One of my favorite things is a chopped salad. The reason is the different textures, the little bites of different flavors all in one mouthful. This one is particularly healthy as well because there are so many ingredients and each one brings something nutritious to the party.
As always, feel free to think outside this recipe and add or delete to suit your palate.
While grilling one or more of the ingredients isn't necessary it adds a surprise of smokey-ness that has summer written all over it.
Feeds 4 - 6 as a first course
4 cups of fresh greens cut or torn to bite sized. Arugula is delicious with the below combo of other ingredients
1 Cup chopped green beans-cut them into small rounds, 1/2" or so
1 cup chopped sugar snap peas
1 cup chopped ripe tomatoes
1 cup chopped cucumber
Note from the chef:
When a recipe asks for one cup of chopped ingredient you measure after chopping. If you start with say, one cup of sugar snaps whole, then chop them you will likely come up short for the desired amount.
The grilled veggies:
2 large ears of corn, grill either in or out of the husk, when cool, cut kernels off
1 small red onion cut into slices, season with s & p and grill but don't blacken, once grilled chop small
1 small yellow or red bell pepper, standing on its end, cut sides of pepper off so you have 3 or 4 slabs, season as above and grill. Peel when done and chop
6 - 8 asparagus spears, season as above, grill lightly, chop
Combine all veggies with greens in a large bowl. Pour in some dressing, enough to coat everything, toss it very gently.
There are many ways to go here flavor wise but my choice is a basic balsamic vinaigrette with the addition of fresh basil.
I make the dressing in the blender. (Amounts are approximate as I almost never measure)
I toss all of these ingredients in: 3/4 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, splash of water, salt and pepper. When it is creamy and the proportions are right I add some fresh basil leaves or a bit of pesto and blend again. The basil adds to the summer quotient and sets this dressing apart from your usual balsamic vins.