For many of us, summertime is the perfect catalyst for moving meals outdoors. Whether we’re working the grill in the backyard or spreading a picnic blanket under a majestic tree, warm weather just begs us to come outside and enjoy something delicious.
Our friend Amelia, who cooks and blogs at Eating Made Easy, feels the same way. She says that her family is happiest when dining al fresco, and she’s developed some easy strategies for keeping their outdoor meals delicious, relaxed and fun for all — see her latest post about it right here.
Here’s one of Amelia’s best summer-eating strategies: a yummy, portable salad that’s packed with healthy ingredients and simple enough to serve outside. It’s a perfect main dish to anchor a few finger foods and a light dessert for an easy meal the whole family can enjoy without a lot of hassle or fuss.
Summer Sorghum and Baby Kale Salad
- Prep Time: 20m, not including cooking the grain | Serves 4-6
- From Eating-Made-Easy.com
- Juice of 2 medium lemons
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2-1/2 cups cooked sorghum (from 1 cup dry, cooked according to package directions),
cooled to room temperature or just slightly warm — or substitute cooked farro, wheat berries or barley
- 1-1/2 cups white beans, rinsed & drained
- 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and sliced into thin half-moons
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 small apples, peaches or nectarines (for peaches or nectarines, choose slightly firm fruit)
- 3 cups packed Earthbound Farm Organic Kale
- Small handful fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup, mustard and salt. Add the cooked sorghum to the bowl and toss to coat with the dressing.
- Add the remaining ingredients and toss again gently, just until the whole salad is evenly coated in the dressing. Let the mixture sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.
- This salad is best at room temperature, but it can also be eaten cold.
- Note: Sorghum is an ancient cereal grain eaten by people across Asia, the Mideast and Africa (as well as regions in the US), and it’s naturally gluten free. If you can't find sorghum where you shop, you can easily substitute farro, wheat berries, barley or any other hearty, chewy grain.