|6/20/2013 11:21:00 AM|
Refreshing summer salads
In an age where we are made aware of both fitness and good food, salads are right up there at the top. No longer a quiet plate of greens with homemade French dressing, salads today have all sorts of ingredients that our ancestors never dreamed could be put together in one bowl and taste absolutely wonderful. This is the season of salads, but it’s not really just a season by itself, we eat salads all year.
There are a couple salads that I don’t make, unless it’s summer, and that would be potato salad or a cucumber/tomato salad with a vinaigrette dressing. I could go with store bought potato salad, but I wait for the homegrown cukes and tomatoes to be ready. (Although some varieties of tomatoes in the produce department are quite good.) It’s about a variety of salads today...and perhaps not just for today’s column but now and again throughout the summer. All of today’s recipes take just 25 minutes or less to make, excluding refrigeration time. If you don’t care for smoked salmon, go to the next recipe.
SPRINGTIME SALMON SALAD
1-11 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained
3 c. fresh asparagus, (tough ends removed), cut in one inch pieces
1-5 oz. pkg. spring mix salad greens
1/2 c. slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 c. frozen peas, thawed
3/4 lb. smoked salmon fillet, flaked
1/4 c. olive oil
2 T. lemon juice
1 t. Dijon mustard
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
Drain oranges, saving 1/4 c. juice. Set oranges aside. In a small saucepan, bring 2 c. water to a boil. Add asparagus; cover and boil gently for three minutes. Drain and immediately put asparagus in ice water. Let sit five minutes; drain and pat dry. In a large bowl, toss the salad greens, asparagus, oranges, almonds and peas. Divide among four serving plates. Top with salmon. In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients and the 1/4 c. juice from oranges; drizzle over salad. Makes four servings.
AVOCADO CHICKEN SALAD
1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and cubed
2 T. lemon juice, divide
2 c. cooked, cubed chicken
2 c. red grapes, halved (if very tiny, leave whole)
1 medium tart apple (Granny Smith), cut in half-inch pieces
1 c. celery, sliced in 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 c. coarsely chopped walnuts
3/4 c. mayo
1/2 t. ground ginger In a small bowl, gently fold
1 T. lemon juice into avocado, set aside.
In a large bowl, combine next five ingredients. In a small bowl, combine mayo, ginger and rest of lemon juice; fold into chicken mixture. Fold in avocado. Transfer to a pretty serving bowl. Refrigerate 1-2 hours before serving. Makes five servings.
TROPICAL FRUIT SALAD 2 cans (15-1/4 oz. each) mixed tropical fruit, drained 1-11 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained 1 medium banana, sliced 1 c. mini marshmallows 2-6 oz. cartons vanilla yogurt 1/4 c. each, flaked coconut and slivered almonds, toasted In a large bowl, combine first four ingredients. Add yogurt, gently folding in to coat. Sprinkle with coconut and almonds. Refrigerate 1-2 hours. Makes six servings.
RAINBOW SPIRAL PASTA SALAD
2-1/2 c. tricolor spiral pasta
2 c. small broccoli florets
1 c. grape tomatoes (can substitute cherry tomatoes)
1/3 c. medium black olives, cut in halves Couple dashes each, salt and pepper
3/4 c. Italian salad dressing with roasted red pepper and Parmesan
In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, cook pasta according to pkg. directions, following time given for tender pasta; add broccoli during last two minutes of cooking. Drain and rinse in ice water to cool completely; drain well. Transfer to large bowl. Add tomatoes, olives, salt and pepper. Drizzle with salad dressing, gently toss to coat. Refrigerate two hours. Stir gently before serving. Makes 6-7 (3/4 c.) servings.
Thought for the Day: Pray for a good harvest, but continue to hoe.