Colorful summer salads and brownies for dessert |

Colorful summer salads and brownies for dessert

Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson
Home Cooking

I’ve been frequenting the Dillon Farmers Market this summer, and the bounty of colorful fresh vegetables has inspired me to create salads that serve as the main course. Since our summers are so brief here in the mountains, I encourage you to do the same. Support our local farmers and enjoy the incomparable taste and variety of farm fresh vegetables and fruit.

Salmon salad niçoise with tarragon yogurt dressing
Courtesy Suzanne E. Anderson

Salmon salad niçoise

  • 2 4-ounce salmon filets
  • 6-8 fingerling potatoes
  • 1 large handful of green beans, ends trimmed
  • 1/2 cup black or Kalamata olives, sliced
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, cut in half

Roast salmon filets in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes. A simple drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper is all that is needed. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

While the salmon is cooking, cut the fingerling potatoes into halves or quarters (depending on their size) and boil until just tender, about 15 minutes.

During the last 5 minutes, throw in the green beans and allow them to cook until just tender but not soggy. Drain both the potatoes and beans and run cold water over them immediately. At this point, you may want to chill the salmon, potatoes and green beans. However, this salad is also delicious served at room temperature.

When ready to serve, build your salad: On a large platter or bowl, start with the base of potatoes, add the green beans, then salmon filets broken into large chunks. Place the eggs on top and scatter on the olives. Drizzle with the tarragon dressing (recipe below) or serve the dressing on the side.

Tarragon yogurt dressing

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, finely minced or grated
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Drizzle over the salad or serve on the side as a dip.

Colorful chicken salad
Courtesy Suzanne E. Anderson

Colorful chicken salad

  • 2 cups chicken, shredded
  • 2 large carrots, peeled into ribbons (use a vegetable peeler)
  • 2 cups red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 zucchini, halved and sliced
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2-3 tablespoons gochujang (Korean chili sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Toss chicken and vegetables together in a bowl. Add remaining ingredients to a small jar and shake. Pour about half of the dressing over the salad and keep the rest to use later.

Lower sugar dark chocolate brownies with walnuts
Courtesy Suzanne E. Anderson

Lower sugar dark chocolate brownies with walnuts

I had a craving for brownies, but not for ones loaded with sugar. This recipe cuts the sugar in half, but the brownies are still decadent and delicious. And so easy to make!

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9-by-9-inch baking dish.

In one bowl, mix together the oil and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the vanilla and eggs. Then stir in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and kosher salt. Gently fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.

Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool. Then dust with powdered sugar (optional). Cut into squares and enjoy.

Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson

Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson’s column “Home Cooking” publishes biweekly on Thursdays in the Summit Daily News. Anderson taught herself to cook after college when she discovered dinner parties were a cure for loneliness. Her latest cookbook is “A Year in the Mountains Cookbook.” She has lived in Breckenridge since 2016. Contact her at

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