Spring Flowers and a Summer Salad Recipe Challenge


Do you have any special spring traditions?  Each year as the weather starts to warm, we pay a visit to a particular field on my in-laws’ farm to pick from a massive expanse of bluebells. Even as my sons grow older, they love to do this.  As we pick, we separate out big bunches for their grandmothers, a special neighbor, and perhaps a teacher or two.  Though John and Christian are picking in shorts, I am in long pants and a jacket.  We had a warm stretch of weather the week before and somehow, once the kids break out the shorts, they don’t want to return to pants!  I was freezing on this crisp day; they claimed they were just fine!

Eventually, the warm weather will return and stick around for a while.   As the heat and humidity settle in, I turn less frequently to soups and slow cooker meals and more often to dinner salads and grilled options.  You might do the same.

The Lancaster Sunday News, for which I write a bi-weekly recipe column, and I have just issued a fun challenge for all those who enjoy lighter fare–or want to incorporate more of it into their diets.  We want YOU to share your favorite summer salad recipe.  Greens and grains, pastas and proteins are all fair game.  Ideally, the salad would feature wholesome, seasonal ingredients, be relatively easy to prepare and, of course, taste great!  The recipe need not be an original recipe.  It may be a recipe a friend shared, something you tore out of a magazine years ago, or a tried-and-true family heirloom.  If it is from a favorite cookbook, simply site the source.  And feel free to share any details specific to the recipe.  I love a good story!

Simply email me by May 12 at ann@client002.infantree.com or click on the “contact me” link on the top of this webpage.  I will choose several of these recipes to prepare and feature in a special column in both the Sunday paper and Lancaster Online.  I know that many of you have great recipes, and I can’t wait to see them and share them with a few hundred thousand hungry readers!  I will feature the recipes right here on The Fountain Avenue Kitchen as well, with full credit to my guest chefs!  And if we all have fun with this, perhaps we can reissue the challenge for, say, fall soups and winter slow cooker recipes.  What do you think?

Along with a few photos from our bluebell picking adventure, I will try to inspire you with a few of my old favorite salad recipes!

Basil Orange Edamame and Bean Salad

(simply click on the recipe title to see the recipe)

Corn and Cucumber Salad with Basil and Chives

Gorgonzola Tomato Salad

BLT Ranch Pasta Salad

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  1. Mary Lou Keller

    Soo pretty Ann! I do not think we have bluebells growing in our area. Our garden is spring up slowly but surely and my fave is the bleeding heart, both white and red. We too had cold snap but it was warmer today and soon our wisteria arbor will be covered with the beautiful blooms that resemble big clusters of grapes hanging down.

    Both salads pictured above look delightful!

  2. Mary @ Fit and Fed

    The bluebells in the delft pitcher are beautiful! Each year we try to get out to a garden to enjoy the spring flowers. This year we went to a park with lots of cherry trees and enjoyed the blossoms- gorgeous!