4 Cool Summer Salad Recipes

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The good old summertime! Time to relax and celebrate warm Illinois weather, grillin’ and chillin’ with family and friends. Nowadays, casual get-together etiquette requires everyone to pitch in and bring a delicious dish. Some pass-and-share favorites include fried chicken, creamy potato salad, and plenty of gooey brownies and chocolate chip cookies.

So what’s in your picnic basket? I recommend bringing a refreshing salad spotlighting the season’s best veggies. Something light and healthy to balance heavy, traditional picnic fare. Go ahead and show off your locally grown sweet bell peppers, crisp cucumbers and vine-ripened tomatoes. And if you need inspiration, check out these four crowd-pleasing, go-to summer salads. Each takes only minutes to prepare and incorporates seasonal vegetables and grab-and-go ingredients, making them perfect for impromptu parties or unexpected guests.

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Cucumber Salad with Feta and Dill

If you want the coolest salad at the party, bring Sliced Cucumber Salad with Feta and Dill. A mandolin cuts paper-thin slices, but a sharp knife works well, too. After cutting cucumbers, they weep, so place them in a colander with a sprinkle of salt to drain. When you’re ready to assemble the salad, rinse the sliced cucumber with cold water, then gently squeeze away excess water and seeds. While I like to use cucumbers from my garden, they can be a tad bitter. If you prefer a slightly sweeter salad, use seedless cucumbers (aka English cucumbers) often sold wrapped in plastic in the supermarket.

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