Easy dinner recipes: Three simple summer salads in 40 minutes or less

Easy dinner recipes: Three simple summer salads in 40 minutes or less
Mustards Grill's curried slaw (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Keep it fast and simple tonight with these three great salad recipes. Each comes together in 40 minutes or less.

Grilled fig salad: One great way to use figs is in salads. Head out to the grill for this recipe, with radicchio and fennel quickly grilled over a hot fire. Figs are also grilled, the fruit cooked just long enough to caramelize some of their sugars and deepen their flavor. Toss the salad with goat cheese, walnuts and sherry vinaigrette, and you have dinner in under an hour.


Mustards Grill's curried slaw: Cabbage, carrot and jalapeno chile are tossed with a bright curry vinaigrette in this slaw that comes together in only 15 minutes.

Wolfe's Market shell pasta salad with lemon zest: Sweet cherry tomatoes and vibrant zucchini strips lend bright colors to this pasta salad, and the fresh lemon zest adds a nice zing. The pasta salad comes together in minutes, the flavors rounded out with fresh chopped basil and rich Parmigiano-Reggiano. You can find the recipe below.

Wolfe's Market's shell pasta salad with lemon zest

Total time: 30 minutes | Makes 5 quarts

Note: Adapted from Wolfe's Market in Claremont.

    1 pound shell pasta
    Zest of 2 lemons
    1 1/2 cups petite peas
    3 zucchini, cut into matchsticks
    1 pint cherry tomatoes
    1/2 bunch (1/3 ounce) fresh basil, leaves finely chopped
    8 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
    3 to 4 tablespoons best-quality olive oil

1. Cook the shell pasta to al dente according to the manufacturer's directions, then rinse under cold running water to cool completely.

2. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, lemon zest, thawed peas, cut zucchini, tomatoes, basil and Parmesan. Drizzle olive oil to coat and toss gently. The salad will keep as long as two days, covered and refrigerated.

Each cup: 170 calories; 4 grams protein; 20 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 6 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 9 mg cholesterol; 2 grams sugar; 93 mg sodium.

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