Summer began yesterday.
But, here in Texas, the summer heat arrived earlier.
With the warm summer weather, we all seem to want to eat foods that are cooler and feel lighter in our tummies.
And I know I want to spend less time in the kitchen with the stove on or cooking on the stove top.
One of our favorite summer dishes for dinner, lunch, or to-go, is Spring Salad.
I first remember eating this when I was a child. My mom would make it. She called it Spring Salad because the noodles look like springs.
I’ve seen this dish so many times. It’s very common. So, I’m sure you have, too.
But, it’s so delicious and perfect for these warm weather days, that I thought I’d share with you how I make it.
I just eyeball the amount of each ingredient. I’ve been making it for so long, and it’s not exactly a science. So, as best as I can guess, here’s the recipe.
Wait, one more look …
OK. Here it is. This is the ingredients in the amount per person. So multiply each by the number of people you’re cooking for. … And if you have large enough pans and bowls, then make extra. It makes great leftovers for lunch the next day!
4 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into cubes
I buy the frozen ones, put them in a pan, sprinkle some garlic salt on top, cover with foil (even though the directions say not to, I think they taste much better this way), and cook according to directions.
1/2 cup uncooked spring noodles, then cook them
They have a real name, rotini, but “springs” are fun. I use the multicolored ones because I like the way the finished salad looks.
2 cups mixed veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots), cooked
I always use fresh veggies because I don’t like frozen broccoli and cauliflower. And the small amount of time it takes to cut and cook them is minimal and worth it.
Sometimes I add sliced black olives and/or cubes of mozzarella cheese.
Once the cooked ingredients have cooled, combine them all in a large bowl.
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
I know this costs more than the dry, flaky, pre-grated, stuff in the canister. But, the flavor is so much better and it’s stronger so you don’t need as much. Makes a big difference!
Start with less than you think you’ll need, a light coating of dressing is best. We prefer an Italian or creamy Italian.
(I don’t add the dressing and Parmesan cheese before serving because we like the leftovers better if it hasn’t been sitting with dressing on it.)