Summer Picnic Salads

Aug 9, 2014 | Healthy Living, Recipes

These are all variations on the lemon-mayo-herbs theme. Be generous with the fresh-squeezed lemon juice and fresh herbs. Easy on the mayo until you blend and check the consistency. You can whip up the dressings to taste, then pour over the main ingredients, or just throw it all into one bowl and taste as you go.

Lemon-Basil Chicken Salad

Whole chicken, roasted or poached (You get beautifully tender chicken when you make homemade broth.)
Large handful fresh chopped basil
Handful of finely chopped celery
Juice of one lemon
A couple generous spoons of mayo
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Shred the chicken and toss in a large bowl with celery and basil. Whisk together the lemon, mayo, salt and pepper; pour over the chicken and mix. Chill until picnic time.


Blue Ribbon Potato Salad

Two or three pounds of potatoes (new potatoes or red bliss cut into about 1-inch cubes)
10–12 hard boiled eggs
Handful of finely chopped celery
About 3/4 cup of mayo (start with less at first if you like)
A couple spoons of dijon
Juice of one lemon
Large handful of freshly chopped dill, parsley, and chives
Salt and freshly ground pepper
(Or: omit the lemon and add a handful of finely chopped dill pickles. Gives it a nice vinegar zing.)

Put the potatoes in a pot of cold, salted water, bring to a boil, and cook until they’re tender but not falling apart; drain in a colander. While the potatoes cook, place the eggs in a pan of cold water (just enough to cover them) and bring to a boil. As soon as the water boils, remove from heat; let stand, covered, for 8 minutes, then transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water. This makes lovely boiled eggs that are still tender in the yolk.

Transfer the potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Peel the eggs and cut them roughly into pieces. Add to the bowl, along with the celery (and pickles if you’re using them). Whisk together the mayo, lemon (if no pickles), dijon, herbs, salt and pepper; mix gently with the potatoes. Taste and add a little more mayo, dijon or lemon to adjust the flavor.


Mom’s Coleslaw

One head of cabbage, sliced thinly and chopped into about 1.5-inch pieces
Juice of one lemon, or more
A couple generous spoons of mayo
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Fresh-from-the-garden cabbage makes all the difference. Try the farmer’s market! Again, go easy on the mayo and be generous with the lemon juice to keep it light and refreshing. Whisk together the dressing, toss it with the cabbage, and refrigerate. Great the next day, too.


The lobster salad in the feature photo is made along the same lines: dill, lemon, mayo, salt, pepper.


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