Published July 21st, 2010
Savor a Summer Salad
By Susie Iventosch

Farmers' markets are in full summer swing and these two salads are hearty enough to enjoy as a main course, but also chock-full of fresh seasonal fruits or veggies. The variety of produce varies from one market to another, so use your imagination to concoct your own version of these dishes. For example, I intended to use some beautiful yellow peaches I'd picked up at the market, but once cut, they did not seem to hold up nearly as well as the firmer nectarines, so I switched out the fruits before even writing up the recipe! I would also recommend doubling the candied nut recipe. They disappear quickly when left unattended!

Chopped Italian Salad
Photo Susie Iventosch

(Serves 4)
For a substantially filling "light" meal, this chopped Italian salad is a great way to go. Cubed Parmesan, salami, garbanzo beans and plenty of chopped veggies tossed in your favorite Italian dressing makes for a fun dinner at home, or a great dish to take on the road to your next potluck or picnic spot. Though there is a dressing recipe included here, a good bottled dressing is perfectly fine, too.

1 large head of Romaine lettuce, chopped
1 or 2 yellow, orange or red bell peppers, diced
One 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
11/2 cups of diced salami
1 cup Parano, or white cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cup Parmesan cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 large English cucumber, peeled and diced
1/2 cup marinated artichokes, drained and chopped (optional)
1 recipe Italian dressing (below)
In a large glass salad bowl, layer lettuce, artichoke hearts, garbanzo beans, cucumber, salami and cheeses. Toss with dressing and serve with bread or crackers.

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, finely sliced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients well.
Golden balsamic dressing
In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, mix the following ingredients and shake well:
1/4 cup golden balsamic vinegar (available in most markets in the
vinegar section)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
Salt to taste

Candied Nuts
1/4 cup walnut halves
1/4 cup pecan halves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar

In a frying pan, heat oil. Add nuts and cook over medium-high heat until just beginning to brown. Toss in spices and stir to coat over nuts. Add brown sugar, and continue to cook just until sugar is bubbly, stirring often. Remove from heat and cool. Break into smaller pieces and set aside until ready to toss salad.
Grilled Chicken Salad with fresh fruit, avocado, candied nuts and two cheeses
Photo Susie Iventosch

(Serves 4)
1-2 heads (depending on size) butter lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
(save some large leaves for lining the bowl)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and cut into small bites (grill
ahead of time and cool)
4 ounces bleu cheese, cut into cubes (if possible), or crumbled
4 ounces white cheddar or Dubliner, cut into small cubes
1 cup seedless green grapes, cut in half lengthwise
1 cup Queen Anne cherries, pitted and cut in half (My aunt always used a
hair pin to pit the cherries, but you can cut the cherry in half and pop the pit
out with your fingers, or use a cherry pitting gadget available at some
kitchen stores.)
2 nectarines, sliced
2 avocados, cubed
1/2 cup candied nuts (recipe below)
1 recipe golden balsamic dressing (recipe below)
To serve, line a large glass salad bowl with butter lettuce leaves. Place torn lettuce in bottom of bowl and arrange nectarine slices around edge of bowl. Toss remaining ingredients together in a separate bowl with dressing, and transfer into the salad bowl, surrounded by lettuce leaves and nectarines. Serve!

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