Recessionista Recipes: 5 Cheap & Tasty Memorial Day Salads

Photo by Kevork Djansezian//Getty Images

Hearkening the beginning of summer, Memorial Day weekend is full of sunshine, pool parties, and tasty, tasty barbecue. Juicy meat straight off the grill; chips and dip; sugary margaritas. Not exactly the most nutritious options for those still striving for their summer bikini body or the generally health conscious.

In response, we’ve found our Five Favorite Memorial Day Salad Recipes that focus on the gastronomical mantra that less is more. Refined and simple, these salads are not only delicious–they are way cheaper than chopping up fifteen miscellaneous ingredients and throwing them into a bowl.

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Chickpea Salad with Lemon, Parmesan, and Fresh Herbs

Goes well with: chicken and beef kabob, grilled eggplant, pita, Mediterranean-themed fare

Perfect for protein-craving vegans!

Yield: Makes 2 servings

Total time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Combine rinsed and drained chickpeas, chopped fresh basil, chopped Italian parsley, fresh lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, and pressed garlic clove in medium bowl. Add grated Parmesan cheese and toss gently to blend all ingredients thoroughly. Season chickpea salad to taste with coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. DO AHEAD: Chickpea salad can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Serve salad chilled or at room temperature.

[Source: Epicurious]

Photo by Kevork Djansezian//Getty Images

Grilled Avocado and Tomato Salad with Basil Pesto

Goes well with: turkey burgers, wheat beer

Ingredients:

 Preperation:

Prepare the grill and let it burn down to medium hot coals. Squeeze the lemon juice into a nonreactive bowl large enough to hold the avocados in a single layer. Halve the avocados, discard the pits, and scoop out the flesh in one piece with a rounded spoon. Immediately toss the avocados with the lemon juice to prevent discoloration.

Using a mandoline or sharp chef’s knife, thinly slice the onion. Separate the onion into rings and place in another bowl. Pour some of the lemon juice from the avocados over the onions and season with salt and pepper. Toss well and set aside. Cut the tomatoes lengthwise into thin wedges, season with salt and pepper, and reserve.

Remove the avocados from the lemon juice and set the bowl aside. Season the avocados on all sides with salt and pepper and drizzle very lightly with about 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Too much and the oil might cause flare-ups.

Grill the avocados, cut side down, until the outside edge looks a little dry and browned, about 2 minutes. Turn onto the rounded side and cook for another 2 minutes. Since so little area is exposed to the heat, this is just to soften, not cook, the avocados. If the avocados were very firm, leave on another minute. Do not turn too often or they may disintegrate. Return the grilled avocados to the bowl with the lemon juice. Spoon the lemon juice over them and set aside until cool enough to handle, then cut into thin wedges.

Place several onion rings in the center of each salad plate. Arrange the avocados on opposite sides and the tomatoes on the remaining two sides. Drizzle each salad with about 1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon pesto. Season again with salt and pepper to taste and give each salad a coarse grating of cheese. Scatter the pine nuts on top, if using, and serve immediately.

[Source: Napastyle]

Photo by Amy Sussman//Getty Images

Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Cheese Salad

Goes well with: pasta, Italian sausages, pizza

Yield: Makes 4 servings

Active Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

 Preperation:

Cut tomatoes into wedges and place in large bowl. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and pepper. Crush oregano between palms to release flavor; add to tomatoes. Add 1/4 cup basil and olive oil and mix well. Let stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Place 1 burrata cheese round in center of each plate. Fan tomatoes around cheese, dividing equally. Drizzle with dressing from bowl. Garnish with additional basil leaves and serve.

[Source: Bon Appetit]

Photo by Michael Buckner//Getty Images

Shaved Asparagus with Parmesan Vinaigrette

Goes well with: white fish, cous cous

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Working with 1 asparagus spear at a time, use a vegetable peeler to shave spears into long, thin shavings. Transfer to a medium bowl (the tips will snap off as spears get thinner; add to bowl). Combine grated Parmesan and lemon juice in a small bowl and slowly whisk in oil until well blended. Season vinaigrette generously with salt and pepper. Drizzle vinaigrette over shaved asparagus and toss to coat. Divide asparagus salad among plates. Use peeler to shave more Parmesan over salad.

[Source: Runs With Spatulas]

Photo by Justin Sullivan//Getty Images

Watermelon, Feta, and Arugula Salad with Balsamic Glaze

Goes well with: BBQ ribs and chicken

Ingredients:

Arrange arugula over large platter. Scatter watermelon, then feta over. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and sprinkle with pepper.

[Source: Weeknight Gourmet]

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