Portable Summertime Salads

I love to make salads in the summer months and always appreciate when they travel well.  These are some of my favorite recipes to bring along to the beach, the boat or a friend’s bbq.  They can be made ahead and served fresh out of the cooler for a great compliment to any summertime meal.

Cold Tortellini Salad

This recipe has no portions because the amount of ingredients used are to your personal preference, but the combination of flavors is great.  Add some diced chicken breast to it and you have a dinner in a dish!
Pesto Sauce (homemade or store bought)
Marinated sun dried tomatoes
Black olives
Tri-colored tortellini, cooked and rinsed in cold water

Mix all ingredients and set overnight


Tuscan White Bean and Arugula Salad
A dear friend made this salad for lunch years ago, and has been a favorite of mine since.

Gently mix these ingredients together:
2 cans cannelloni or northern white beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup pimento, drained and chopped
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 cup firmly packed arugula leaves, finiely chopped
2 Tbs. chopped Italian parsley

Now make a Basil Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 1/2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. capers, drained
2 Tbsp. fresh basil
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
salt & pepper to taste

Run vinaigrette ingredients through a food processor until smooth.  Add vinaigrette to bean mixture and toss to combine.  Chill until ready to serve.  Can be served over a bed of greens or on it own.

Spiralized Zucchini Salad
I discovered this recipe recently after I purchased a spiralizer and it has since become my favorite recipe of the summer.  If you don’t have a spiralizer purchased zucchini ribbons or spirals work fine and make it even quicker to prepare.  If I’m traveling with this salad I drain and spin the zucchini ahead of time and bring it in a zip lock bag.  I package the dressing, cheese, nuts and basil in separate containers or zip locks and toss everything together at serving time.  I had never eaten zucchini raw before I discovered this dish and I find it to be a very refreshing summertime side dish.
3 zucchini, spiralized or ribbon cut
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. minced lemon zest
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp. extra virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1 1/2 tsp. honey
salt and peper to taste

1 cup torn fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Toss zucchini with salt in a strainer set over a bowl; let sit 20 minutes.  Rinse and dry in a salad spinner

Whisk together zest, lemon juice, oilive oil, garlic, honey, salt and pepper.   Toss with zucchini, basil, pecorino and pine nuts.  Serve immediately.

Chicken and Black-Eyed Pea Salad

This refreshing and healthy salad is a great way to use up leftover chicken and it can be thrown together quickly.
2 cans black-eyed peas, drained
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breasts
3/4 cup minced celery
3/4 cup minced sweet red pepper
1/2 cup green onions
1/3 cup minced cilantro
3 Tbsp. bottled low fat Italian dressing
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

Combine all ingredients and chill until ready to serve.

We feature salads in many of our adult classes, so be sure to check out our schedule regularly.  Classes are added the first week of every month and we are alway happy to take suggestions for menu ideas and new chefs.   If you enjoyed this article please consider sharing it with friends.