Spinach and Shrimp Salad with Chile Dressing

8 cups baby spinach (8 ounces)

1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed and drained

1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 Holland or serrano chile, minced

1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 pound cooked large shrimp

In a large bowl, toss the spinach, peas and tomatoes. In a medium skillet, heat the oil. Add onion and cook over moderately high heat until lightly golden, four minutes. Add chile, ginger, cumin and turmeric and cook for two minutes. Add lemon juice and season the dressing with salt and pepper.

Add shrimp to the salad. Pour the warm chile dressing over the salad, toss well and serve at once.

Lettuce Wedge and Potato Salad

The smoky bacon-mustard dressing that coats this salad is a play on Hot German Potato Salad, a summertime favorite and a classic Pennsylvania Dutch dish.

1 cup thinly sliced red onion

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

1/4 pound baby red potatoes

1/4 pound green beans, trimmed

1 thick-cut bacon slice, diced

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 head Bibb lettuce, cut into 4 wedges

3 radishes, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Place onion and vinegar in a small bowl; toss to coat.

Place potatoes in a medium saucepan; cover with water to 2 inches above potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes or until tender. Remove potatoes from pan with a slotted spoon; cool slightly. Thinly slice potatoes. Bring water in pan to a boil. Add green beans; cook 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain. Rinse beans under cold water; drain.

Cook bacon in a small skillet over medium heat six minutes or until crisp. Remove from heat. Drain vinegar from onions into skillet with bacon and drippings. Add oil, mustard, salt and pepper, stirring with a whisk. Arrange lettuce wedges on four plates; top evenly with onion, potatoes, green beans and radishes. Drizzle with vinaigrette and sprinkle with chives.

Melon and Fig Salad with Prosciutto and Balsamic Drizzle

The best of summer is tossed together in this fresh Melon and Fig Salad withProsciutto and Balsamic Drizzle.

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

4 cups gourmet salad greens

1/2 pound honeydew melon, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced

1/2 pound cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced

4 very thin slices prosciutto, torn (about 1 ounce)

4 fresh figs, quartered

Bring vinegar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat; cook until syrupy and reduced to 3 tablespoons (about 10 minutes), stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Combine oil, juice, pepper and salt in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add salad greens; toss gently. Divide melon among 4 plates; top with salad greens. Arrange prosciutto and figs over salad greens; drizzle with balsamic syrup.

Black Pepper Pasta Salad with Prosciutto, Asparagus and Romano

This mayonnaise-based pasta salad veers from the traditional with salty Italian ham, nutty asparagus and a generous grinding of pepper.

8 ounces uncooked cavatappi pasta or elbow macaroni

3 cups (1 1/2-inch) slices asparagus (about 1 pound)

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 ounces prosciutto, chopped

1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots

6 tablespoons light mayonnaise

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Dash of salt

1 cup diced tomato

1 1/2 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, grated

(about 1/3 cup packed)

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add asparagus during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add prosciutto and cook for six minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove prosciutto from pan using a slotted spoon, leaving drippings in pan. Drain prosciutto on paper towels. Add the shallots to drippings in pan; cook over medium heat for one minute or until shallots are tender, stirring frequently.

BLT Chopped Salad with Corn, Feta and Avocado

2 cups butter lettuce, chopped

2 cups fresh arugula, chopped

1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered

4 slices thick-cut bacon,

fried and crumbled

1 cup sweet corn

1 avocado, chopped

4 ounces feta, crumbled

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 lime, juiced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

As a note, to chop lettuce, spread it out on a big cutting board and just continuously run a knife through it (in all different directions) until it’s chopped as much you prefer. In a large bowl, combine lettuce, arugula, tomatoes, corn and avocado. Add in salt, pepper, olive oil and lime juice, then toss well to coat. Fold in bacon and feta then divide evenly on two plates and serve. ■

Sources: www.myrecipes.com, www.howsweeteats.com, www.foodandwine.com.

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