CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – What better way to beat the heat than with a fresh Summer Salad? We kicked off Summer Salads Week with Cathie Cappa, Owner and Chef of Auntie Cathie’s Kitchen in West Springfield. Cathie taught us how to make a Tomato & Cucumber Salad with Peach Dressing and a Summer Melon Salad.Tomato & Cucumber Salad with Peach Dressing

Peach Dressing:

3 T red wine vinegar

1 T fresh thyme

1 t sugar

1 very ripe peach, peeled and finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)


1 c peach dressing

1 medium English cucumber

2 lbs. multicolored heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/3 inch thick slices

3/4 c thinly sliced ren onion

1/2 c small basil leaves, divided

1 t Kosher salt

3/4 t freshly ground black pepper

Peel cucumber at 1/2 inch intervals, leaving some of the strips of peel; halve lengthwise. Remove seeds and slice diagonally.

Add cucumber, tomatoes, onion, 1/4 cup basil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to dressing.

Toss well; let stand 3 minutes.

Arrange salad on platter.

Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.Summer Melon Salad


1/2 c plain 2% reduced fat Greek yogurt

2 T chopped fresh parsley

1 T white balsamic vinegar

1 T extra virgin olive oil

2 t honey

2 t fresh lime juice

3/4 t salt divided (save 1/2 for spinkling later)

1/8 t white pepper

Dash of crushed red pepper


2/3 c honeydew melon balls

2/3 c cantaloupe melon balls

2/3 c watermelon balls

1 thinly sliced cherry radish

2 center cut bacon slices cooked and crumbles

12 small fresh basil leaves

feta cheese chunks (optional)

Spread yogurt on a serving plate.

Whisk all dressing ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

Add melons and toss gently.

With slotted spoon, mound melon mixture on top of yogurt. (Reserve vinegar mixture.)

Sprinkle with bacon and remaining salt.

Drizzle reserved vinegar mixture.

Sprinkle evenly with basil leaves.