Sunday, August 15, 2010

Summer salads

Ahh another weekend in the books.  This weekend was full of fun summer bbq's with good friends.   I used these opportunities to share some new salad recipes I recently acquired.

Caramel Apple Deconstructed

I'll start with a yummy caramel apple salad that I got a few weeks ago from my mom. She had it at a bbq and was able to snag the recipe.  I would say it's more of a dessert than a side dish since it's pretty sweet. The best part is that I was able to whip it up super quick! What's even better is that I didn't feel a bit guilty while eating a big bowl full. :)

I have made the caramel apple salad using Lite Cool Whip and Fat Free Cool Whip.  I couldn't really tell a difference, but when I made it with Fat Free Cool Whip I only added 1 1/2 cups since I wanted the caramel taste to come through stronger.   I think next time I might chop up a chocolate bar on top. Yummo! Nothing gets better than caramel & chocolate in my book!  One more thing, I used a combination of granny smith and fuji apples.  I thought the tartness of the granny smith apples complemented the overall sweetness of the 'salad' very well.

Needless to say, everyone approved of this salad, well everyone except my husband, but that's because he's not a big fruit kind of guy.  Put some bbq pulled pork in front of him and he's in heaven. I'll get to the bbq pulled pork that has dubbed me the title 'pit meister' another time just to keep you salivating!

Orzo smorzo, but oh so good!
I never know what to do with orzo.  Why use rice shaped pasta when you could just make rice?!  However, I have to say that rice probably wouldn't taste very good in this summer salad that I got from a friend, Lauren Schenke.  It was fantastic and my good friend and Aaron's Godmother, Erica, gave it "two thumbs up".   The picture below just doesn't to it justice.  One of these years I'll get a fancy SLR camera, but for now I have to maximize the functionality of my little point and shoot.

The heirloom tomatoes I got from the farmers market worked out great in this salad since they were firm enough that they didn't squish all over the place.  I used fresh raw corn, but realized after making the salad that I was probably supposed to cook it first.  Oh well, regardless it tasted great!

By the way, if you're ever looking for good recipes, go to to find all those fantastic recipes published in Cooking Light, Southern Living, Sunset, and others.  It's the first place I go for new recipes. No subscription or registration needed!

Orzo Salad with Corn, Tomatoes, & Basil (recipe link)
Cooking Light, JULY 2001

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)


  • 2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil
  • 1  teaspoon  red wine vinegar
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 3  garlic cloves, crushed

  • SALAD:
  • 1  cup  uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
  • 2  cups  fresh yellow corn kernels (about 4 ears)
  • 2  cups  chopped tomato
  • 1/2  cup  vertically sliced red onion
  • 1/4  cup  finely chopped fresh basil


To prepare dressing, combine first 6 ingredients in a jar; cover tightly, and shake vigorously.
To prepare salad, cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain, and place in a large bowl. Spoon half of dressing over pasta; toss to coat. Cool to room temperature. Add the remaining dressing, corn, tomato, onion, and basil to pasta; toss to coat. Let stand 30 minutes.

Nutritional Information

312 (16% from fat)
5.4g (sat 0.8g,mono 3g,poly 1.2g)
Cooking Light, JULY 2001

1 comment:

  1. I love this refreshing salad. I had only one ear of fresh corn this time, so I made up the difference with baby frozen peas, running them under water until mostly thawed. This was really good.