Who doesn’t love an easy summer salad?

This summer salad is great as a stand alone light meal or as a complement to any protein.  Full of texture, coolness & tang in every bite for a blast of flavor.  We created this for a team building cooking session a few summers ago and it is always a hit!

Simply prep the ingredients in the morning, pop in the fridge for the day, then assemble an hour before serving. Perfect for a day at the beach!  Put the grill masters to work, kick back and enjoy the happy hour~ your job for dinner salad is done!

Fennel, aka Anise, has a subtle licorice smell and flavor that blends especially well with cheeses, olive oil & vinegars.  You can roast or saute to mellow it out some.

Fennel w/o fronds

A few substitutions:  swap in arugula for the basil and celery in place of the fennel.  Don’t be tempted to use frozen sugar snap peas as they can make the salad very soggy.  Fresh or bagged ones can be found in the produce section.  Any citrus vinegar will do if you don’t have a Trader Joes near you.

Fennel fronds

The Perfect Summer Salad

In cruet, shake vinegar, olive oil & honey.  Shake well and set aside.  Layer basil and remaining ingredients in order.  Dust with cracked black pepper, salt & drizzle dressing over.


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 Toes in the sand with a drink in hand makes for a happy cook!