While I like the sunshine, I am not a fan of hot kitchens.
A great way to keep the kitchen cool is to make salads that can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated until needed. My family knows that when there are pots on the stove of potatoes, noodles and eggs, that a heatwave is imminent.
This is one of my favorite make-ahead salads that keeps well for several days. It also uses fresh, in-season produce that you probably already have on hand.
Hot kitchen? Not me!
Of course, I still don't have my kitchen, but that's another story.
Spinach Chicken Salad
5 cups cubed, cooked chicken (about 3 whole breasts)
2 cups green grapes, halved
2 cups packed, torn spinach
12 oz. brown rice corkscrew pasta, cooked and drained
1 jar (6 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1/2 large cucumber, sliced
3 green onions with tops, sliced
1/2 cup EVOO
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tb. champagne vinegar
1 t. sea salt
1/2 t. dried minced onion
1 t. lemon juice
1 Tb. dried parsley or 2 Tb. fresh parsley, chopped fine
In a large bowl, combine chicken, grapes, spinach, pasta, artichokes, cucumber and green onions. Cover and refrigerate. Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl; mix well and refrigerate. Just before serving, pour dressing over salad and toss.