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Oct 17, 2007 08:37 AM

Side Salads for Bunko Night

Hosting Bunko next week and I plan to make a couple different varieites of "wraps". I would like to make a couple of unique/different side salads (trying to avoid potato salad, pasta salad and cole slaw). Any ideas would be wlecomed. Something fall inspired all the better.



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  1. How about a cous-cous salad with roasted veggies, a quinoa salad with cranberries or an italian rice salad. I don't really have recipes for these, as I usually make them up as I go along. I have roasted veggies (carrots, zucchini, onions, peppers) in a champagne vinegar-based vinaigrette with tarragon and have had terrific success with that, so mixing them in with couscous is a pretty simple step for an easy, different side.

    1. ~ Tomato and Cucumber Salad: takes advantage of the last of the summer tomatoes.
      ~ Spinach Salad w raspberries and goat cheese
      ~ Epicurious has an interesting Winter Caprese salad involving roasted tomatoes that I can't wait to make.
      ~ What about serving soup with the wraps? Butternut Squash, Corn Chowder... for instance... could be served in cups and has the advantage of also being make-ahead.

      1. This may sound like a crazy combo, but it is delicious.

        Broccoli Salad - 3 cups coarsely chopped broccoli florets, 1 cup spanish peanuts, 1 cup raisins, 2-3 chopped green onions (I only use the green/chive part myself).

        Toss these together, set aside and make the dressing, which is 1 cup mayo, 1 tblsp sugar, and 1 tblsp vinegar. Put the dressing on at the last minute before serving. You can make each the salad and the dressing separately and then combine when you are ready.

        1. Following are four salads I love that are all unique.

          Apple Jicama Slaw with a Margarita!

          1 jicama bulb, julienned
          2 granny smith apples, julienned
          ½ cup packed cilantro, chopped
          1 medium red onion, sliced

          6 T. lime juice
          4 T. tequila
          1 T. triple sec
          6 T. extra-virgin olive oil
          1 t. sugar,
          ½ t. coriander
          ¼ t. salt
          ¼ t. pepper
          zest of 1 lime

          In small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients and whisk together well.

          Prepare red onion and cilantro and place in large bowl. Peel off jicama skin, julienne and add to bowl. Julienne apples with skin on and add to bowl. Add dressing and mix to combine.

          NOTE: The ideal julienne cut is about two inches long - any longer and it's hard to get into your mouth!

          Makes a ton!
          Spicy Jicama Salad with Tangerine and Cilantro

          1 small (1 pound) jicama, peeled and cut into 1/4 by 1-inch matchsticks
          Juice of 1 orange
          Juice of 1 lime
          Juice of 1/2 grapefruit
          1/4 teaspoon salt
          1/4 cup olive oil
          1 red apple, cored and cut into 1/4 by 1-inch matchsticks
          3 tangerines, peel and pith removed, cut into segments and halved
          1/2 small bunch cilantro, leaves only, finely chopped
          1/2 small arbol chile, stemmed, seeded, and ground to a powder
          6 pale inner leaves of romaine lettuce, for serving (endive or butter leaf)

          In a large nonreactive bowl, combine the jicama with the orange, lime, and grapefruit juices, and the salt. Toss to mix and let sit, covered at room temperature for 1 hour.

          About 15 minutes before serving, add the olive oil, apple, tangerines and cilantro to the bowl and toss thoroughly. Toss the mixture every few minutes until serving time. Season with the ground chile, taste for seasoning and toss again before serving. Scoop some salad into each lettuce and serve.

          Carrot & Pear Curry Salad
          Copied from Giada at the Food Network

          8 large carrots, peeled and trimmed
          2 firm D' Anjou pears
          2 T parsley, chopped
          2 T white wine vinegar
          1 T curry powder
          2 tsp honey
          1 tsp salt
          ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
          ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

          Using a vegetable peeler cut the carrots lengthwise into thin ribbons.

          Quarter, core, and stem the pears. Using a knife, slice into very thin strips.

          Place the carrot and pear slices in a large bowl with the chopped parsley.

          Whisk together the white wine, curry powder, honey, salt, and pepper and blend to combine. Gradually add the olive oil.

          Pour the dressing over the carrots and pears. Toss to combine and serve immediately.

          Tabbouleh Salad

          1 cup bulgur
          1 pint cherry tomatoes, diced small (about 2 cups
          )½ English cucumber, diced small
          ½ red bell pepper, diced small
          1 bunch green onions (white and most of green), diced
          1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, minced
          ½ cup mint leaves, minced (1 oz package)

          zest of 1 lemon
          ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
          ¼ cup olive oil
          1 tsp salt
          freshly ground black pepper

          Place bulgur in a large bowl, add 1 cup* boiling water and let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until the bulgur is tender.

          Meanwhile prepare the vegetables and herbs, placing them in another large bowl. Cut the vegetables by hand, very small, as if making salsa. Mince the whole bunch of flat-leaf parsley, removing any thick stems. Remove the mint leaves from the stem of the plant before mincing.

          In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, olive oil salt and pepper. Pour over salad and toss to combine.

          When the bulgur is tender, combine with the prepared vegetables and toss with the dressing. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

          Serve with lettuce leaves to use as scoops or, for a Mexican twist, use tortilla chips. Another presentation idea is to omit the cherry tomatoes and place the tabbouleh in a hollowed out heirloom tomato.

          *Follow the directions on your brand of bulgur. I use Bob's Red Mill, which calls for an equal ratio of bulgur to water but some other brands require that you use more water and then drain the bulgur into a strainer, shaking the strainer and gently pressing out the excess moisture.

          Wild Rice salads are great for fall as well. I have a ton of recipes and will post them if you wish.

          Hope this is what you are looking for.

          2 Replies
          1. re: LisaRene

            One of my thoughts was a rice, marinated artichoke and roasted red pepper salad. Have you done anything along these lines? Not sure how best to dress - don't think my typical dijon vinagrette would go well.

            1. re: Bazel

              For some unintentional reason, all of my wild rice salads tend to contain fresh or dried fruits and nuts with a slightly sweet dressing. The only savory one is from the Food Network. I tend to "mix and match" between recipes - which I suspect we all do :)

              Wild Rice Salad w/Cranberries

              1 cup Lundberg wild brown mix
              2 cups water
              ½ tsp salt

              ¼ cup vegetable oil
              ¼ cup raspberry vinegar
              1 tsp Dijon mustard
              3-4 strawberries
              freshly ground black pepper

              ½ bunch green onions, chopped
              2 stalks celery, chopped
              ¾ cup dried cranberries
              1 12-oz peas, thawed
              ½ cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

              Cook the rice following package directions and let cool to room temperature.

              To make the vinaigrette, combine the oil, vinegar, mustard and strawberries in a food processor. Process until smooth and slightly thick. If too thin, add another berry or two. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Or use any Raspberry Vinaigrette, about 1/2 or an 8 oz bottle.

              Place the wild rice in a medium sized bowl. Add the green onions, celery, cranberries, peas and walnuts, stirring to incorporate. With a large spatula, combine the salad ingredients with enough of the vinaigrette to lightly coat, reserving any extra vinaigrette in the refrigerator. Store the salad, covered, in the refrigerator and serve at room temperature. This can be prepared up to a day ahead.


              Wild Rice Salad w/ Figs and Nuts

              Wild Rice Mango Salad


              Wild Rice Hazelnut Salad

              Wild Rice Cranberry Pecan Salad

              Wild Rice Orange Salad

              Wild Rice Salad

          2. Warm Orzo Greek Salad:

            Cook 1 box Orzo pasta until al dente, drain & place in medium bowl. Add to 3 tablespoons good olive oil and the juice of 1 lemon. Add salt and pepper and marinate overnight. The next day add crumbeld feta cheese, fresh dill or fresh basil (maybe even some parsley) and pre-cooked tail-off cleaned shrimp (you can buy this at your local store in the fish case ready to go). Or for a vegetarian version try adding diced tomatos and diced cucumbers. Serve at room temperature.


            Asian Broccoli Salad - My old co-worker used to make this with a slightly sweet and tangy sesame dressing and she use uncooked ramen and almonds for crunch. I loved it! Don't have a recipe but I'm sure you can find one online.