Cookbook

FYI: Recipe Note Tips - Extraordinary Salads Every Day

Extraordinary Salads Every Day
Make it a point to stop at farmer's markets and roadside produce stands all summer long. Let the vivid, fragrant rows of lettuces, squash, berries, corn, cucumbers, peppers, peas, stone fruits, melons, and, of course, tomatoes, tempt you, and take home everything that looks good. Don't worry about how you're going to use it all - you only need a salad bowl and an appetite!

The one-bowl meal. Turn that salad from a side dish to an entree by adding some protein. This will turn it into a nutritionally balanced meal and keep your tummy from growling again an hour after dinner. A salad is the perfect way to use up that chicken or steak left from last night's barbeque. Any kind of lunchmeat is good, too - smoked turkey, ham, tuna, salami, corned beef and prosciutto are all great on salads. If you want to keep it meatless, just open up a can of beans -- kidney, cannellini, garbanzo and black beans all make tasty, satisfying salad toppers.

Try on some new dressing. Same old bowl of lettuce every night beginning to make you feel like you're in a salad slump? Try a different dressing! Salad dressings are something that we're used to pouring out of one of those bottles in the refrigerator door, but they are unbelievably easy to make from scratch, and one taste of homemade dressing is going to make you fall in love with salad all over again.

Tempting toppings. Fresh raw sweet corn adds a wonderful crunch when cut off the cob and sprinkled into a salad. The vines and brambles are bursting with plump berries right now -- try sprinkling some of them into your next salad. You'll be surprised at how delicious that touch of tart sweetness is in an otherwise savory salad. Toasted nuts are all the rage in fancy restaurant salads. Make a little gourmet magic of your own by tossing some pecans, walnuts, almonds or pine nuts into a skillet and stirring over medium heat until the nuts turn a shade darker and give off an enticing aroma.

Use your head - or not! It doesn't need to be leafy and green to be called a salad! Some of our favorite summertime salads have never been near a head of lettuce. Try a Greek salad of tomato wedges, sliced cucumber, white onions, bell peppers, tart olives and tangy feta mixed with a simply delicious dressing of lemon juice, olive oil and chopped oregano. Another spectacular salad for the peak of tomato season is the Insalata Caprese. This one is a gorgeous presentation consisting of rounds of garden-fresh tomatoes and sweet, creamy fresh mozzarella cheese layered on a platter underneath a crown of torn basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Don't forget to explore the world of grain and bean salads, too! Try tabbouleh, a Middle Eastern favorite with nutty, chewy bulgur wheat flecked with refreshing cucumber, tomato, green onions, and fresh mint and parsley.

FYI: HOW-TO'S, WHAT-TO-DO'S & ANY-HOO'S # 28

cleaning with baking soda
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