Bring on the salads

Wax Bean and Potato Salad (Provided photo — Yvona Fast)

Summer is time for picnics and salads.

At the first picnic I went to this summer, there were various potato salads, several macaroni and pasta salads and a few lettuce and spinach salads.

The next picnic had more interesting fare. There was tortellini salad with basil, tomato and mozzarella, a carrot salad, a fruit salad, a cucumber, tomato and feta salad, a salad with Riceroni and edamame beans, a taco salad and a chicken salad.

It only takes a little imagination to create interesting salads.

Picture it:

Garden fresh peas (picked yesterday) sauteed with garlic scapes and basil, in a pasta salad dressed with a light vinaigrette. Add salty ham if you wish. Or use a mayo-type dressing and add a little tuna. Serve on top of fresh local greens.

Potatoes, green and wax beans, green onion, garlic scapes, dill, olive oil, balsamic. Add ham, hard-cooked eggs, garbanzo beans, or ham for protein. Change the dressing to yogurt, mustard and mayo for a different version. Absolutely scrumptious.

What summer salad will your imagination create today with the veggies you brought from the farmers’ market?

Wax Bean and Potato Salad


About 4 or more small to medium red-skinned potatoes

1/2 teaspoon salt

About 1 quart beans (yellow, green or purple, or combination)

4 or 6 young carrots

1/2 bunch scallions

About 2 cups fresh greens (I used arugula; spinach or kale would also work)

1/2 bunch scallions (green and white parts)

2 or 3 small dill pickles (about 1 cup, diced)

About 2 Tablespoons fresh minced dill

About 2 Tablespoons fresh minced parsley

1 or 2 cups diced ham, optional

For the dressing:

1 Tablespoon plain yogurt

1 Tablespoon sour cream

1 Tablespoon mayonnaise

1/2 Tablespoon prepared mustard


Place potatoes and about 1 cup water and half a teaspoon of salt in saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer and cook 5 minutes. Stem the beans and cut in halves or thirds. Add to the potatoes and continue cooking 5 minutes longer. Scrub and slice the carrots and cook 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

While the veggies are cooking, tear the greens, slice the scallions, chop pickles, dill and parsley. Set aside.

Drain cooked vegetables and place in salad bowl. Add greens, scallions, pickles and herbs. Stir to combine.

In small bowl, combine yogurt, sour cream, mayonnaise and mustard. Fold into the salad.

Taste, and adjust seasoning if needed.

Serve warm or chilled.

Serves 2 or 3.

Note: This recipe is very flexible — use a little more or a little less of any ingredients, adapt to your taste. You can also use green beans in place of yellow. Omit the ham, or sub in hard-cooked eggs or a canned bean, like navy, kidney or garbanzo.

Berry and Fresh Greens Salad


1 small clove garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon honey

2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 Tablespoon plain yogurt

4 cups fresh mixed greens

1 peach

3/4 cup blueberries

2/3 cup red currants

1/2 cup raspberries

1 small sweet onion

2 Tablespoons chopped walnuts (for garnish)

A little crumbled goat cheese (optional)


Crush the garlic with salt, and combine with vinegar and honey in small bowl or cup. Whisk in the oil and sour cream with a fork.

Wash greens and tear into bite-sized pieces. Drain and combine with the dressing to coat evenly. Quarter the peach lengthwise, remove pits, then slice fairly thin. Peel the onion, quarter, and slice thinly. Stir berries, peach and onions into the greens; divide into four servings, and garnish each with half a tablespoon of chopped nuts and crumbled cheese, if using.

— — —

Author of the award-winning cookbook “Garden Gourmet: Fresh & Fabulous Meals from your Garden, CSA or Farmers’ Market,” Yvona Fast lives in Lake Clear and has two passions: cooking and writing. She can be found at www.yvonafast.com and reached at yvonawrite@yahoo.com or on Facebook at Words Are My World.


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