Sunny Summer Salad


Try this yummy, refreshing and healthy salad when produce is at its’ peak during the summer. It’s a snap to put together, and stores well for a few hours, or is delicious served right away. The only special tool you need is a good sharp peeler. I prefer a Y style peeler, and I think Rösli is the best brand, it stays sharp. I love zucchini this way. It has such a different flavor than when cooked. If you don’t think you care for squash, try this recipe, you just might change your mind!

This serving size is for a generous 2, so double it for more servings.

Sunny Summer Salad

1 Yellow Squash, small
1 Zucchini, small
1/4 a medium sweet onion (Vidalia or Walla Walla)
1/2 each of 1 Red and Yellow Roasted Bell Pepper, sliced into ribbons. (store bought or homemade)
Parsley, minced
1 large clove of Garlic, peeled, minced

1 Tbsp fresh Lemon Juice (about a 1/4 of a lemon)
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Salt, Pepper to taste
Optional: 1/2 tsp of any mediterranean style spice mix

Optional: Fresh Ricotta Cheese.


1. Cut the top and bottom off the squat. Using your vegetable peeler, ‘peel’ it into ribbons working from top to bottom. I peel down just to the seed core, then rotate it 90 degrees and slice the next side, working your way around the vegetable. Toss the core.
2. Cut your whole onion in half, then in half again. Lay on its cut side and holding one of the root ends, slice into thin quarter rings.
3. Whisk the olive oil into the lemon juice, add the garlic and seasoning.
4. Toss all the ingredients together.
5. If desired, top with a dollop of ricotta, fresh as possible.
Tip: If storing for longer than a 1/2 hour, do not salt it until serving. Squash has a lot of water. Salt will pull that water out and your salad dressing will be diluted and weak tasting.

This is one of those dishes where there are very few ingredients, as such, buy the highest quality produce you can find. And if your store doesn’t carry fresh Ricotta, any decent Italian Deli will carry it.

Summer in Minnesota is short, so I don’t like to dawdle in the kitchen. Toss this together, pair it with a protein and head outside for a picnic!

Easy & Beautiful Beet Salad

A Farmers Market Run

Sunday morning started at 6:30am as my new ‘alarm’ clock (Mr Ruger) let me know it was potty time.

After Little Man fell back asleep mid-morning, I kenneled him (we are beginning his introduction to being kenneled) while off I ran for a quick peruse of St Paul Farmers Market. There was an abundance of beautiful produce from which to choose from, but fresh beets with beautiful greens attached caught my eye.
Wrapping up my shopping, I zipped home, just as Ruger was waking up and quickly set to work pulling lunch together for the family, (whom were due home any minute, and would be ravenous) if I know my family.

I like to be inspired by others creations, and after a quick internet search for beet greens I came upon a blog called ‘Sprouted Kitchen’ (click on the photo to be taken to the recipe) which sported a delicious looking salad which I then (as usual) modified to suit my needs.
I was in a time crunch, and I’m always tweeking recipes to fit what I have on hand, so I grilled my beets to save time and grabbed some pre-cooked quinoa from the fridge. Clean your beets thoroughly with a scrubby sponge, sliced them in to thick disks, olive oil/salt, and the grill on medium heat until tender crisp.
While the beets were gently grilling, I grabbed some frozen Salmon from the freezer (Costco sells an amazing frozen, individually wrapped, wild salmon that is quite convenient!) and got to work.


1 bunch of beets, greens tops removed, cleaned, and rough chopped; roots cleaned, sliced and grilled

olive oil for cooking

1/2 red onion

1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted



2 Tbsp tahini

2 Tbsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1-2 tsp honey

salt and pepper to taste

1 clove of garlic minced or put through a press

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp finely chopped chives

While the beets were grilling, I put a little cast iron pan on the grill and toasted my pine nuts.
When the beets were done and cooling slightly, I tossed the beet greens with the dressing, and gently massaged the greens with my fingers.  Add the quinoa, pine nuts, red onion and toss. If adding salmon, season as you wish, throw that on the grill and cook. Top the salad with your desired protein.

Not only is this simple salad delicious, easy and fast, but beautiful to look at! It takes full advantage of the full beet, both root and tops.
Beets are wonderfully good for you. If you are looking for an alternative to the traditional beet and goat cheese salad, give this naturally gluten free salad a try.
Bon Appetite!