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Salads are a delicious option for a lighter main dish to enjoy at lunch or dinner. The following salads may also make a great side dish to accompany grilled chicken or fish.
Orzo Salad with Squash and Zucchini
1 package (16 ounces) orzo pasta
2 small yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
1 medium red onion, quartered
8 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon Greek sea salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1-1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
Cook orzo according to package directions; drain. Brush yellow squash, zucchini and onion with 2 tablespoons oil; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Grill vegetables, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from heat 10-12 minutes or until lightly charred and tender, turning once. Cool slightly. Cut into 1-in. pieces. In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice and remaining oil until blended. In a large bowl, combine orzo, grilled vegetables, mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and remaining salt and pepper. Add dressing; toss to coat. Sprinkle with pine nuts.
Potato, Artichoke, Asparagus Salad with Herbs
4-5 small to medium Yukon Gold potatoes
1 pound asparagus
1 small to medium red onion, chopped
1/4 cup Greek extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon Greek sea salt
1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, thyme, or marjoram
Rinse the potatoes in cool water and place then in a large deep pot with enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, add a pinch of salt, and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer until the potatoes are tender and a knife, fork or skewer pokes through without resistance. Drain and set aside to cool slightly before chopping into bite-sized pieces and placing in a large salad bowl. Prepare the artichokes by removing the outer leaves and cutting off the thorny end. Rub with lemon and place in a large deep pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, add a pinch of salt, and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer until the artichokes are tender and a leaf is easily plucked. Cut the cooked artichokes into quarters and remove the choke. Add the artichokes to the potatoes in the salad bowl. Steam the asparagus just until their color turns a bright green, and add to the salad along with the chopped red onion. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the Greek extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, sea salt, freshly ground pepper, parsley, and oregano, thyme, or marjoram. Add the dressing to the salad and toss to coat. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing
For the tahini dressing:
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons lemon
2 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil
Greek sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
For the salad:
4 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 small to medium red onion, diced
4 radishes, sliced
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
In a salad bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the tahini dressing, adding a little water, if needed, to thin out the dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, onion, radishes, parsley and slivered almonds and toss to coat in the dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning as preferred. Serve immediately.
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