• On the Menu: California Summer Salads

    What do you get when you combine every fresh ingredient at the local farmers’ market into one meal? Inspired by California’s amazing produce, we had lunch with Ceara McAuliffe at home in Venice, where whipped up what we're convinced are the perfect summer salads. Read on for her recipes!
    Photos by Emily Knecht

    The idea behind these salads is having something you can throw together quickly and off the cuff, but that still combine a variety of textures and flavors. For these recipes, Ceara picked up fresh butter lettuces, herbs, and grapefruits at the farmers' market, but customize the recipes with whatever is fresh and local to you.

    Grapefruit and Avocado Salad
    Recipe by Ceara's sisters, both chefs who run Bread & Water Catering in Venice

    Head of butter lettuce
    Head of radicchio 
    1 avocado
    1 grapefruit
    Fresh scallops (typical serving is 2-3 per person)
    Lemon + olive oil
    Salt + pepper

    Prep your salad, tearing lettuce leaves into bite-sized pieces, chopping the radicchio for color and texture, slicing an avocado, and peeling and slicing a grapefruit. Easy! To cook the scallops, sauté them in a buttered pan over medium heat. Don't be tempted to stir or poke at the scallops to see if they're ready; to get things nicely browned it’s best to leave them be and then flip them when one side gets crispy. When the scallops are ready, place them on top of the salad and dress it  with salt and pepper, some nice olive oil, and a fresh squeezed lemon.

    Greek-inspired orzo salad

    Cooked orzo (about 2 cups of cooked orzo)
    Feta cheese
    Cherry tomatoes
    Flat parsley
    Handful of Spanish olives
    Sherry vinegar + olive oil
    Salt + pepper

    Cook your orzo — if you haven't made it before, orzo is a small pasta that looks like rice. Prepare it just as you would pasta: Boil until al dente and then strain. While the orzo is cooling down to room temp, chop up your cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and parsley and mix them in in. Next, crumble in some feta, being careful not to stir it too much so that the cheese stays in nice-sized pieces. To finish, season with salt and pepper, olive oil, and some sherry vinegar. This also makes a great picnic if you're looking for a dish that you can pack up and go!

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