With the summer heat in full force here in Northern California, we know that everyone wants to stay cool and comfortable, especially after a day in the sun. Forget turning on the oven to make a gourmet meal, summer calls for dishes that are fresh, cool and easy to make. Enjoy a refreshing summer salad made with fruits and vegetables from the local farmer’s markets, finished off with a cool treat for dessert to make for the perfect summer pairing.
Seasonal, Summer Salads and a Cool, Sweet Treat Make the Perfect Summer Pairing!
Below, you will find a variety of salads that use fresh ingredients in addition to olive oils and balsamics for the utmost flavor. These salads are easy and quick to make, so you can spend as much time as possible cooling off in the pool or relaxing with a book after a long day at work. Even better, these recipes can all be prepared without using the oven or stove so you won’t heat up your house to enjoy them! Well, except for the sweet treat at the end, which requires both the oven and stove. We recommend making this ahead of time, in the morning, before the temperatures begin to rise.
Additionally, each recipe is vegetarian friendly, but a grilled chicken or steak accompanies each salad nicely to make a protein-rich meal. Later, for dessert (or even an afternoon snack!), treat yourself to a fruity, creamy popsicle for a special sweet treat. Good luck staying cool in this heat, and happy eating!
Black Bean Succotash
Courtesy of Brittany, eatingbirdfood.com
- 16 oz sweet corn, either fresh off the cob or a bag of frozen defrosted (we won’t tell!)
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
- ½ large red onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons Pairings’ Traditional Balsamic
- 3 tablespoons parsley leaves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon Pairings’ Basil Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Combine the veggies and beans in a large bowl. Add the parsley, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Best served cold or at room temperature.
Pro Tip: We carry a variety of olive oils, vinegars and even salts at Pairings! If you want to mix it up come on in and ask Deb to help you pick out the best products for this yummy recipe.
Strawberry Spinach Salad
Courtesy of Donna Elick, theslowroasteditalian.com
- ½ cup candied pecans
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ cup Pairings’ Eureka Lemon Fused Olive Oil
- ¼ cup Pairings’ Premium White Balsamic
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 10 ounces fresh baby spinach (rinsed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces)
- ¼ small red onion, sliced
- 1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
- ½ cup fresh blueberries
- ½ avocado, cut into bite sized pieces
- 5 ounces blue cheese crumbles
In a pint size mason jar combine the sugar, olive oil, vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic, salt, pepper and paprika to make the salad dressing. Seal the mason jar and shake until the ingredients are well combined. In a large bowl combine the spinach, onions, strawberries and blueberries. Pour about 1/2 of dressing over salad, and toss. Top the salad with avocado, cheese and candied nuts. Serve remaining dressing on the side. Refrigerate for 15 minutes before serving or serve immediately.
Pro Tip: In our shoppe, we carry a variety of infused olive oils and balsamic. Ask Deb to help you make the salad dressing your own signature blend with our top notch ingredients.
Balsamic Strawberry Cream Pop
Courtesy of Aja & Bianca Shanahan, thedesignfiles.net
- 280 grams strawberries
- 2 tablespoons Pairings’ Fig Balsamic
- 360 milliliters simple syrup
- 80 grams mascarpone cheese
- 40 grams cream
- 1 cup raw sugar
- 2 cups water
You Will Need:
- 10 individual popsicle molds at 85 ml. each
If you don’t have any simple syrup on hand, you can boil 1 cup of sugar in 2 cups of water until the sugar dissolves, and leave to cool. This makes plenty of syrup and not all will be used in this recipe. Store additional syrup in the fridge for the next time you make popsicles!
Roasting the strawberries brings out a sophisticated jam-like quality, but if you’re just not feeling turning on that oven, feel free to roast in a foil tray in the BBQ or even use fresh strawberries for a chunkier popsicle!
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the tops off the strawberries and place in a small roasting dish. Pour the balsamic vinegar in and toss the strawberries well so they are coated with the vinegar. Place in oven and roast for 1 hour, or until very soft and tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once cool, put strawberries and any roasting juices, plus 280 ml. of the sugar syrup and 1 tablespoon of water into a blender and puree until smooth. Combine the mascarpone, cream and remaining sugar syrup until well combined and smooth. Pour about a tablespoon into each mold and place into freezer. Once the mascarpone tip is frozen, pour in the strawberry mixture to the top of the mold. Insert stick and freeze overnight or until rock solid. To remove the pops from the molds, quickly immerse the molds into a bowl of warm water to help release.
Pro Tip: For a sweeter flavor than the Fig Balsamic, mix it up or add more of an intense flavor with a berry infused balsamics like our Aged Strawberry Balsamic or All Natural Aged Blueberry Balsamic.
Stop by our shoppe today to buy a variety of olive oils and balsamics for you to make a perfect summer pairing! (We know we want to try that popsicle right now!) Or, shop online and have these quality products delivered straight to your door.