How exciting is summer … cool the hot sunshine days with these really cool, lip-smacking salads.

Spicy Peach and Avocado Salad

Creamy avocados and juicy peaches get a kick of spice thanks to Fresno chiles.

3 tbsp fresh lemon juice; 3 tbsp olive oil; 2 tsp pure honey; 1 shallot, finely chopped; 1 Fresno chile, thinly sliced; Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper; 3 ripe but firm peaches, cut into wedges; 2 avocados, pitted and cut into wedges; 1/2 c fresh mint, torn if large, plus more for garnish; 1/4 c roasted pistachios, chopped

Whisk together lemon juice, oil, honey, shallot, and chile in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add peaches and toss to coat. Let sit at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour.
Just before serving, add avocado and mint and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Top with pistachios and garnish with mint.

Mexican Chopped Salad

This Mexican Chopped Salad might just be the freshest, healthiest, most delicious salad you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. And it’s loaded with fabulous Southwestern flavor!

¼ cup fresh lime juice; 2 tablespoons honey; ½ teaspoon cumin; 1 clove garlic finely minced; ½ teaspoon salt; 2 tablespoons canola oil; 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil; freshly ground black pepper; taste and add salt if needed

1 medium head romaine lettuce chopped in approximately 1/2 inch pieces; 1 medium bell pepper diced in 1/4-inch pieces, any color (I used yellow); ½ medium red onion diced in 1/4-inch pieces; ½ medium jicama(mexican potato) peeled and diced in 1/4-inch pieces; 1 medium zucchini diced in 1/4-inch dice, 4 medium tomatoes seeded and diced into 1/4-inch dice; 4 ears corn if fresh corn is not in season, substitute 1 1/2 cups of sweet, tiny frozen corn; 1 1/2 cups canned black beans drained and rinsed; 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro plus whole cilantro leaves for garnish, if desired

For the dressing, combine lime juice, honey, cumin, garlic and salt.
In a slow, steady stream, add the oils, stirring continuously with a fork or small whisk.
Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Set aside.
For the corn tortilla strips, preheat oven to 400˚F.
Stack corn tortillas on a cutting board. Cut in half. Cut each stack of halves into thin strips, widthwise, about 1/4-inch thick.
Transfer tortilla strips to a sheet pan. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and toss to coat.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until light golden brown and crisp. Set aside to cool.
For the salad, place corn, two ears at a time, in the microwave and cook for 3 1/2 minutes.
Remove from microwave and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
After cooling, cut bottom end of corn off, about 1 1/2 inches from end. Cut kernels from husks and set aside.
Combine corn and all the other salad ingredients in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add dressing and stir to coat all ingredients. Garnish with cilantro leaves, if desired.
Served with the crispy corn tortilla strips makes for a great salad.

Creamy Dilled Cucumber Salad

A cool and creamy cucumber and dill salad that is perfect for hot summer days!

2 large cucumbers, sliced; 1/4 cup red onion, sliced; 1/4 cup greek yogurt (or sour cream or mayo or combination); 1 lemon, juice and zest (or 1/4 cup white vinegar); 2 tablespoons dill, chopped; salt and pepper to taste; 1 clove garlic, grated (optional)

Mix everything and enjoy!
Let the salad chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to let the flavours mingle. Add a teaspoon or so of sugar or honey for a hint of sweetness!.