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Chef Lisa tosses fresh summer salad ideas

Lisa O’Connell of Sauce Anna Lisa joined us to share some of her favorite summer salad recipes.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — Lisa O’Connell of Sauce Anna Lisa joined us to share some of her favorite summer salad recipes.  

Whether you are looking for the perfect summer dish for your next gathering or just something healthy and vibrant for summer dinners, she’s got you covered with some fresh takes on ways to serve the greens.

Greens, beans and balsamic Mediterranean salad

  • 5 oz. mixed spring greens
  • 5 oz. arugula
  • 1 can white beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red onion (small) thinly sliced
  • 1 cucumber washed, chopped
  • ½ can olives, black or green drained
  • ½ cup fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped into small cubes.
  • For the dressing:
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey or agave nectar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large serving bowl add greens and toss to combine. Top with beans, tomatoes, olives, cucumber, walnuts, cheese and onions. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

In a small mixing bowl whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard honey. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Store dressing in refrigerator and just before serving, drizzle on top of salad, tossing to coat evenly. 

Arugula Orzo salad

  • 1 bag Arugula
  • 1 cup Orzo pasta
  • ½ cup black olives, chopped
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup ricotta cheese
  • For the dressing:
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon agave, honey or other sweetener
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 shallot, peeled, minced
  • Pinch of salt and pepper to taste

Prepare orzo as directed, drain and rinse. In a medium to large bowl toss cooled orzo in a bit of olive oil and set aside. 

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, honey, mustard and shallot, season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Add Arugula, olives, bell pepper, walnuts to orzo and drizzle with dressing, toss to coat evenly. Serve immediately with a small dollop of ricotta cheese on top of salad.

Italian Roasted Cauliflower Salad                      

  • 1 Head Cauliflower, washed, trimmed and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 Can Black Olives, drained
  • 1 Can Chickpeas, drained, rinsed
  • 1 Bunch Collard greens, washed, ends trimmed and chopped
  • 1 Sweet, white onion, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons Capers
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon crushed peppers
  • Olive Oil
  • Butter
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425. Line two cookie sheets with aluminum foil.  In a mixing bowl add cauliflower, chickpeas, and garlic. Pour in olive oil, sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly and pour onto baking sheets.   Bake until cauliflower is beginning to crisp and brown. 

While cauliflower and chickpeas are baking, in a large sauté pan over medium heat add olive oil and onion. Heat for 2-3 minutes or until onion begins to soften add in collards and heat over medium heat until wilted 5-7 minutes. Continue to add collards until all are combined and wilted. Add one tablespoon of butter along with capers, crushed peppers and olives, stir to combine. Remove cauliflower and chickpeas from oven and pour into a large serving bowl. Add collards mixture and toss to combine. Serve hot or warm as a vegetarian meal or nutrient dense side dish. 

Pickled vegetables

  • 2 carrots peeled
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 red onion
  • 8-10 radishes
  • ¼ cabbage
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar or sugar
  • 2 teaspoon salt, more to taste

Slice all vegetables thinly with a mandolin slicer, grater or sharp knife and place in a large glass bowl.

In a medium saucepan add vinegar, sweetener and salt. Heat over medium until sweetener is combined/dissolved. Add ½ cup cold water and allow cooling for a few minutes. Pour mixture over vegetables and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Can be served after 15-20 minutes or stored in refrigerator for up to a week.

These pickled vegetables are great for serving along grilled items such as pork or beef. Top any sandwich with a heaping spoonful or serve with tacos or on fresh fish. Pickled summer vegetables will brighten up almost any dish you serve this summer.