Summer’s-End Salads

Say good-bye to summer with make-ahead salads that pack in the end-of-summer produce.

STORY AND PHOTOS BY SYLVIA FOUNTAINE

As summer turns into fall, our lives can get extremely busy. School starts, vacations end, and all of a sudden, we are right back in the thick of things. Unfortunately, one of the things that can fall by the wayside is our good intention to create healthy, home-cooked meals. Suddenly, there is just not enough time in the day!

Here are a few hearty, make-ahead salads that are full of end-of-summer produce that can be prepped ahead on a Sunday, then packed for lunches for the busy week ahead or served up over greens for a simple, delicious dinner.

Grilled Eggplant and Freekeh Salad with Yogurt

Serves 2–3 | 35 minutes

Salad

  • 1 cup dry freekeh
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dill, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3–4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sumac (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo chili flakes

 

Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 cup plain, thick Greek yogurt (or vegan yogurt)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, mint, or parsley, chopped
  • 1–2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Recipe

Preheat grill to medium high.

Place freekeh and water in a medium pot, bring to a boil, cover, then turn heat to low and simmer 15–20 minutes, until water is absorbed and freekeh is tender.

Brush the sliced eggplant with olive oil. Season with salt. Grill both sides, 3–4 minutes, until grill marks appear, then wrap in foil to allow them to steam and cook through, for 5 minutes on the counter. Cut the eggplant into bite-sized pieces.

Place the cooked freekeh, eggplant, herbs, scallions, olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper, and spices in a bowl. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust salt and lemon. You want it to taste slightly tart.

Place the yogurt sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk.

To serve, lather the yogurt sauce on a platter and pile the salad over the top. Garnish with torn mint leaves.

To pack up for lunch, spread a little yogurt sauce in the bottom of a container, spoon salad over the top, and seal with a lid.

Salad will keep 3–4 days in the fridge.

Farro Salad with Beets and Tops

Serves 3–4 | 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 medium beets and their tops (or substitute 1 bunch lacinato kale for the beet greens)
  • 2 cups cooked farro
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot (or 1/4 of a red onion), diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup basil, cut into ribbons
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pecorino, grated or shaved
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sunflower sprouts (optional)

 

Recipe

Slice off the beet tops and set aside. Steam or roast the beets. Once tender, peel and dice the beets into 1/2-inch cubes and place in a medium bowl.

Add the cooked farro to the bowl.

Chop the beet greens finely, then sauté in a skillet with olive oil, shallot, and garlic. Cook over medium heat until wilted, about 3–4 minutes. Add this to the bowl of beets, along with  farro, basil, pine nuts, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Toss well. Add the pecorino, then season with salt and pepper.

Top with optional sunflower sprouts.

Salad will keep 3–4 days in the fridge.

Moroccan Sweet Potato and Chickpea Salad

Serves 2–3 | 35 minutes

Ingredients

  •  2 yams or sweet potatoes, diced into 1/2-inch cubes, skins OK (about 4 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • generous pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 scallions, sliced at a diagonal
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne or Aleppo chili flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Recipe

Preheat oven to 425°F

Place the diced yams on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat well. Spread the yams out so they have lots of space to crisp. Place in the oven and roast 15 minutes, toss, and continue roasting until tender and slightly crispy, about 10 more minutes.

Meanwhile, place the chickpeas, scallions, cilantro, olive oil, vinegar, honey, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne in a bowl and toss to combine. When the sweet potatoes are tender, let them cool for 10 minutes, then add to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve this on its own or over lightly-dressed greens or massaged lacinato kale ribbons.

Note: To make the lacinato kale ribbons, remove any tough veins, stack 5–6 leaves, and finely slice across the grain into thin ribbons to create a “slaw.” Drizzle lightly with olive oil, sprinkle a pinch of salt, and massage the oil into the ribbons with your fingers until the kale ribbons become tender and glossy. For an extra lovely touch, add 1–2 teaspoons orange zest and massage this in too.

Salad will keep 3 days in the fridge.

Heirloom Tomato Lentil Tabouli

Serves 3–4 | 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked lentils (black caviar, beluga, or French green)
  • 4 medium heirloom tomatoes, diced (about 4 cups)
  • 1 cup Italian parsley, chopped, packed, thin stems OK
  • 1/4 cup mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

 

Recipe

Place all ingredients in a medium bowl. Toss well. Taste, adjust salt. Serve on its own or over greens.

Salad will keep 3–4 days in the fridge.


Sylvia Fountaine is the chef, author and photographer of Feasting at Home, a PNW recipe site featuring seasonal, healthy recipes. www.feastingathome.com

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