Dean shares recipe for 3 easy summer salads

Cooking with Dean

WGN Entertainment Reporter Dean Richards is sharing social distancing comfort food recipes.

Today, Dean shares three easy recipes for summer salads.

No-Mayo Potato Salad


  • 2 pounds small Yukon Gold or red-skinned potatoes (leave skin on)
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 stalks celery, diced, plus 1/4 cup roughly chopped celery leaves
  • 1 bunch green onions, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced


1. Place the potatoes in a large pot; cover with water by 2 inches. Season generously with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes; let cool 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a medium bowl; stir in the olives and diced celery. Halve the potatoes and transfer to a shallow bowl. Scatter the tomatoes over the potatoes, then drizzle with the vinaigrette. Scatter the celery leaves, green onions red pepper and green pepper over the salad, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the vinaigrette.

Watermelon & Feta Salad


  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 c. cubed seedless watermelon
  • 1 c. medium cucumber, chopped
  • 1 c. crumbled feta
  • 1/2 c. red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c. coarsely chopped mint
  • Flaky sea salt, for garnish (optional)


1. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt.

2. In a large serving bowl, combine watermelon, cucumber, feta, red onion, and mint. Pour over dressing, toss carefully.

3. Garnish with more mint and flaky sea salt.

Cold Summer Pasta Salad


  • 1 pound uncooked pasta (like rotini or cavatelli)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half.
  • 1 lb grilled asparagus (tender parts only), grilled
  • 1/2 cup broccoli
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower
  • 3/4 cup ripe olives
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • (if desired, add 1 lb of roasted chicken or salami)
  • 8 oz. Newman’s Own Parmesan & Roasted Garlic bottled dressing


1. Cook pasta according to package directions, in salted water for more flavor. Allow to cool slightly and toss with a little oil to prevent sticking.

2. Toss all ingredients together!

3. Keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.


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