dancing in the woods.

If you ever do manage to catch them on film, I hope you post a picture here!

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Play me another broken record Joe. Maybe then I'll learn why we pay twice as much for healthcare as everybody else in the world. ~ Not Henry Kissinger

QMS's picture

here this year! Our salads tend to reflect the ripening of the various veggies. Tomatoes and corn are copious just now. Squash, cukes and zukes. Add white beans and dress with some tang.

Thanks for the appetizing thread foodie gal!

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Listen to your higher mind.

Anja Geitz's picture

@QMS

Squash, cukes, and zukes! I think you've got some great lyrics there for a nice little produce ditty.

Good to see you sailor man Smile

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Play me another broken record Joe. Maybe then I'll learn why we pay twice as much for healthcare as everybody else in the world. ~ Not Henry Kissinger

Salads are my favorite part of meals or the entire meal itself. Mangos are a favorite in salads and while the apricot tree in front of condo was producing, it was a bed of arugula with apricots and fresh tomatoes. Tuna recipe sounds interesting.

When I was visiting friends in Lexington, Kentucky in June, the field across the street from their house was lit up by the lightning bugs. A real treat!
Thanks as always for the open thread and wonderful recipes.

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Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

Anja Geitz's picture

@jakkalbessie

Apricots? What a wonderful idea. I used to put mandarin oranges in my salads with a balsamic vinaigrette. But I like your idea much better. What dressing do you like to use for them?

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Play me another broken record Joe. Maybe then I'll learn why we pay twice as much for healthcare as everybody else in the world. ~ Not Henry Kissinger

@Anja Geitz A creamy balsamic. This is currently my go to dressing.

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Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

Anja Geitz's picture

@jakkalbessie

Store bought, or do you make it yourself?

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Play me another broken record Joe. Maybe then I'll learn why we pay twice as much for healthcare as everybody else in the world. ~ Not Henry Kissinger

@Anja Geitz Cindy's kitchen. Can be found at whole foods and central market(Texas based HEB) maybe will learn to make myself.

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Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

Anja Geitz's picture

@jakkalbessie

I'll check it out.

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Play me another broken record Joe. Maybe then I'll learn why we pay twice as much for healthcare as everybody else in the world. ~ Not Henry Kissinger

Azazello's picture

I grew up on Best Foods/Hellman's but I like TJ's better and it's cheaper.
Sometimes I press a clove of garlic into the mayo to make sort of a cheater aioli.
I'll do that tonight for my Salade Nicoise. That's the classic tuna salad. I use a good European canned tuna, Cento or Genova, packed in olive oil.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@Azazello

European canned tuna is quite delicious. In fact when I was living in Italy, it was good enough to use in my pasta. Where do you purchase European canned tuna here in the States?

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Play me another broken record Joe. Maybe then I'll learn why we pay twice as much for healthcare as everybody else in the world. ~ Not Henry Kissinger

Azazello's picture

@Anja Geitz
here in Tucson, Roma Imports, but a lot of supermarkets carry it too.
It's expensive but much better than StarKist or whatever.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@Azazello

Yes, it's much better than the tuna we have here. Speaking of which, the captain of our store is an avid fisherman. Recently he caught a large yellowfin and made poke with it and brought it into the store for us to eat. Mouthwateringly delicious.

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Play me another broken record Joe. Maybe then I'll learn why we pay twice as much for healthcare as everybody else in the world. ~ Not Henry Kissinger

Daenerys's picture

Afternoon Anja, We made this salad yesterday: https://www.crazyforcrust.com/easy-corn-salad-recipe/ We swapped the jalapeno with a poblano from our garden; that's as high as hubby's heat tolerance goes. And only used one avocado (we're millennials, but I don't like avocado THAT much :-P). I accidentally doubled the honey, and I might cut back on the olive oil next time, but it's pretty good after marinating in the fridge for ~24 hours. We're going to make salsa with our poblanos soon too. I'd definitely try making my own mayonnaise. You can use olive oil in it as well, yes?

We've seen a few fireflies around here, but never more than one or two at a time. I can't imagine seeing hundreds.

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This shit is bananas.

Anja Geitz's picture

@Daenerys

Your corn salad looks yummy, although I too am a bit of a wimp when it comes to spicy foods. Smile

I wouldn't recommend using olive oil for homemade mayonnaise. Depending on strength of flavor, olive oil can leave a bitter aftertaste when used in mayonnaise. Oddly enough, the same goes for avocado oil.

I would recommend using Safflower, sunflower, or grapeseed oil. They are all more neutral in flavor.

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Play me another broken record Joe. Maybe then I'll learn why we pay twice as much for healthcare as everybody else in the world. ~ Not Henry Kissinger

janis b's picture

Thanks for the lightness of spirit and cuisine. Mango season in Florida has just come to an end, but will just begin as I return home ... yum.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@janis b

Good to see you. I imagine it was pretty warm this year in Florida? What part of Florida do you visit?

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Play me another broken record Joe. Maybe then I'll learn why we pay twice as much for healthcare as everybody else in the world. ~ Not Henry Kissinger

janis b's picture

@Anja Geitz

where my mom lives, and family from various other locations meet.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@janis b

Specifically, Sarasota, Orlando, South Beach, Miami, and Key West. Enjoyed it in the winter months but found it challenging during the summer. Having grown up swimming in the cool Pacific Ocean, I could never get used to the warm gulf waters of Florida's beaches in the summer.

But the snorkeling near a Key West was absolutely amazing!!!

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Play me another broken record Joe. Maybe then I'll learn why we pay twice as much for healthcare as everybody else in the world. ~ Not Henry Kissinger

janis b's picture

@Anja Geitz

I can imagine the snorkeling in Key West was amazing. It's so close to the clear waters and white sandy bottoms of the Caribbean.

The only two swims I've had in the ocean here during this very hot summer were in remarkably refreshing temperatures. I think it probably had to do with the amount of fresh water that fell in the form of rain.

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