We do a good bit of grilling in the summer, and the challenge is finding side dishes that don't require heating up the kitchen, or the cook. Summer salads are a great solution that make for healthy side dishes and light meals that can keep for days in the fridge and as the flavors meld, get better and better.
Often, we keep cut up vegetables around for many reasons. They are a healthy snack, and it is nice to have them to add to other recipes. The holiday weekend brought about a good reason to make a big jar of homemade Ranch Dressing (see earlier blog post - it is truly amazing) and cut up vegetables for a few parties. Dining out a few weeks ago, my husband had a really great Tabouleh Salad as a side dish. I had completely forgotten how great it was. I first had it on a girls weekend at the lake where a friend made it look effortless, and it truly is.
Hubs and I were truly made for each other. We both enjoy time together in the kitchen and find the task of chopping to be pretty zen. So after I cut up the vegetables for the tray, I finely chopped about 2 cups of them for the Tabouleh salad and after that, there's not much more to it.
So, here's one for your holiday weekend, from me to you - stay cool!
1 package Tabouleh with Seasoning
1 Cup boiling water
All of the Minced Raw Vegetables You Can Gather (About 2 Cups)
Good ones to use - Tomato, Cucumber, Scallion, Red Onion, Bell Pepper, Celery, Carrot, etc.
1/2 Cup Crumbled Feta (More if you love it)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar or Lemon Juice
Empty the Package of Tabouleh and Seasoning Mix into a good sized bowl
Prepare Tabouleh according to package directions
(The brand I used requires 1 cup boiling water poured over Tabouleh/Seasoning, stir, cover, and let sit in refrigerator for 30 minutes)
Add Minced Vegetables, Olive Oil, and Vinegar or Lemon Juice and Stir
You can add the crumbled Feta now, but it may meld into the salad - to keep it in crumbles, refrigerate the salad until cool and add the crumbled Feta.
This salad gets better with time, and will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for several days.
Serve it chilled or room temp, garnish with fresh herbs, lemon wedges, or extra minced veggies.
PS - If you want the link to the Ranch Dressing for a great addition to any salad or veggie tray, click here - Spoon of Hearts Ranch Dressing