Heavyweight salads

Summer living is filled with salads and other light fare, but it doesn’t have to be boring. Try these tasty options.

Arugala Salad 370 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Arugala Salad 370
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Arugula Salad with Sweet Peaches and Crunchy Nuts
Serves 6 small portions (can be doubled)
This summer salad includes spicy arugula lettuce, sweet peaches and salty pistachios. It is an interesting flavor combination that really works well on a warm day. The dressing includes a jalapeno pepper, which is spicy, but it can be omitted.
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and membrane removed, thinly sliced (optional)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2-1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 under ripe medium peaches, very thinly sliced
1 small jicama, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks
3/4 cup shelled, salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
3 cups baby arugula
In a large bowl, combine the shallot, jalapeno, sugar and vinegar and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the peaches, jicama and pistachios, and toss well. Fold in the arugula and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Quinoa, Garbanzo, and Spinach Salad with Smoky Dressing
This is colorful and easy to make. The smoked paprika gives it a smoky and unusual flavor.
1-1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed, drained
4 cups (packed) baby spinach leaves
2 (15- to 16-ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained
1-3/4 cups unpeeled English cucumbers, cut into 1/3 inch cubes
1 (1-pint) container multicolored baby heirloom tomatoes, halved (2 1/2 cups) or regular grape tomatoes
1 cup (packed) fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2-1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 cup olive oil
Quinoa Salad (Courtesy)Quinoa Salad (Courtesy)
Place quinoa in large saucepan; add enough salted water to cover quinoa by 1 inch. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until quinoa is tender, 15 to 16 minutes. Drain. Chill until cool.
Meanwhile, combine spinach leaves, garbanzos, cubed cucumber, halved tomatoes, and mint leaves in extra-large bowl. Add cooled quinoa and toss gently to blend.
Whisk vinegar and smoked paprika in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat.

Spinach and Beet Salad with Balsamic Dressing
2 (6 ounce) bags baby spinach
2 red beets, peeled and diced
2 yellow beets, peeled and diced
1 (14 ounce) can hearts of palm, sliced
2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
¼ cup toasted slivered almonds
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2/3 cup olive oil
Spinach and Beet Salad (Courtesy)Spinach and Beet Salad (Courtesy)
To roast beets:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In separate pans, toss beets with about ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until caramelized – about 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.  Leave to cool.
To prepare dressing: 
Mix together vinegar, garlic, mustard, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Whisk in olive oil.
To assemble:
In a large bowl, combine spinach, beets, hearts of palm, cucumbers and almonds. Toss to coat with dressing. Serve immediately.
These recipes were brought to you by gourmetkoshercooking.com.