A cool, crunchy main dish salad is the perfect meal for these slow summer days. Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

A cool, crunchy main dish salad is the perfect meal for these slow summer days.

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundy’s Harbor. You can reach her at [email protected] Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

This particular summer has been all about simplicity. I’ve pretty much stayed home, where there is an abundant amount of deck sitting, bird watching and book reading. Here at the cove, other activities include admiring the changing of the light, yoga and meditation, moseying to The Point and beach combing. If I feel a streak of industriousness come on, I work in the flower beds or head for the kitchen. Sometimes I go fetch a grandchild to keep me company. Other times a friend from my “COVID Cluster” is invited to share a meal on the deck and a fresh baked good.

For this much-loved and often-served main dish salad, I poach chicken breasts in a bit of stock with fresh herbs until it shreds easily with a fork. However, you can also use leftovers from a roast chicken or purchase a rotisserie chicken from the market. Seafood of any sort or tuna can also be substituted.

The salad makes a lovely meal on its own, but if you want something more, Chive-Lemon Biscuits are scrumptious served warm with butter. If you have any biscuits left in the basket at the end of the meal, I can attest to the fact that they are yummy the next morning warmed on the griddle with scrambled eggs and cheese.

For dessert, try this slushy, rosy cooler that can be whipped up in the blender. If you want to take things up a notch, add some vodka or strawberry liqueur. It really is a little something to look forward to as we wait for and work towards better days. We must do what we can to get by.

Perhaps one day we’ll look back on these days of June, July and August 2020, and just remember it as “that slow, quiet summer.”

Crunchy Asian Salad

2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded
3 cups Napa cabbage or sturdy lettuce, julienned
1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 cup fresh pea pods, garden peas or frozen edamame
1 cup carrot shreds
4 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped raw almonds
1 cup crispy chow mein noodles
Cilantro for garnish

Arrange all ingredients in four individual salad plates or bowls. (If using edamame, cook according to package directions then rinse with cold water.)

Garnish with cilantro and serve with salad dressing. Yield: 4 servings

Salad Dressing

4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
4 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Whisk together all ingredients.

Chive-Lemon Biscuits

2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter
3/4 cup cream
1/2 cup minced chives
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon peel
1 egg
1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Stir in cream just until moistened. Stir in chives and lemon peel. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead 8-10 times.

Roll out dough to 3/4 inches thick. Cut with a floured biscuit cutter. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet.

Whisk egg with water and brush over tops of biscuits. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Yield: 9 biscuits

Whipped Pink Lemonade

Lemon Simple Syrup

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Zest from two large lemons

Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest. Cover and let steep for one hour then strain through a fine-mesh sieve; discard the zest. (You’ll have extra syrup that can be refrigerated for up to one week.)

Lemonade

1 cup lemon simple syrup
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk or other non-dairy milk
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 cups frozen strawberries
1 cup ice cubes
Whole strawberries and/or lemon slices for garnish

Place simple syrup, milk, lemon juice, strawberries and ice in a blender. Blend until berries are pureed and the mixture is slushy.
Divide between four 12-ounce glasses. Garnish and serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings

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