3 Simple summer salads

Lettuce is tossed with seared and flaked salmon,

Lettuce is tossed with seared and flaked salmon, quinoa, fresh corn and a variety of cherry tomatoes and dressed with a simple Dijon vinaigrette. (Credit: Marge Perry)

1. SUMMER SALAD WITH SALMON AND QUINOA

½ cup quinoa

4 (4-ounce) pieces salmon fillet

¾ teaspoon salt, divided

⅛ teaspoon black pepper

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Kernels from 2 ears corn (about 1 cup)

12 cups green oak, butter or any other lettuce

1 pint cherry tomatoes (any color), halved

1. Cook quinoa according to package instructions.

2. Season the salmon with ½ teaspoon of the salt and the black pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the salmon and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until fish is cooked to desired degree of doneness. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool slightly.

3. Combine the Dijon and vinegar in a bowl; whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and ¼ teaspoon salt. Toss the dressing with the corn, lettuce, tomatoes and quinoa. Separate the salmon into flakes and gently toss it into the salad. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 425 calories, 21 g fat, 3g saturated fat, 33 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 526 mg sodium

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2. GRILLED DECONSTRUCTED CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 minced anchovy filet or

½ teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 Romaine hearts, halved lengthwise

8 (½-inch thick) slices French bread (about 6 ounces)

1 pound boneless chicken breasts, pounded to ¼-inch thickness

¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Heat the grill for direct cooking (450-500 degrees).

2. Combine salt, pepper, anchovy (if using) and lemon juice; whisk in olive oil. Brush about 2 tablespoons of the dressing very lightly over the surfaces of the romaine, bread and chicken.

3. Place romaine, bread and chicken on grill. When bread and romaine are lightly marked on the undersides (about 2 minutes) turn and grill until again lightly marked on other side, about another 2 minutes. Remove from grill. Chicken will be well-marked and release easily from pan surface after about 4 to 5 minutes; turn and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees, another 4 to 5 minutes. Cut the chicken in ½-inch wide strips.

4. Place a romaine heart and 2 slices of toasted bread on each plate; scatter chicken over the lettuce, drizzle with the remaining dressing and sprinkle with the cheese. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 414 calories, 19 g fat, 4g saturated fat, 32 g protein, 29 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 685 mg sodium

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3. SHRIMP, SPINACH AND PEACH SALAD

1½ pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined

¾ teaspoon salt, divided

⅛ teaspoon black pepper

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 peaches, halved and sliced

1 teaspoon honey

2 tablespoons lime juice

½ teaspoon lime zest

¼ cup loosely packed fresh mint, finely chopped

8 cups baby spinach

2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced

1 cup radishes, thinly sliced

1. Toss shrimp with ½ teaspoon of salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in large nonstick skillet over medium high; add half the shrimp in single, uncrowded layer; cook until it releases easily from pan surface, about 2 minutes; turn and cook until it is cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with 2 more teaspoons of the oil and the rest of shrimp.

2. Heat 2 more teaspoons of the oil in the skillet and add the peaches; cook until just softened on the exterior, but not mushy, about 2 minutes (depending on the ripeness of the peaches). Remove from the skillet and remove the pan from the heat.

3. Add the honey, lime juice and lime zest to the pan, stirring until honey is just dissolved and the bits from the pan are incorporated, about 30 seconds. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and the mint.

4. Add the spinach, cucumbers and radishes to the shrimp and peaches; toss in the dressing from the pan and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 298 calories,15 g fat, 2g saturated fat, 28 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 643 mg sodium