celebrate arugula saladI’m sharing three of my all-time favorite salad recipes this week. Summertime is a wonderful season to indulge in a healthy menu. We’re so very blessed with an abundance of fresh local produce in the Lowcountry. Just add your favorite protein topped with a drizzle of vinaigrette to a pile of mixed greens and beautiful and delicious entrees will appear before your eyes. Enjoy!


Arugula Salad with Fruit and Olives

I took this salad to a dinner party last weekend. It’s a great side dish for any type of grilled meat. I used canned pears and mandarin oranges.

For the vinaigrette:

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Whisk oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside until ready to serve. 

For the salad:

Baby arugula

Canned pears, sliced 

Mandarin oranges, drained


Kalamata olives, halved

Goat cheese, crumbled

Walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

Place arugula in a large bowl; toss lightly with vinaigrette. Top with pears, oranges, blueberries, olives, goat cheese and walnuts.


Greek Chicken Saladcelebrate greek chicken salad

Substitute fried chicken tenders from the deli if you don’t feel like cooking.

For the vinaigrette:

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

½ teaspoon garlic salt

¼  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼  teaspoon sugar

Place all ingredients in a small jar and shake to mix. Set aside until ready to serve.

For the tzatziki sauce:

Greek yogurt

English cucumber

Dried dill weed

Place yogurt in a bowl. Peel cucumber, remove seeds and dice into small pieces. Fold cucumber into the yogurt. Season to taste with dill weed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Store leftover tzatziki in the refrigerator for up with 5 days.

For the salad:

Chicken breast tenders

Green leaf lettuce, chopped or torn

English cucumber, sliced

Grape tomatoes, sliced

Red onion, thinly sliced

Kalamata olives

Pepperoncini peppers, sliced

Capers, drained

Feta cheese, crumbled

Cut chicken tenders into bite-sized pieces. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add a couple of tablespoons of the vinaigrette to the pan. Saute chicken pieces until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Season with salt and pepper. Place salad greens on a plate; dress lightly with prepared vinaigrette. Top with sliced cucumber, grape tomatoes and red onion. Add chicken pieces, olives, peppers, capers, and feta cheese. Serve with tzatziki sauce on the side. 

Grilled Summer Salad with Fresh Fruitcelebrate grilled summer salad

Grill the peaches (halved, skin on, pit removed) while you’re cooking the meat. Peaches cook quickly and are delicious served warm or cold.

For the beef:

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ cup olive oil

1 (2 to 3-pound) London broil or flank steak

Combine balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and spices. Whisk in olive oil. Place meat in a gallon-sized zip-lock bag. Pour marinade over meat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 12 to 48 hours. (The longer the meat marinates, the more tender it will be.) To cook, remove the meat from the marinade and let it come to room temperature. Preheat grill to high heat. Turn the grill down to medium high or let coals cool down before you put the meat on. Turn the meat about every 6 minutes. (Cooking time will depend on how hot the grill is and the size of your meat. The meat will continue to cook as it rests so it’s best to remove it from the grill when it’s a bit underdone.) When the meat reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees, remove from the grill and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Cut meat into thin slices across the grain. 

For the salad:

Green leaf lettuce, chopped

Grilled peaches, sliced

Grape tomatoes, quartered lengthwise

Red onion, diced

Bacon, cooked and crumbled

Strawberries, sliced


Sliced almonds, toasted

Bottled balsamic dressing

Place lettuce on a plate. Add grilled slices of steak. Top with grilled peaches, tomatoes, red onion, bacon, strawberries and blueberries. Garnish with sliced almonds. Dress with bottled balsamic vinaigrette.

debbi headshot NEW2018The writer owns Catering by Debbi Covington and is the author of three cookbooks, Celebrate Beaufort, Celebrate Everything! and Dining Under the Carolina Moon. Debbi’s website address is www.cateringbydebbicovington.com. She may be reached at 525-0350 or by email at dbc@cateringbydebbicovington.com.