Stirring the Pot with Scarlett
Summer Salads

Here’s to summer!

I hope you and your family come to enjoy these as much as my family has.

If you’re like me, you are ready for summer barbeques, picnics, and cool summer salads. Whether they are lettuce, pasta, or fruit, they are great for a quick meal, snack, or side dish after a long hot day!

 

This month, I have included salads our family has been making for years. Your mother probably made macaroni salad years ago, and you have forgotten about it. It is an oldie but goodie! Mom’s Macaroni Salad has been around forever. It’s easy, and most of the time you have all the ingredients on hand.

I like to make the artichoke pasta salad because it is one salad that doesn’t have onions! Most of us in our family like onions, but there are a few who don’t so this makes them happy!

Grape salad: Some call it a dessert. Either way, it is cool and refreshing, and all of the grandkids fight over any leftovers.

Never be scared to make a recipe your own. As always, you can add or take away anything you want from any of these recipes. For Mom’s Macaroni Salad, if you don’t like celery, leave it out; or if you don’t have ham try adding chicken, or don’t add any meat at all. With the artichoke pasta salad, you could add onions or even cucumbers. Whatever you like! With the grape salad, I will use different kinds of grapes (only when they are on sale, of course!). It just makes it extra pretty. You could also try using yogurt instead of sour cream for a lighter fare.


ARTICHOKE PASTA SALAD 

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 large jars marinated artichoke hearts
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 box cooked pasta
  • 2 cups thinly sliced fresh spinach
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/4-1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Salt to taste

 

PREPARATION

Dressing

Drain the 2 jars of artichokes (saving 2 tablespoons of the liquid). Combine the artichoke hearts, the 2 tablespoons of artichoke liquid, olive oil, water, lemon juice, oregano, pepper, and garlic in a blender or food processor. Process until blended (just a couple pulses). Set aside. It will be a little chunky.

Salad

Cut the remaining jar of drained artichokes in half. Combine the artichokes, pasta, spinach, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Pour dressing over salad, tossing well to coat. Chill for a couple hours. Sprinkle with feta cheese before serving.


MOM’S MACARONI SALAD

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 box pasta cooked as directed
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 stalk celery cut into small pieces
  • 1.5 cup chopped baked ham
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (might need a little more)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

PREPARATION

In a large bowl, toss all ingredients together, adding more mayonnaise if needed. Chill until ready to serve.


GRAPE SALAD  

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 lbs. green and red grapes, washed with stems removed
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

PREPARATION

With a mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugars and vanilla and mix well. Add sour cream and mix well. Add pecans and grapes, and fold till grapes are coated. Chill until ready to serve.


CREAMY CUCUMBER SUMMER SALAD  

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups cucumbers (peeled, thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup red onion (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh dill
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

 

PREPARATION

Combine sour cream, white vinegar, minced fresh dill, sugar, salt, and garlic powder. Stir until combined. Add cucumbers and sliced red onion. Stir to combine; cover and chill at least 2 hours.