Summer is in full effect and so is outdoor dining. We are looking to ditch the oven in exchange for the grill. Fresh produce fills our farmer’s markets and backyard parties fill up our weekends. You may need a colorful and vibrant salad to serve alongside your grilled masterpiece. These side dishes are just as easy as they are beautiful. Any one of them are the perfect side to bring along with you to your backyard parties or to dine on your deck with a glass of rosé!
Wilted Arugula, Cherry, Goat Cheese, and Whole Grain Brown Rice Salad
9-ounces whole grain brown rice
1 ½ cups of packed arugula
1 cup cherries, halved and pitted
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoons of granulated sugar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1. Combine cherries, and the tarragon in a large bowl.
2. Cook rice according to package instructions.
3. Add the rice to the bowl with the cherries. Then add in your arugula gently folding in. The heat from the rice will wilt the arugula as you fold it in.
4. Whisk together the vinegars, sugar, salt and pepper and olive oil and pour over the bowl. Mix to incorporate.
5. Place the contents of the bowl onto a platter if so desired or serving bowl. Sprinkle the goat cheese over top and serve!
Summer Ribbon Salad
1 yellow squash
8 ounces of baby spinach leaves
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
½ cup feta cheese
1 garlic glove, pressed in a garlic press
1 lemon, juiced
½ cup olive oil
½ tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspon of honey
1. Using a vegetable peeler, cut thin strips lengthwise of the zucchini, squash, and the carrot.
2. In a small sauté an over medium heat, toast the pine nuts for about 3-5 minutes.
3. In a large sauté or grill pan over medium heat warm ½ tablespoon of olive oil. Then add your strips of zucchini and squash in batches if necessary in order not to crowd the pan. After about 5 minutes you should see the zucchini and squash start to get grill marks or have golden brown spots. Remove from the pan and set aside.
4. In a bowl whisk together salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, dijon, and honey.
5. In a large bowl add the spinach and pine nuts. Pour the dressing over the top making sure to reserve about ¼ cup for drizzling. Toss together to coat
6. Add the spinach to serving platter of choice. Arrange the ribbons of squash, zucchini, and carrots over the top.
7. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the top as well as the feta cheese and serve!
Burrata with Balsamic Grilled Peaches and Cherries
1 peach sliced into wedges
10 cherries pitted and halved
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
½ tablespoon. honey
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh basil (chopped)
2, 8 ounce containers of burrata (most brands in the grocery store sell 2-3 balls in an 8-12 oz. container)
1. Slice peaches into wedges and place into a bowl along with the pitted cherries. (I did not remove the skin from the peaches.)
2. In the bowl with the fruit, add the olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Gently toss the fruit to coats and incorporate the ingredients. If you have time let the fruit marinate for about 20 minutes.
3. Heat up a grill pan on medium to high heat. When the grill pan is hot add the fruit to the grill pan using tongs. Do not pour the liquid in the bowl onto the grill pan, reserve it.
4. Grill the peaches about two minutes on each side. They are ready to flip when you see dark brown grill marks forming on the side that is face down on the pan.
5. Meanwhile, give the cherries about four minutes to to soften then remove them from the pan.
6. As the fruit is done transfer it to the plate or platter you will be using to serve.
7. Place the burrata on the plate with the fruit and cut in half. Let the creamy inside seep out, sprinkle the fresh basil over the top and serve!
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