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  • Writer's pictureRhonda Morrison

Cool off this summer with family satisfying salads

Neiman Marcus Chicken Salad recipe, Watermelon Jicama Salad recipe, and Steak and Spinach Salad

Summer salads are a great way to beat the heat. You can chop one up as an entrée, side dish, or afternoon snack. When it comes to salads, nothing is off-limits. Fruits, vegetables, meats, grilled anything, pasta, and grains are all great in salads. You can recreate a classic or go with one of the many new culinary trends. No matter what flavors you are craving, there’s probably a salad that can scratch that itch.

No matter what flavors you are craving, there’s probably a salad that can scratch that itch.

One classic that my family loves is a classic chicken salad. I use the Neiman Marcus Chicken Salad recipe when I make a classic chicken salad. This recipe was created by a Texan named Helen Corbitt back in the 1950s. Red seedless grapes, celery, chunks of chicken and toasted almonds bring me back to lady luncheons with Mom and Grandma as a girl. Simplify this recipe by using rotisserie chicken. You can also use poached or baked chicken breasts, which is my preference. One thing I like about this recipe is that there is more chicken than the other ingredients making this chicken-packed recipe great on croissants or a bed of greens.

Fruit salads are a classic that is making a new splash in the foodie world. There are fruits paired with vegetables, rice, and meats in salads nowadays. My new favorite fruit salad is built around a watermelon. I have eaten this salad by the pool with my fingers on several sunny afternoons. Lime juice and honey create a lovely dressing for this refreshing dish. The cilantro brings a little spice to this recipe while the bright white jicama adds crispness. Watermelon Jicama Salad is a hydrating salad on sun-soaked days.

Steak dinner is a popular meal in my house. So in the summer, I will make a steak salad to please everyone. One New York strip can make a great side salad for four people. Grill two steaks to make this salad a meal for four. Gorgonzola cheese, caramelized red onion, spinach, toasted walnuts, and aged balsamic vinegar creates a spectacular salad. This is one rich and simple recipe that you will enjoy over and over again.

Neiman Marcus Chicken Salad 4 cups diced cooked chicken 1 cup light mayonnaise 1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. black pepper 1/3 cup whipping cream or fat-free evaporated milk 1 cup diced celery 1 ½ cups red seedless grapes, halved ½ cup toasted sliced almonds

In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, parsley, salt, pepper, and whipping cream until smooth. Use fat-free evaporated milk for a lighter version. Fold in chicken, grapes, and almonds. Refrigerate until ready to use. Serve on a bed of lettuce or on croissants. Garnish with sliced almonds.

Watermelon Jicama Salad 6-8 cups seedless watermelon cut in 2-inch cubes 3 cups jicama, peeled and thinly sliced ¼ cup chopped cilantro 2 tbsp. lime juice 1 tbsp. honey

In a large bowl, dump watermelon, jicama, and cilantro. Whisk together lime juice and honey. Pour honey and lime juice over the bowl of watermelon. Toss together. Chill and serve. Steak and Spinach Salad 2 lb. boneless lean New York strip steak ½ tbsp. salt ½ tbsp. black pepper 9 oz. fresh spinach leaves ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced 1 tbsp. bacon fat, butter, or coconut oil 4 oz. gorgonzola cheese, crumbled 1 cup walnuts, toasted then chopped Aged balsamic vinegar

Allow steaks to come to room temperature for 30 minutes from refrigeration. Season steaks with salt and pepper and massage the seasonings into the meat. Grill steaks over medium-high heat for three to five minutes per side. Place steaks in a shallow pan or on a cutting board with a well and set aside. Allow steaks to rest and loosely cover with foil until ready to slice. Coarsely chop spinach and place in a salad bowl or on a platter in a single layer. Over medium heat in a sauté pan, melt butter, coconut oil, or bacon fat. Add onions to the pan stirring often until lightly caramelized. Season onions with salt and pepper to taste. Thinly slice steak and cut in half lengthwise while trimming the fat. Layer sliced steak on top of the spinach. Top steak with caramelized onion. Top onions with gorgonzola and toasted walnuts. Toast walnut halves and then coarsely chop them to avoid over toasting. Lightly drizzle aged balsamic vinegar on top just before serving to avoid over wilting spinach. Toss to coat if desired. Serve with Texas toast or garlic bread.

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