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Summer Salad Recipes

Sweet summertime - it's our favorite time of the year! Bestpass employees have been busy maxing, relaxing and chillin' by the pool (on their days off), but have also been cookin' it up in the kitchen! Check out some of their favorite summer salads to bring along with you to your next barbecue!

Renee's Broccoli Salad 

1 cup mayo
1/4 to 1/3 cup white vinegar (according to taste)
1/4 to 1/3 cup sugar (according to taste)
1 small red onion
2 lb. bag pre-cut broccoli or 2-3 broccoli crowns
1lb. thick-cut bacon, cooked
1. Make the dressing: mix mayo, white vinegar and sugar together until smooth; I make it in the bowl which will be home to my salad
2. Cut onion in half (from pole to pole) and slice onions thinly into half moons
3. Trim broccoli into bite-size pieces
4. Rough chop the cooked bacon
5. Add onions*, broccoli and bacon** to the dressing and mix until combined; Enjoy!

Chef's Notes:

*I like to make the dressing the day before and add the onions to help take the "edge" off of the onions.
**I like crunchy bacon, so I add the bacon just before serving.

Perfect Pesto Pasta Salad

3/4 cup pine nuts
2 medium cloves garlic, unpeeled 
1 pound farfalle pasta (bow ties)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus 1 additional tablespoon
3 cups packed fresh basil leaves (about 4 ounces)
1 cup baby spinach (packed), about 1 ounce 
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
1 1/2 ounces finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 3/4 cup), plus extra for serving
6 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered, or grape tomatoes, halved (optional)
1. Bring 4 quarts water to rolling boil in large pot. Toast pine nuts in small dry skillet over medium heat, shaking pan occasionally, until just golden and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes.
2. When water is boiling, add garlic and let cook 1 minute. Remove garlic with slotted spoon and rinse under cold water to stop cooking; set aside to cool. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta to water, stir to separate, and cook until tender (just past al dente). Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water, drain pasta, toss with 1 tablespoon oil, spread in single layer on rimmed baking sheet, and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
3. When garlic is cool, peel and mince or press through garlic press. Place 1/4 cup nuts, garlic, basil, spinach, pepper, lemon juice, remaining 1/4 cup oil, and 1 teaspoon salt in bowl of food processor and process until smooth, scraping sides of bowl as necessary. Add cheese and mayonnaise and process until thoroughly combined. Transfer mixture to large serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble salad.
4. When pasta is cool, toss with pesto, adding reserved pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until pesto evenly coats pasta. Fold in remaining 1/2 cup nuts and tomatoes (if using); serve.
[Find the full recipe on Cooks Illustrated]

Eileen's Broccoli Salad

About 6 cups chopped broccoli florets
8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped red onion
Shredded cheddar cheese
Prepare dressing a refrigerate for about an hour. Add dressing just before serving.
1 cup Miracle Whip
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Kristen's Favorite Lemon Poppyseed Fruit Salad

2 cups diced watermelon
2 cups diced cantaloupe
2 cups melon
2 cups diced pineapple
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
2 tablespoons honey
3 teaspoons poppyseeds
fresh mint leaves, for garnish
1. Dice up fruit and put in a large bowl
2. Whisk together lemon juice, honey and poppy-seeds
3. Pour mixture over fruit and toss to combine
4. Garnish with fresh mint leaves on top
5. Serve it!
[Find the full recipe on paleomg.com]