Summer salad days

 In Opinion

Summer seems to be flying by! I have been laid up for a while due to knee replacement surgery so you may not have seen me much around Creemore lately. I can now manage stumping around quite well and so have been slowly getting back into the swing of my usual activities, especially those food related. Having been a bit house bound over June and July, it will be good to get back to the Saturday morning farmers’ market once more, as well as stroll along Mill Street and catch up with friends! 

I have grown various herbs on my back deck for many years, such as rosemary, chives, thyme and Italian parsley. This year I decided to throw a few lettuces into the mix. I don’t know if it was the weather we’ve had or what, but I have had a bumper crop of salad greens for some time now (with little to no bugs) and not that much attention on my part, aside from diligently watering on a regular basis. Sometimes gardening with benign neglect works out!

While we like to eat as many fresh greens as we can during the peak summer season, a plain green salad can get a bit boring at times. There are all sorts of ways to it jazz up a bit, and this recipe has become one of our favourite summer go to meals. Try this interesting dinner salad that is good as your main with a slice of homemade garlic bread, or serve it as a side dish to accompany some of your favourite barbequed meats. As an added bonus, you can serve it warm or cold. It is also pretty kid friendly too, as I’ve met few children who don’t like simple cheese filled pasta!

Feedback is great and I would love to hear from you. Just email me at [email protected] Until next time, eat well, live well….

Lemony Chicken & Pasta Summer Salad 

Serves 4 as a side dish/2 as dinner

Cooked and shredded chicken breast meat (1 breast per person)

1 package tri-colour cheese tortellini

2 large garlic cloves, minced

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon liquid honey

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 cups of salad greens – a combination of arugula, butter lettuce and red leaf lettuce is nice

¼ cup shaved parmesan (grated will also do)

To prepare the vinaigrette and let the flavours meld, whisk together garlic, salt, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, honey and black pepper in a small bowl. Let sit until you are ready to dress the salad.

For the chicken, you can either roast or barbeque your own or use a store bought rotisserie bird. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the tortellini as per package instructions then drain and set aside in colander.

In a large salad bowl, toss the shredded chicken, cooked tortellini and vinaigrette together with the salad greens until well blended. Serve topped with shaved parmesan – can be served slightly warm or cold.

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