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Barbecue Secrets

Recipes of the Week: Three Great Summer Salads

Jul 15, 2011

Even though it's not much of a summer so far here in the West, and the growing season is extraordinarily late, we're getting into the best time of year for fresh fruit and veggies. Serve any or all of these great summer salads along whatever you've got coming off the grill, and even if you can't see the sun, you'll surely taste it!

Tomatoes in Paradise

Makes 4 servings

Two words: simple and sensational. 

3 Tbsp | 45 mL extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp | 15 mL lemon juice

1 tsp | 5 mL Dijon mustard

1 clove finely chopped or pressed garlic

1 Tbsp | 15 mL chopped fresh herbs (mint, basil, rosemary, etc.)

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 exceptional tomatoes, cut into quarters

1/2 cup | 125 mL chopped red onion

1 cup | 250 mL kalamata or other Mediterranean olives

Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, and herbs in a salad bowl. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. Add the other ingredients and toss them together gently. Let the tomatoes stand for half an hour at room temperature, then serve.


Tidewater Coleslaw

Makes 8–10 servings

My dear friend and fellow Butt Shredder Kathy Richardier discovered this slaw many years ago and I have substituted my favorite toasted cumin seeds for the celery seeds in the original recipe. This pungent, high-sugar slaw is best as a condiment, piled high on top of a pulled pork sandwich or burger, or on the side of a few slices of barbecued brisket.

11/2 cups | 375 mL mayonnaise

1/2 cup | 125 mL white vinegar

1/3 cup | 75 mL white sugar

1 Tbsp | 15 mL toasted cumin seeds (cumin seeds are easy to toast - just toss them in a frying pan over medium heat for a minute, stirring or shaking constantly until the seeds just start to darken in color)

1 small head cabbage, finely shredded

2 carrots, peeled and finely grated

Whisk the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and cumin together in a bowl. Toss it with the cabbage and carrots and refrigerate it. You can make this slaw a few hours ahead of time. Toss it just before serving to redistribute the dressing.


Watermelon Salad

Makes 4 servings

This lovely summer salad, created by my friend Michele Allaire, is as refreshing as it sounds.

1/2 watermelon, rind removed and flesh cut into 1-inch | 2.5 cm chunks

1/2 lb | 250 g feta cheese, cut into small chunks

2 Tbsp | 30 mL lemon juice

3 Tbsp | 45 mL olive oil

freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp| 15 mL finely chopped fresh mint (optional)

Place the watermelon chunks in a salad bowl. Add the feta cheese. In a separate bowl, mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, and a grinding of black pepper. Add the dressing and the chopped mint at the last minute, just before serving.