Cat’s Corner: Celebrate the “Dog Days of Summer”

Catherine Mahrholz

Our extended Monsoon Season here in Teller County has certainly produced some astounding amounts of rain!  The other day out here where I live we actually had about four inches of accumulated hail; a storm of epic proportions in a matter of minutes! The upside is that it is so very lush and green up here in the Pikes Peak region.

We have had some very warm days up here as well. In the mornings, when the weather is still apt to be cool yet sunny, I love to hike some of the deer trails near my home. The beautiful Colorado wildflowers are so abundant this year!

By supper time, with the heat that has built up throughout the afternoon, I am often just not in the mood to cook. Something easy and refreshing is the order of the day!

What I love to do, is create a huge salad with fresh young greens, so readily available washed and ready to eat. Then I top them with lots of cold shredded chicken from one of those rotisserie chickens and add sliced fresh fruit like Colorado’s delicious Palisade peaches which are now in season. Some sliced strawberries make a good addition as well. Instead of fruit one can of course use sliced tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, shredded carrots…whatever appeals to you and your family.

The salad I top with this recipe for Summer Citrus Salad Dressing which is as follows:

Cat’s Summer Citrus Salad Dressing

Accurate measuring is not required here, adjust to suit your taste buds and be sure to refrigerate leftover dressing.

Freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)

¼ cup water

3 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (or Sir Kensington’s Chipotle Mayonnaise)

salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Mix these ingredients thoroughly in a Pyrex measuring cup, then pour into a bottle of your choice; I prefer glass. Secure the cap, shake vigorously, and…Voila!

Create a salad that is a great starter or a meal in itself with lots of shredded chicken and of course some sliced bread on the side. I love the Artisan breads so readily available in our local supermarkets.

Today I substituted Sir Kensington’s Chipotle Mayonnaise for the Dijon mustard. We were out of fresh fruit but we had some canned mango chunks and canned pineapple left over from a previous meal. I made a tropical version of this summertime salad. Wow! It was absolutely delicious with the alternative version of my Summer Citrus Salad Dressing.

This recipe makes enough dressing for several salads, and has a lot less oil than most of the bottled salad dressings available at grocery stores. And olive oil is one of the “good for you” oils. Enjoy!