Scrumptious Summer Salads from Distinctive Inns of New England kitchens

Salad at Chesterfield Inn

Wedge salad with Chesterfield Inn’s signature blue cheese dressing.

Summer has officially arrived, and with it will come those glorious warm summer days and wonderful New England inn getaways.  The Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE) are getting ready to serve fresh salads on their menus.  From fruit-filled to local veggie-loaded, salads are a staple of summer throughout DINE country. The best way to enjoy them is in the dining room of any of the nine DINE inns.  However, if you can’t make it to your favorite New England inn, try one of these options, straight from DINE kitchens.

Calamari & Arugula Salad from Grafton Inn

A fresh baby arugula salad with oranges, Kalamata olives, and prosciutto. Tossed with sautéed calamari.

salad - calamariIngredients for the marinade:

1Tablsp garlic (minced)

2 Tablsp fresh basil (chiffonade)

1 each lemon (zest and juice)

2 Tablsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp cracked black pepper

2 lbs. calamari (sliced tubes and tentacles)

Ingredients for salad:

1 lb. cleaned baby arugula

3 ea. oranges (zest and segments)

½ Cup Kalamata olives (sliced)

¼ lb. prosciutto (thinly sliced)

Shaved pecorino for topping


Marinate the calamari in refrigerator for 2 hours.

Assemble salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Remove calamari from marinade and pat dry. Save marinade.

Heat 2T olive oil in a large skillet just till oil starts to smoke.

Add calamari to pan and toss lightly.  Pour in a little of the marinade to coat.

Cook calamari for 2-3 minutes ( do not overcook).

Pour calamari over arugula salad in bowl.

Using tongs, toss the salad until all ingredients are equally distributed.

Top with shaved pecorino.

This salad is perfect when you need to feed a crowd!               

Raw Kale Salad with pickled apples, black barley, walnut brittle, and curry vinaigrette from Rabbit Hill Inn. Recipe yields 4 servings

Do something really good for yourself. Substitute kale for lettuce. It’s bursting with nutrients, flavor, and hearty crunch.

Walnuts - pexelsIngredients & Preparation of the Walnut Brittle:

1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water & ¼ tsp distilled vinegar (mixed)
¼ cup walnut pieces
Pinch of salt
Pinch of Baking soda


In a shallow pan, lined with parchment paper, spread walnuts. Set aside.

In a saucepan, heat water/vinegar and sugar until light brown.

Remove from heat, add salt & baking soda. Stir well.

Pour liquid over walnuts. Allow to cool.

Chop into pieces and sprinkle over completed salad before serving.

Ingredients & Preparation of Pickled Apples:

3 cups water

3 cloves

2 cups Champagne vinegar

3 allspice berries (or ¼ tsp ground allspice

1 cup granulated sugar

1 lemon peel (not zest, peel strips from 1 lemon)

1 vanilla bean, split & scraped

3 apples, cored & diced

1 cinnamon stick


Combine all ingredients except apples in a saucepan, over high heat. Boil for 3 minutes.

Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes.

Place apples in a large bowl, pour liquid over apples.

Allow to pickle overnight.  Save some pickling liquid for the vinaigrette recipe below

Ingredients & Preparation of Curry Vinaigrette: Will need a blender

1 medium onion – diced

2 Tbsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp ground nutmeg

2 Bay Leaves
5 Cardamom Pods (or ½ tsp ground)

1 tsp Fenugreek
3 Cloves

½ cup Coriander
1 cinnamon stick

1 cup & 1 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil
1 tsp peppercorn

½ cup Apple Pickling Liquid (recipe below)


Sauté onion and spices in 1 Tbsp Grapeseed oil until tender.

Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth. Set aside.

Serve at once or keep warm.

Ingredients & Preparation of Black Barley:

2 cups of Black Barley
½ cup onion, finely diced
2 qts vegetable stock or water
2 Bay leaves
2 Tbsp Grapeseed oil

Kale salad from Rabbit Hill InnMethod:

In a medium size saucepan, heat oil on high heat.

Sauté onion and bay leaves until onion is clear.

Add barley and toast lightly (until it smells like toasted bread).

Add vegetable stock (or water) and simmer until tender.

Drain liquid and chill barley

Prepare & Assemble Salad:

4-6 cups of chopped kale, center ribs & stems removed, washed well.

On individual serving plates, place even portions of barley and kale.

Add apples. Dress with vinaigrette.

Sprinkle top with crushed walnut brittle.

Beet & Spinach Salad from Deerfield Inn

Another summer salad packed with color and good-for-you ingredients. Serves 2- entrée sized portions.


Beet and spinach salad from Deerfield Inn1/3 cup candied pecans, chopped

2 bunches small colored beets (8 to 16 beets)

Handful washed chilled baby spinach leaves

3 tablespoons orange poppyseed vinaigrette

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 ounces feta cheese, cubed

orange supreme sections to taste (the central sweet spot w/o pith)

Directions for candied pecans

Preheat oven to 250 degrees

Mix sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl.

Whisk egg white and water together in a separate bowl until frothy. Toss pecans in the egg white mixture.

Bake in the preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, until pecans are evenly browned, 1 hour.

Directions  for vinaigrette

4 teaspoons cornstarch

6 tablespoons cold water

1-1/3 cups orange juice

1/4 cup white vinegar

4 teaspoons honey Dijon mustard

4 teaspoons honey

1-1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds

1/2 teaspoon salt

In a small saucepan, combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Stir in the orange juice, vinegar, mustard and honey. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Stir in poppy seeds and salt. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Yield: 1-1/2 cups.

Directions for Salad

Step 1

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Step 2

Trim greens and long roots from beets. Spritz with evo and wrap in 2 to 3 aluminum-foil packets, dividing beets according to size. Place in oven, and roast until tender, 35 to 45 minutes, depending on size of beets. Wipe the skins from the beets. Cut into slices and squares, and transfer to a serving bowl.

Step 3

Drizzle vinaigrette over beets; toss to coat. When ready to serve, lay on chilled baby spinach leaves, add feta, pecans, orange supremes. Garnish with nasturtium flower, if still out in the herb garden.

This is enough for an entrée sized salad for two.

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy a romantic and delicious getaway to your favorite Distinctive Inn of New England.  Don’t forget to skip the booking engines and reserve directly with the inn when you come.

In New Hampshire: Manor on Golden Pond  in Holderness & Chesterfield Inn in West Chesterfield

In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic

In Massachusetts:  Harbor Light Inn in Marblehead, Deerfield Inn in Historic Deerfield and Captain’s House Inn in Chatham on Cape Cod

In Maine:  Inn at English Meadows in Kennebunkport

In Vermont:  Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford & Grafton Inn in Grafton