5 Summer Picnic Salads (No Greens Allowed)

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Summertime: the season for picnic lunches, outdoors dates, and light and fresh fare. Unravel your blankets and find your baskets, because it’s time to take mealtime outside, and we just have just the recipes to welcome the fresh air. Once the warmer months finally roll in, more and more people find their appetite for hot and heavy food diminishing, and that’s why a handful of no-hassle salad recipes are the perfect formulas to have in your summer meal arsenal. But no one wants to eat greens all season, either, and that’s why these “salad” recipes are actually completely void of the healthy leaves. Who said that salads have to be all greenery? Convince yourself otherwise with these five summer salads conspicuously lacking the color green.

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1. Summer Chicken Salad

First up is a chicken salad recipe from the Food NetworkThere’s nothing like a little chicken mixed with mayo, and this recipe takes that combo to the next level by adding some fresh corn, dill, and blueberries to the mix.

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • 4 ears fresh corn (use 2 if on the large side)
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh dill, plus more for serving
  • 3 stalks celery (inner light green stalks and leaves), finely diced
  • 1 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries

Dressing

  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated

DirectionsFor the salad, put the chicken breasts into a large plastic storage bag. Pound with a mallet or rolling pin to flatten to 1/4-inch uniform thickness. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a grill and drizzle with the olive oil. Grill the chicken on both sides until done, about 7 minutes per side. (Rotate halfway during grilling each side to ensure pretty grill marks.) Set aside to cool. Grill the corn for a few minutes, until still crunchy but colored. With a very sharp knife, shave the kernels off each corn cob. Combine with the dill, celery, and onions in a large bowl. Set aside.

For the dressing, mix together the feta, half-and-half, mayonnaise, and sour cream in a bowl. Stir in the sugar, lemon juice, and some salt and pepper. Stir and then taste. Add more salt if necessary. Slice the chicken on the bias to create flat, randomly shaped pieces. Throw into the bowl with the celery, onions, and corn. Stir to combine. Pour half of the dressing over the ingredients and toss gently. Add more as desired, but don’t overcoat the salad. At the end, toss in the blueberries to lightly coat them in the dressing. Optional: Spoon the salad into butter lettuce cups and then sprinkle individual helpings with feta and extra dill.

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