School is officially over! It is time for the beach and some rest and relaxation.

Last summer, we moved into my husband’s parents’ home. I can’t tell you how many things we have either misplaced or inadvertently thrown away. In preparation for our vacation trip, I have discovered that two of theses things are our luggage and our swimsuits! I hope this isn’t a bad omen as we prepare to leave.

We haven’t always had the best luck in our travels, but that is an entire article in itself.

Today, I have five new summer salad recipes that I hope you will give a try. Thanks for reading.

SUMMER SALAD

¾ cup olive oil

4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to taste

½ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon sugar

Dash of paprika

Juice of two fresh lemons

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Place all ingredients in a jar, and shake well. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

Green lettuce leaves

½ red onion, thinly sliced

1 cup red grape tomatoes, halved

Serve the dressing over these salad ingredients.

CREAMY ITALIANO SALAD

½ cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk dressing ingredients together, and store in a Mason jar to refrigerate.

1 (9-ounce) bag chopped Romaine lettuce

1 cup sliced seedless cucumbers

1 cup croutons

½ cup sliced banana pepper rings

½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

¼ cup shaved Parmesan cheese

Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl, and toss with salad dressing before serving.

BUTTERMILK PASTA SALAD

1 (16-ounce) package penne pasta, cooked and drained well

1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup diced cucumbers

½ cup chopped fresh chives

½ cup diced red onion

½ cup mini sweep peppers, diced

½ cup salted sunflower seeds

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

½ cup buttermilk

1 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon hot sauce

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

Place prepared pasta in a large bowl. Add basil, tomatoes, cucumber, chives, red onion, peppers, sunflower seeds and feta. Toss well, and set aside. Whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, lemon juice, hot sauce, garlic and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour dressing over pasta mixture, and toss to coat. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

LAYERED VEGETABLE SALAD WITH PARMESAN DRESSING

1 (8-ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms

2 cups broccoli florets, chopped

1 (10-ounce) package shredded carrots

5 small yellow squash, sliced

2 large red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 green onions, sliced

Parmesan dressing

Layer half of each of these ingredients in a glass bowl (trifle bowls work nicely). Spread half of the dressing on top, and repeat layers. Cover and chill overnight.

Parmesan Dressing:

¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup sour cream

½ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup Italian dressing with balsamic vinegar

½ teaspoon cracked black pepper

Whisk ingredients together until smooth.

LAYERED CLUB SALAD

1 (8-ounce) package cornbread mix, cooked according to package directions

1 (16-ounce) bottle peppercorn ranch salad dressing

¼ cup milk

¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese

4 cups shredded lettuce

2 cups chopped turkey

1 large bell pepper, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 Vidalia onion, sliced

2 cups grated Swiss cheese

1 (3-ounce) package real bacon bits

2 green onions, chopped

Crumble prepared cornbread. Thin salad dressing with milk and add Parmesan cheese. Layer half of each of the cornbread, lettuce, turkey, bell pepper, tomatoes, onion, Swiss cheese and bacon bits. Repeat layers, and drizzle with half of salad dressing. Cover and chill. Just before serving, sprinkle with green onions and remaining salad dressing mixture.

• Contact Lee Ann Flemming at lafkitchen@hughes.net.

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