This carrot dill salad is based on one of my favorite sides from Yalla in Culver City. It’s the perfect side of freshness to a heavy meat dish, and it’s really simple to make. I prefer to make it ahead of time so the carrots and raisins have time to soak up the dressing and soften a bit. The raisins, carrots, and honey all lend this dish a surprising sweetness, so even the pickiest of eaters will be happy for an extra serving. This can easily be transported to a BBQ or serve it with brunch on Easter morning.
This watermelon salad has all my favorite summer produce, mixed together in one delicious sweet, salty, and sour dish. The watermelon is obviously the sweet part, although I do consider summer cucumbers to be sweet as well. The salty part is from the pistachios, that I sprinkle on top to preserve their crunchiness. Finally, the sour is from some fresh lime juice that I squeezed over the salad when it’s ready to be served. The colors make this a show stopper if you are entertaining, and the flavors go great with Mexican, Barbecue, and even Indian food. In fact, my husband said it reminded him of his grandma’s kachumber without the spicy kick.
I recommend getting Pistachio Nutmeats that are already shelled from Trader Joes. The pistachios are unsalted so I recommend being generous with the sea salt. Both cucumbers and watermelon taste really amazing with a decent amount of sea salt on top, so don’t be afraid to be a little heavy handed and salt to taste. I recommend waiting until serving to add the sea salt though, otherwise it will make your vegetables sweat. Yes, that’s a real thing.
This “creamy” cucumber dill salad is actually dairy free, but you won’t know the difference. My husband thought the dressing tasted like tzatziki sauce, which I took as a compliment, since we both love Greek food. Instead of using dairy, I used an avocado oil mayo by Chosen Foods. Normally, I make my own mayo, but if you don’t have the time because it’s a weeknight (which it was!) or you’re cooking a million other things because you’re hosting a BBQ (which I plan to!), then I highly recommend this as a great alternative.
The mayo is made with avocado oil, organic cage free eggs, organic white vinegar, organic honey, and organic mustard. There are no chemical preservatives, refined sugar or gmo ingredients. The best part is it looks just like regular mayo! Seriously, your family and guests won’t know the difference, and since I have a dairy allergy this is a great substitute for sour cream in recipes.
This BLT salad with avocado will make your taste buds very happy. I definitely didn’t miss the bread. The key to making this salad awesome is the bacon. I made my own bacon bits (or bacon lardons if you want to be fancy!) Plus, I used a mixed variety of cherry tomatoes for different colors and flavor. I also made a lemon dijon dressing with some fresh lemon juice, which is crazy important to cut through the fat from the bacon and avocado. Seriously, I could drink this dressing it’s so good. It’s actually my favorite dressing to use if there is bacon involved. When you’re eating fatty foods like bacon and avocado, you need some acidity to balance it out and make the dish taste light and fresh. I loooove my paleo fats! And, this dish has them in abundance – bacon fat, avocado, and olive oil. Sounds good right?
This bacon and broccoli slaw is perfect for a summer picnic. It’s made with a homemade dijon lemon mayo, that uses coconut oil and olive oil. I love the pre-shredded broccoli stems from Trader Joes. It makes this dish really easy to pull together. You could even make it ahead of time. The mayo will keep for about a week in an airtight container. This is one of those dishes where the flavors meld together in the fridge and get better with time.
This antipasto salad is really easy to make and will definitely impress your guests. I used my Mom’s Dressing to marinate the veggies, which includes green and black olives, artichoke hearts, peppadews, and roasted red peppers. I also chopped in a few cucumbers … I couldn’t resist a little crunch, and put everything over some wild arugula. I have some slices of genoa salami and rolled proscuitto on the side, but of course you could use whatever Italian cured meat you prefer. I skipped the cheese, because I’m intolerant, but if you can handle it, go for it.
You can easily make most of this ahead of time, and assemble everything when you are read to serve. Or have guests assemble it themselves so they can add what they like.