Bring on Summer Salads

If the onset of warm weather and the whole school’s out vibe has you thinking about al fresco dining, here’s an inventive take on some late-spring/early-summer salads that are perfect for picnics, backyard barbecues and pool parties (even if you’re picnicking on your couch, bbq-ing on your fire-escape or partying in a kiddie pool). Kate Bowler, cookbook author and creator of the award-winning blog Domestikated Life, uses fresh greens from Little Leaf Farms to liven-up (and lighten-up) two classic seasonal dishes – pasta and potato salads. In her talented hands they go from delicious sides to hearty, main-event-worthy salads.

Little Leaf Salad - Bow Tie Pasta

Spring Bowtie Pasta and Greens Salad

Bowler combines quintessential spring ingredients (peas for a bit of bright seasonal flavor) with staples from her pantry shelves (chickpeas for protein and pine nuts for a dash of almost buttery richness) in this hybrid of a salad. She uses bowtie pasta for its cohesive properties (those little folds in the pasta capture dressing and seasoning to bring everything together) and adds plenty of shaved parmesan for some extra zip. The Little Leaf greenery – it’s about a fifty/fifty mix here but you can adjust to your own tastes – adds a fresh, crunchy texture that makes it both tasty and satisfying. Get the recipe…

Little Leaf Salad - Potato Salad

French Potato and Greens Salad

If you’re looking to move beyond the mayo-based potato salad towards something that’s less heavy and will hold up better as the temperature rises, Bowler’s got the perfect solution. Her French potato salad subs in a simple vinaigrette (olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, garlic and fresh herbs) and uses a whole box of greens as a base for an additional element of light, fresh flavors. You can pretty much make everything ahead of time – just don’t dress the greens until right before serving. Get the recipe…

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