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Summer Vegetable Salad
1.Select vegetables that are firm, fresh and in season. Summer vegetables that are great for salads include green, yellow or red bell peppers, cucumbers, fresh corn, asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower, onions, beets, radishes, zucchini, squash, green beans and wax beans. Summer vegetables will vary according to your location.
2.Choose your favorite summer vegetables for a raw salad. For not-so-favorite vegetables, brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and grill them lightly to enhance the flavor. Don't over-grill the vegetables or they will be too soft for a summer salad.
3.Wash the selected summer vegetables and dry well. Cut the vegetables into bite sized pieces. If using raw onions, cut them into smaller pieces so they don't overwhelm the summer salad.
4.Cut dense vegetables into smaller pieces. Vegetables like carrots, beets, broccoli and cauliflower are dense and will be hard to chew if left in larger pieces.
5.Place the raw vegetables in a large salad bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss with your favorite vinaigrette dressing and allow the summer salad to marinate for at least an hour for a fuller flavor. If using grilled vegetables, allow them to cool before handling. Cut the grilled vegetables into larger pieces if they are softened. Toss with your favorite vinaigrette and allow to marinate.
6.Add extras to the summer vegetable salad before serving. Add walnuts or almonds, chopped hard-boiled eggs, cheese, sesame seeds or pine nuts for a more intense flavor.
7.Garnish the summer salad with sliced radishes, sliced red pepper, shredded carrots or fresh basil.
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