Two Sisters Cook: Summertime salads

Published 8:00 am Sunday, June 3, 2018

“It’s summertime summertime sum sum summertime. We’ll go swimmin’ every day. No time to work, just time to play. If your folks complain just say, ‘It’s summertime.”

Are you old enough to remember that song? When the days warm up and the sun shines everyday, I’m transported back to a time of getting out of school and having endless summer days laid out before me.

“Look alive and change your ways, it’s summertime…” the song continues. Summer does change things: the way we dress, the books we read and the music we listen to — and the way we cook.

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So, our recipes this month are summer recipes. We’re featuring salads for a hot day, salads to take along on picnics or to bring as a side dish to an outdoor cookout. 

Linda: Potato Salad, macaroni salad, and coleslaw are staples at a cookout. Let’s offer some recipes that are a little different.

Lucy: Mexican street corn is becoming the recipe for this summer. I’m discovering a variety of recipes for it in magazines and newspapers. I have a favorite, and it can be served warm or room temperature, so would be good to take on a picnic. The ingredients list a poblano pepper. I found poblanos at Whole Foods, but you could use bell peppers. Poblanos have a smokier taste, but either style would work.

Linda: That is a tasty dish and the name is intriguing. Definitely a good choice.

And since corn is becoming plentiful, I have a very easy corn salad recipe that doesn’t require cooking the corn. You know, I’m the lazy cook! I watched it made  on a TV show several years ago called “Mad Hungry,” and have served it frequently with barbecue.

Lucy: Local strawberries and blueberries are available. And South Carolina peaches are coming in. I think a fruit salad would be perfect for a hot summer day. It’s special to live where we have an abundance of locally grown fruits. It makes it fun to offer healthy fare.

Linda: And how about a Bean Salad? It’s not the usual three-bean salad that we all made in the ‘60s. This is a black bean and white bean salad. It calls for red wine vinegar, but I also added a little pineapple balsamic to brighten it up. Visit a local olive oil store and select a flavored balsamic to try.

Lucy: Let’s dig out our recipes out and get cooking! Our readers will be ready for the next outdoor cookout.


Servings: 4

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 ears fresh corn. shucked and kernels removed

Coarse salt

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 ounces Feta cheese, finely crumbled

½ cup sliced scallions

1 poblano or bell pepper, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Chili powder to taste

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet or a wok over high heat until shimmering. Add corn kernels, season to taste with salt. Toss once or twice and cook without moving until charred on one side, about 2 minutes. Toss corn. Stir and repeat until second side is charred, about 2 more minutes. Continue tossing and charring until well charred all over, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add mayonnaise, cheese, scallions, pepper, garlic, lime juice and chili powder, and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature on a bed of lettuce or arugula.

Cook’s Tip: Tip for taking the corn off the cob. You will need a Bundt pan and knife:

• Place cob on the center of the Bundt pan.

• Using knife, slice downward along the sides of the cob to remove kernels.

• Kernels fall directly into the pan.


Servings: 6-8

6 ears corn

2 medium vine tomatoes, chopped

3 scallions, thinly sliced crosswise

2 sprigs fresh basil chopped

1 lime, juiced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Remove corn kernels from cobs and place in a large bowl (remember, don’t cook the corn). Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Corn salad can be made a day ahead and stored in the fridge. Remove from fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.


Servings: 10-12

1 large navel orange

1 cup bite size pieces fresh pineapple

1 cup diced peaches

3 tablespoons peach preserves

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 cups sliced fresh strawberries

1 cup fresh blueberries

Grate 2 tablespoons peel from orange; set aside. Cut away orange peel removing all white pith. Separate orange segments and cut each in thirds. Place in bowl and add grated peel, pineapple with juice, peaches and preserves, and almond extract.

Chill 24 hours before serving. Just before serving add strawberries and blueberries. Toss gently.


Servings: 6-8

1 can white beans (Great Northern or Cannellini), drained and rinsed

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 large tomato diced

1 onion diced

1 celery rib diced

3 tablespoons minced fresh flat parsley or basil

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

3 – 4 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar (or use 2 tablespoons wine vinegar and 1-2 tablespoons flavored balsamic vinegar)

In a large bowl, combine beans, tomato, onion and celery. Gently stir in vinegar and sprinkle with parsley or basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.