Food & Entertaining - Garden to Table

Salads for a crowd

New flavour twists infuse classic standby salads to liven up the crowd at this year’s backyard bashes

Red quinoa salad with grapes and almonds (shown above, top)
Serves 6

2 cups red quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp liquid honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp orange zest
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup halved green seedless grapes
1 cup fresh arugula, washed, dried and cut into chiffonade
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted

Add quinoa to a large pot of boiling water and cook for 12 to 14 minutes, until the grains have slightly burst. Drain in a sieve, steam dry for 2 minutes, and then spread quinoa out on a baking sheet to cool completely.

In a large bowl, mix vinegar, honey, mustard, salt and orange zest together. Slowly whisk in oil until well blended. Add cooled quinoa to vinaigrette and toss to coat thoroughly. Add grapes, arugula, celery and parsley; toss well.

Chill salad until ready to serve. Add almonds just before serving and mix well.

Summer bean salad with cherry tomatoes (shown above, bottom)
Serves 6

1 cup each: halved green and yellow beans, ends trimmed and sliced diagonally
2 cups sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
1 cup frozen shelled edamame (soybeans)
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes in assorted colours
1 19-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (about 2 cups)
2 green onions, white and half of green stem thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lime zest
1 tbsp lime juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the green and yellow beans until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Remove from boiling water using a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl of cold water; allow beans to cool and drain. Add sugar snap peas to boiling water and cook until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Remove to cool and drain as directed with the beans. Add edamame to boiling water and cook for 30 seconds. Drain and cool in cold water, and then drain once again.

Combine remaining ingre­dients in a large bowl and add reserved blanched beans.

Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.

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