Summer Salad Recipes

Tina Miller's herbed potato salad. — Photo by Alison Shaw

Summer’s finally here, and after a very long winter (and spring.) spent warming ourselves and our food over hot stoves, it’s pretty nice to look forward to cool dishes we don’t have to cook. These are all great salads to make for company on the Vineyard. They can accompany anything — barbeque, luncheons, dinner for your family or just a treat for yourself.

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Corn and Edamame

Serves 8

You can be flexible with the dressing: if you don’t have cumin, just use chili powder or try adding a bit of cayenne for additional heat if you like it spicy. Dress the salad just before eating. The quinoa will absorb dressing as it sits, so you can add more lemon or lime juice as desired. This recipe makes enough for a crowd or can easily be cut in half. (Recipe from “Soups + Sides,” by Catherine Walthers.)

1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed well and drained
2 1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup frozen edamame beans, without the pod
Kernels from 2 ears fresh corn (approximately 1 cup)
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed in hot water
1 red pepper, roasted, peeled, and diced
1/2 to 1 cup cilantro leaves, washed well, spun dry and loosely chopped


6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon each chili powder and ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

1.  Place the quinoa, water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a saucepan. Bring  to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook on low for 13 to 15 minutes, until water is absorbed. Turn off heat and let rest for 10 minutes.  Fluff with fork, add to a large bowl and cool to room temperature.

2.  Bring another saucepan with water to a boil. Add edamame and boil for 2 minutes and then add corn, and continue boiling for 2 minutes longer. Drain the edamame and corn and run under cold water to stop the cooking and keep the color. Roast the red pepper. Add corn, edamame, red pepper and black beans to the quinoa.

3.  In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt. When ready to serve, pour dressing over quinoa and vegetables and toss  gently to combine all ingredients.  Add cilantro and mix gently. Taste and add more salt and citrus if necessary.  Serve at room temperature.

Herbed Potato Salad

Serves 6

New potatoes are just young potatoes — they’re harvested early and are small in size. They are very sweet and tender, and do not need peeling, which makes them perfect for potato salad. This salad is made with a Dijon vinaigrette, and is best when it’s served warm or at room temperature. (Recipe adapted from “Vineyard Harvest: A Year of Good Food on Martha’s Vineyard” by Tina Miller.)

2 pounds new potatoes, such as fingerling, red, and/or purple

Dijon Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, oil, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste, then add the chopped herbs.

2. Fill a large pot with cold water, add the potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes, until they are tender and can be easily pierced with a knife. Remove pot from heat; drain. Set potatoes aside and let them cool just enough to handle, about 5 minutes. Slice the warm potatoes in half and place them in a serving bowl. Gently toss with the vinaigrette before serving.

Summer Peach and Baby Kale Salad

Serves 4

This 3-ingredient salad is nice for company, especially with flavorful juicy peaches. Baby kale is available weekly at the West Tisbury Farmers Market and at Cronig’s. The salad also features fresh mozzarella marinated in lemon, garlic and basil. The marinade/dressing, along with the mozzarella, is then poured over the baby kale and sliced peaches. Easy and delicious. (Recipe from “Kale, Glorious Kale” by Catherine Walthers, coming out in August.)

5 to 6 cups baby kale, long stems removed, rinsed and spun dry
1 large or 2 medium juicy, ripe peaches (or nectarines)
1 (8-ounce) container small, fresh mozzarella balls, cut in half or quarters

Lemon Basil Marinade/Dressing

1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pinches kosher salt and black pepper
6-8 basil leaves, cut into thin slices

Make the marinade/dressing in a medium bowl by combining the zest, lemon, olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

Add the basil and mozzarella and let sit for 10-15 minutes (longer is okay too).

Place the baby kale in a wide salad bowl. Just before serving, pour the mozzarella and all the marinade dressing onto the kale salad and toss gently with tongs. Peel and slice the peaches, fairly thinly. (Nectarines don’t usually need to be peeled.) Add to the salad, and serve immediately.

Catherine Walthers is a private chef and the author of “Raising the Salad Bar,” “Soups + Sides,” and the upcoming “Kale, Glorious Kale,” all with photographs by Alison Shaw.