MISSION, Kan., May 17, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- (Family Features) Even though salads can be enjoyed year-round, the warmer months signal salad season for some fans of al fresco dining. Barbecues, family reunions, picnics, potlucks, block parties, pool parties or simple family dinners are a few reasons to savor the season, and all are ideal occasions to serve a salad.

This versatile Middle Eastern-Inspired Bean Salad can be assembled ahead of time and served chilled or at room temperature.

Beginning with a can of READ 3 or 4 Bean Salad can help streamline prep and provide a pleasing flavor to complement the cherry tomatoes, cucumber, parsley and mint in the salad. The hummus-based dressing combined with a traditional Middle Eastern spice blend gets a bright accent from a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Colorful Pickled Beet and Red Quinoa Salad is also an option that can be served chilled or at room temperature, and can make for a vegetarian main dish or side salad.

At just the right size for a salad, Aunt Nellie’s Whole Baby Pickled Beats are teamed with red quinoa and punctuated with chickpeas, almonds and feta. The fresh orange vinaigrette helps tie the flavors together.

For additional salad inspiration, visit READSalads.com and AuntNellies.com.

Middle Eastern-Inspired Bean Salad
Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6

1          can (15 ounces) READ 3 or 4 Bean Salad
1/2       cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
1          small cucumber (4-5 inches long), cut in half lengthwise then thinly sliced crosswise
2          green onions, thinly sliced
1/2       cup chopped fresh parsley
2          tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1          small clove garlic, minced
1/4       teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2          tablespoons prepared hummus
1          tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4-1/2 teaspoon za'atar seasoning blend

Drain bean salad. Discard liquid. Place bean salad in large bowl.

Add tomatoes, cucumber, onions, parsley, mint, garlic and red pepper flakes to bean salad. Toss to combine.

To make dressing: Combine hummus, lemon juice and seasoning; set aside.

Add dressing to salad just before serving; toss to combine well. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Pickled Beet and Red Quinoa Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
Servings: 8

1/4       cup fresh orange juice
1          tablespoon orange zest
1/2       teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4       teaspoon salt (optional)
2          tablespoons olive oil

1          jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie's Baby Whole Pickled Beets
1          can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2       cup thinly sliced green onion
1/2       cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2       cup red quinoa, cooked according to package directions (about 1 1/2 cups cooked)
1/2       cup coarsely chopped almonds, toasted
1/3       cup crumbled reduced-fat or traditional feta cheese
1          tablespoon orange zest

To make vinaigrette: In small bowl, whisk together orange juice, orange zest, black pepper, salt, if desired, and olive oil; set aside.

To make salad: Drain beets. Place in large bowl; set aside.

Add chickpeas, green onion, parsley and quinoa to beets. Add vinaigrette; toss to combine well.

Just before serving, add almonds to salad; toss to combine well. Sprinkle with feta cheese and orange zest. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Michael French

About Family Features Editorial Syndicate
Established in 1974, Family Features is a leading provider of free food and lifestyle content for print and online publications. Our articles, photos, videos and web content solutions save you time, money and help create advertising opportunities. Registration is fast and free – with absolutely no obligation. Visit editors.familyfeatures.com for more information.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/82eb9663-b94f-4738-8bc0-c7e2b17c6c48