Salad days of summer

Hard to go wrong with the classic cobb.
FIT Staff
Jul 26, 2013

Salad is "most popularly made from raw vegetables;" can be made from a variety of fruits and vegetables, raw and cooked; and can include cooked rice or pasta, according to "The Wordsworth Dictionary of Culinary & Menu Terms."

A great salad is a wonderful addition to any menu.

An awful salad is well, awful.

Lettuce can be too cold or too warm.

Vegetables can be unimaginative.

If the salad greens are too wet, dressing won't stick.

But there is nothing worse than salad with too much dressing.

There is life beyond lettuces, tomatoes and cucumber.

Here are some ideas you might want to try.

Southwestern Rice Salad

1-1/3 cups water

2/3 cup uncooked long grain rice

3/4 cup chopped green pepper

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 medium carrot, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 package (16 ounces) frozen corn, thawed

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained

2 medium plum tomatoes, chopped

1 cup salted peanuts

1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro

2/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup lemon juice

1/2 to 1-1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

In a large saucepan, bring water and rice to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes or until rice is tender. Rinse rice with cold water and drain. Place in a large bowl.

In a small skillet, saute the green pepper, onion, carrot and garlic in oil until crisp-tender. Add to rice. Stir in the corn, beans, tomatoes, peanuts and cilantro.

In a small bowl, combine the oil, lemon juice, cayenne and cumin. Pour over rice mixture and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Yield: 12 servings.

(Recipe courtesy of "2007 Taste of Home Annual Recipes," Reiman Publications)

Classic Cobb Salad

6 cups torn lettuce

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 avocado, chopped

3/4 cup diced fully cooked ham

2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

3/4 cup diced cooked turkey

1-1/4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Red onion rings, lemon wedges and sliced ripe olives, optional

Salad dressing of your choice

Arrange lettuce in a large bowl. Place tomatoes across the center, dividing the bowl in half. On one half, arrange the avocado, ham and eggs in sections. On the other half, arrange the turkey, mushrooms and blue cheese. Garnish with onion, lemon and olives if desired. Serve with salad dressing. Yield: 12 to 14 servings.

(Recipe courtesy of "Best of Country Potluck Recipes," Reiman Publications)

Grape Broccoli Salad

6 cups fresh broccoli florets

6 green onions, sliced

1 cup diced celery

1 cup green grapes

1 cup seedless red grapes

1 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1/2 pound sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 cup slivered almonds, toasted

In a large salad bowl, combine the broccoli, onions, celery and grapes. In another bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar; pour over broccoli mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Stir in bacon and almonds just before serving. Yield: 15 servings.

(Recipe courtesy of "2007 Taste of Home Annual Recipes," Reiman Publications)

Sicilian Salad

1 package (9 ounces) torn iceberg and romaine lettuce blend

1 jar (16 ounces) pickled banana peppers, drained and sliced

1 jar (5-3/4 ounces) sliced green olives with pimientos, drained

3 plum tomatoes, chopped

4 celery ribs, chopped

1 cup chopped pepperoni

1/2 cup cubed part-skim mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup Italian salad dressing

In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Drizzle with the salad dressing and toss to coat. Yield: 10 servings.

(Recipe courtesy of "Taste of Home Quick Cooking Annual Recipes 2012," Reiman Publications)