Sassy Salads and Chilled Soups



These sassy salads and chilled soups are delightful to serve for light summer fare. Mix and match to create varied menus, or pair with your favorite sandwich for a satisfying warm-weather meal!


 



Jicama and Spinach Salad

Makes 4 Servings

10 ounces baby spinach

1 jicama, peeled, and cut in strips

16 grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half

12 green or kalamata olives, chopped

8 teaspoons chopped walnuts

4 teaspoons raw or roasted sunflower seeds

4 tablespoons Maple-Mustard Salad Dressing (see below), plus more as needed

Divide the baby spinach among 4 salad plates. For each serving, top with one-quarter of the jicama strips, 8 tomato halves, and one-quarter of the chopped olives. Sprinkle each serving with 2 teaspoons walnuts and 1 teaspoon sunflower seeds. Drizzle one tablespoon of the dressing over each salad, plus more if desired. Serve immediately.


 

 

Spinach and Apple Salad with Maple-Mustard Dressing

MAKES 4 SERVINGS 

 

 

SALAD

8 cups lightly packed baby spinach

1 large apple, peeled and thinly sliced

3 tablespoons raisins

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

Sea salt, to taste (optional)

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

DRESSING

2 to 3 tablespoons maple syrup, plus more as needed

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, plus more as needed

2 small cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tablespoon water, plus more as needed

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Dash cayenne pepper

Put the spinach, apple slices, raisins, and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl.

Put all of the dressing ingredients in small bowl. Whisk briskly until combined. If dressing is too thick, add more water or maple syrup, 1 teaspoon at a time as needed, until the desired consistency is achieved. If dressing is too thin, add more Dijon, 1 teaspoon at a time as needed, until the desired consistency is achieved.

Pour the dressing over the spinach and toss gently to coat the leaves. Taste and add more dressing, salt, and pepper, if desired.

 


 

Chilled Avocado Soup
Makes 4 to 6 servings

 

 

2 small avocados

12 ounces soft regular or silken tofu, drained and cubed

1/4 sweet onion, chopped

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 small clove garlic, chopped

1 heaping teaspoon brown sugar or sucanat

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro

¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed

⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons filtered or spring water, plus more as needed

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Cilantro sprigs or chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

 Peel, pit, and chop the avocados.

Put the chopped avocados, tofu, onion, lemon juice, garlic, sugar, cilantro, salt, cayenne pepper, and 2 tablespoons water in a blender and process until creamy. If the soup is too thick, add more water, 2 tablespoons at a time, up to 1/2 cup, to achieve the desired consistency.

Transfer to a bowl. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours. About 30 minutes before serving, chill four small soup bowls or six demitasse cups.

To serve, ladle the soup into the chilled bowls. Garnish each serving with cilantro or parsley. Serve immediately.


 


Photo: Annie Oliverio

Cashew, Cucumber and Basil Soup

Makes 4 servings

 

3 cups peeled, seeded and chopped cucumbers

1 cup raw cashews

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons filtered or spring water, plus more as needed

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed

1 small clove garlic, minced

1½ tablespoons chopped fresh basil

4 sprigs fresh basil, for garnish

Put the cucumber, cashews, water, lemon juice, salt and garlic in a blender and process until smooth. If the soup is too thick, add more water to reach the desired consistency. Add the chopped basil and pulse five seconds more. Season with more salt, to taste. Transfer to a container, cover and refrigerate 3 to 4 hours. Serve well-chilled, in soup bowls, garnished with a basil sprig.