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Side dish ideas for summer menu?

So I heard about a watermelon/fresh mozzarella/basil salad, and decided to make it for dinner tonight. Just watermelon, bocconcini, Thai basil from the garden, and fleur de sel. I thought it would be nice and light as the weather is really starting to heat up.

And so it was ... delicious and light ... too light. So I need a side dish to make it more filling ... any ideas? Just needs to be cool or room temp at the time of serving ... could even be a separate course.

Thanks in advance for your ideas :)

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  1. fresh corn salad - corn kernels, arugula, thinly sliced red onion or scallions, sliced grape or cherry tomatoes, & chopped fresh herbs tossed with a red wine vinaigrette.

    4 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      I make something similar with more of a southwestern bent. Corn, red onion, black beans, chopped celery and cilantro with a lime/cumin vinaigrette. I always make enough corn to have leftovers so I can make this the next day.

      1. re: roxlet

        roxlet - i usually do too, but i didn't think those flavors worked too well with the basil & mozz. i could be wrong, though!

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          ghg, maybe you're right! I don't think I read her post correctly that she was serving this with the mozz, watermelon, basil salad. Still awfully good though!

      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

        I use just plain lime juice & salt & pepper with fresh corn cut off the cob, chopped fresh tomatoes and ripe avocados.

      3. i'm a sucker for starches... cold pasta salads are great in summer. buckwheat or rice noodles are a good substitute for regular egg noodles. toss with julienned carrots, cucumber, and red/purple/green cabbage or any other crisp veggies you like. dress with a light asian-type dressing and sprinkle with fresh herbs. serve cold. mmm.

        and i second the corn salad above. sounds delicious.

        1. We love Ina Garten's Roasted Vegetables with Orzo and Feta Cheese.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mcel215

            I make a similar orzo salad with feta.

            Broccoli salads are good with mandarin or clementine oranges, which are so good right now. I also like using blood oranges in salads, if you can find them, and temper the sweetness with salty cheese like feta, mizithra or ricotta salata.

          2. I love the asian cole slaw recipe with ramen noodles, almonds! There is another one out there with turkey, bacon, tomato, coleslaw that is really addicting. I think I may have found it in a weight watchers book.

            1 Reply
            1. re: lexpatti

              Love that cole slaw/ramen salad. It's sweet and savory with a nice crunch. Everyone always loves it (we call it "Mindy's Slaw" because that's who passed it on.

            2. I used to know someone who made hominy with jalapenos during the summertime. It was fantastic. Should have gotten the recipe :(

              1. I make a version of corn salad as well that can be made with frozen veggies when I can't get fresh. 1 bag of frozen yellow & green green beans-steamed tender crisp, 1 bag sweet corn-steamed tender crisp, 1 pkg fresh cherry tomatos cut up. I make a shallot/balsamic/dijon vinagrette to go on it and serve at room temp. Not as good if cold, IMO. The colors look pretty in a bowl/on a plate and it makes a good side even to go with BBQ.

                1. Thanks for all the ideas :)

                  I was thinking that the watermelon salad would be good with crab. Does anyone have a favorite crab salad recipe?

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: foiegras

                    Crab, sliced celery, scallions, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, mayo, dijon, salt, & pepper.

                    1. re: foiegras

                      I love a stacked crab salad with the first layer of crab salad, second layer with chunky quacomole then a nice layer of chunky mango salsa = pretty and delish - I think this pic is one that I made with shrimp instead of crab (I liked crab better):

                      1. re: foiegras

                        a-ha. i think we all assumed you wanted vegetarian options since it sounded like the watermelon salad was the "main." in that case, i'll amend my initial suggestion...

                        fresh corn kernels, lump crab meat, chiffonade of baby spinach, thinly sliced red onion or scallions, sliced grape or cherry tomatoes, & chopped fresh basil, all tossed with a light vinaigrette (red or rice wine vinegar- OR citrus-based), and *served in grilled avocado halves.*

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          Thanks, so many yummy options!!! Beautiful stacked salad, lexpatti.

                      2. i know i sound like a broken record on this board, but this is my all-time favorite summer salad: cold or room temp. green lentils (i've used the steamed ones from Trader Joe's), arugula, hard boiled eggs cut in eighths, avocado sliced into eighths, very lemony shallot-dijon vinaigrette dressing, salt, pepper. blend all gently. there are so many contrasting textures and flavors to this dish, it's satisfying yet light, healthy, and absolutely delicious!

                        1. How about a tabouleh salad- chopped tomatoes, red onions, chopped seeded cukes, S & P, lemon juice, chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, olive oil. You can either use cooked bulgar wheat or quinoa for the grain.

                          Love roasting veggies, so pretty on a platter. Try asparagus, as well, roasts in 10 minutes in 400* oven.