Summer-Thyme Pita: Coleslaw meets Waldorf Salad

I don’t know about you, but when we’re in the middle of a summer heat wave I don’t feel like turning on the oven and eating a hot and heavy meal. Something cool and refreshing sounds soooo much better. This meal idea is something my sister-in-law served one summer while I was visiting, and it fit the bill for a delicious meal on a hot summer day so perfectly. It’s kind of a coleslaw-meets-Waldorf-Salad-meets-chicken-salad dish, with a refreshing flavor mix of lime and thyme that my family has nicknamed Summer Thyme Salad. I’m including a printable of the recipe at the end of the post.

The base of the salad is cabbage, like coleslaw, which makes it quite economical as well. We don’t have a garden at our apartment, but a friend with a garden recently gave us a HUGE head of cabbage. I knew right away that we would be having some Summer Thyme Salad! But it was more cabbage than would even reasonably fit in my big serving bowl. If you have more cabbage than you want to use in this salad, go ahead and shred it all up, and put the extra in a bag – now it’s handy and prepped for another meal later.

You can chill the entire salad together, but I like to make the salad part of it ahead of time, and let it chill and marinate together, and add the chicken and herbed butter right at the last minute, so that the salad is cold but the chicken is warm. It makes a nice contrast – just like the tangy lime sauce contrasts nicely with the mellow savoriness of the thyme. That is partly why there is a fair amount of butter with the chicken … the thyme and herbs infuse the butter and send all those earthy flavors throughout the salad. The fruit in the dressing is reminiscent of Waldorf Salad … usually I do apples and grapes, but you can substitute the grapes with other fruits, especially if it’s something tart like dried cranberries. Which is handy if, like me, you forget to buy grapes. ;)

Just click the recipe below to get the PDF file. If you trim the recipe out of the page after printing, it comes to a handy 5×7 size:

What are your favorite cold meals for hot days? Leave your thoughts and comments below, I love to hear from you!

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17 Comments

  1. Posted July 16, 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    it seems so… delicious!! xD
    and yes, also me at times, when is very very hot, i’d like to eat something fresh as salad.. but i have to see also if i’m very hungry or not :P

    • Posted July 16, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Very true, I’m often not as hungry when it is so hot, too!

  2. Suzie Leveson
    Posted July 16, 2012 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Looks yummy, although here in the UK I would just settle for some summer weather for now!!

    • Posted July 16, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Ah, we recently had high temperatures to spare … many places ranging from 105 to 115 … sounds like we needed to even it out with you all in the UK! :)

  3. Posted July 16, 2012 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    This sounds delicious, except I am wondering about one thing: I picture the melted butter hardening into bits when it gets mixed into the cold salad and being an unwelcome texture? Does that not happen?

    • Posted July 16, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Not really, it just kind of gets mixed into the dressing. Although, this last time I made it a few days ago, I did notice a little bit of hardened butter, but it was tiny, and the first time it had ever happened of the many times I have made it. Maybe I put a little too much butter that time? In all honestly, I rarely measure, but a couple weeks ago when I made it I stopped and measured so I could write it down. I guess you could cut back on the butter some. It’s the same way my sister-in-law made it, too (with the butter) and I never noticed any congealed butter in it either.

  4. Posted July 16, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    I just put pitas on my shopping list. :) Love the play on words, too!

    • Posted July 16, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Nice! Yeah, I think Tim is the one who came up with the name. :)

  5. Joelle Chan
    Posted July 16, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    It’s yummy i might try this one and I am not a big fan of coleslaw but I am pretty open minded about new things, thanks for sharing :)

    • Posted July 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Great! If you try it, you’ll have to let me know how you like it. :) (Personally, I’m not huge on coleslaw either … but I do really like this salad!)

  6. Posted July 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Wow. Another great post with beautiful photos! Thank you!

  7. Laura S
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Yum. And how timely — I needed a supper idea!

  8. Posted July 18, 2012 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    April, you are making me drool. Look’s delicious! My favorite summer meal is a shrimp salad over crisp lettuce. I use a recipe from the Joy of Cooking, 75th anniversary edition! Yumm. I adore your blog. Thanks for all the daily inspiration you give for a happy life.

    • Posted July 18, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Oh, nice, I love my Joy of Cooking cookbook. I don’t often use recipes, but I do consider Joy of Cooking an excellent reference to learn about many different types of dishes. Thanks!! :D

  9. Posted July 18, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    That looks so good!!! We have a place here called Eatzi’s and they have the best citrus couscous, it is cold and it has sweet potato in it but I am not sure what else, but its delish!!!

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