Grillin’ and Chillin’: Late Summer Salads

As a high school teacher, the end of the summer is both joyous and agonizing. As much as I want to thoroughly enjoy the dog days of summer, thoughts of lesson planning, waking up early, and being back to the daily grind are always on my mind. I had to make a conscious effort to slow down and enjoy each warm and sunny day, each lazy day I got to hang around the beach with the kids, and each time I returned from the garden with a basket full of the day’s harvest. Still-warm tomatoes and squash, crispy peas and beans, ears of corn grown straight from the kernel…these were definitely moments to cherish and enjoy! Here are a few recipes to enjoy while the days are still long and evenings are best spent sipping a beer and grilling up something fresh and delicious for dinner.

Grilled Watermelon, Basil, and Mozzarella Salad

To begin, cube 2 cups of watermelon and place onto skewers. Season each skewer with a sprinkle of sea salt and a few twists of freshly cracked pepper. Grill about 2-3 minutes on two sides, remove watermelon from skewers, then toss with 1 cup of fresh basil leaves and 1 cup cubed mozzarella. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve.

Grilled Tomato and Artichoke Salad

In a small bowl, toss about 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes in 2 tablespoons olive oil with sea salt and salt and pepper. Place tomatoes on skewers and grill for about 3-5 minutes, rolling frequently.  Remove tomatoes from skewers and toss with 6 oz. jar of artichoke hearts, I can of white kidney beans, and 2 cups of fresh spinach. Top with 1 tablespoon of fresh oregano and thyme and enjoy!

Grilled Street Corn (not a salad, but sooo darn good!)

As delicious as street corn may be, it can be pretty messy to prepare. It is best to begin by lining 6 ears of corn on a baking sheet. Next, mix 4 tablespoons of olive oil, ½ teaspoon ancho, and 1 teaspoon garlic in a small bowl. Pour mixture over the ears of corn and roll each around so that the entire ear is seasoned. Place corn on grill, routinely rolling each ear. Cook corn for about 8-10 minutes and remove from grill. Serve with wedges of lime.

Roasted Corn

 

I firmly believe that everything tastes better grilled and with bread, so I suggest you think about serving your summer salads with slices of grilled baguette. Simply slice on the bias, brush each side with a bit of olive oil, and grill until char marks are visible, about 2-3 minutes each side.

Remember to savor the flavor of garden fresh produce and the calm of warm, summer evenings while you can!

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About Becky Jha

Born and raised in rural Connecticut , Becky DeMattia-Jha attended Salve Regina University in Newport, RI, and has her M.Ed. She has been teaching high school English for 15 years and currently resides in Massachusetts with her husband, their two children, and their German Shepherd. She spends her precious summer vacations indulging in passions other than literature: serving as a lactation peer coach, practicing herbal medicine, organic gardening, making natural cleansers and cosmetics, and preparing quick and easy organic recipes for her family. She hopes to share her efficient, chemical-free, eco-conscious, frugal, and simplistic homemaking and homesteading tips with you.

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