Crunchy Chopped Summer Salad – Serves about 4

Swiss Chard leaves

Beet greens (if using thinnings, scrub the small beets well, thinly slice than chop them)

Any of the following ingredients, depending on what’s available in your garden, at the Farmer’s Market, the Online Marketplace or CSA. (this list will change as the season progresses):

Cucumbers, chopped

Radishes, any color, chopped

Sugar Snap Peas, sliced diagonally

Shelled Peas

Rhubarb (I use just a small amount for its citrusy bite)

Garlic Scapes, chopped (if using fresh whole garlic, mince really fine)

Bermuda or other sweet Onion, chopped fine

Red Cabbage chopped small or grated

Beans, green, wax and purple, sliced  diagonally

Carrots, grated, or sliced thin than chopped (use thinnings  if available)

Peppers to your liking, any and every color, cut into thin strips than cut laterally

Celery, sliced lengthwise than cut laterally

Any other crunchy vegetables that are available in your garden, at the Farmer’s Market, Online Marketplace or CSA.

Any Herbs available to you – Basil, Dill, Chives, Parsley, Mint, Oregano, Thyme, Summer Savory (I would not use Rosemary – though delicious, it’s too overpowering in this dish) – snipped or minced fine

Dressing: Homemade Mayonnaise (see recipe)

Garnishes:  Grape tomatoes, Cherry, Sungold and yellow Pear tomato halves, Croutons and edible flowers (I love Nasturtium for their peppery bite and amazing colors)

Sea Salt

Freshly Cracked Pepper

Wash and DRY all your ingredients really well.*

Cut off stem in chard. Chop chard and beet greens by cutting lengthwise down center than stack the leaves, roll the long way and slice across laterally every half-inch. (I don’t tear them in this application because you want the pieces fairly consistent in size). Chop stems small. Chop all other vegetables to roughly the same size, a small bite-size piece; grate the carrots and cabbage, mince the herbs.

Toss the vegetables together in a really large bowl, than toss the herbs with the salad. Serve onto salad plates, making sure the herbs have not sifted to the bottom of salad bowl.

Garnish with Tomatoes, Edible Flowers and Croutons.

Serve with Homemade Mayonnaise as the dressing, on the side; if you’ve never made your own, you are missing out – it’s a whole other condiment than store-bought!  I give everyone their own tiny bowl.

Pass the Sea Salt and Pepper grinder.

*Use this caterer’s trick for very crisp greens: soak the greens in cold water, drain well in colander, spread on a large clean towel (I use enormous flour sack towels, folded double; these are available at kitchen and restaurant supply stores), gently roll up the towel and place in the refrigerator for about an hour.  Your greens will be very crisp!

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