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August 2012 Cookbook of the Month Companion Book, Raising the Salad Bar: Potatoes, Pasta, Beans, Grains, Slaws, Garden Vegetables, and Dressings

Please use this thread to report on dishes from the following chapters:
Not Your Mother's Potato Salads, pages 130 - 143
Perfect Pasta Salads, pages 144 - 165
Big Beautiful Bean Salads, pages 166 - 181
Good-for-you Grains, pages 182 - 203
Cool Slaws, pages 204 - 217
Garden Veggie Salads, pages 218 - 231
Dressing Up, pages 232 - 261

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  1. Jan's Barley-Corn Salad, pg. 200

    Synopsis: Yum, I'm in love with this one.

    Full account; I tweaked this a bit, making only a third of a recipe (I had two ears of corn to use, not the 6 called for in the original). So, boil some barley until tender but chewy, I used 1/3 cup dry, which cooked is about a cup, which i think is about the right proportion. Steam the corn and cut it off the cob. Meanwhile make a dressing of lime zest, lime juice, cumin powder, olive oil. Combine the corn with the barley, dress and toss with the dressing and garnish with chive.

    My tweaks: I used a little less lime juice (1 lime for a 1/3 recipe) and a little more zest and olive oil (1 tablespoon for a 1/3 recipe) than her proportions. She doesn't say how much salt, but I found it took quite a bit more than I would normally add to a dressing. Also, as my zester makes very long thin strips, I strained the dressing before adding it to the salad. And finally I upped the amount of chopped chive and mixed it in with the salad. All good, we loved the results.

    1. I've had this cookbook for a while and have made a couple of things from it - kind of cheating since I didn't make them for COTM, but will review anyway :-)

      Tortellini and Baby Spinach Pasta Salad, p. 150.

      Basically, cook store-bought cheese tortellini and combine the hot pasta with the spinach to wilt it a bit.

      The dressing consists of red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, finely diced tomato, chopped kalamata olives, parsley, S+P.

      Garnish w/grated parmesan.

      Very easy to pull together and we thought it was very good.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mirage

        And I thought I had made this up! No such thing as an original recipe. We eat this alot only use TJ's arabiata sauce.

      2. Greek Pasta Salad w/Tomato, Cucumber, Olives, and Feta Cheese (and Shrimp), p. 162

        I've made this a number of times for potlucks, using the optional shrimp addition, and am always asked for the recipe.

        I double the pasta salad, which consists of fusilli, oil, tomato, cucumber, kalamata olives, "razor thin" red onion, parsley and Greek feta cheese.

        I toss one pound of medium/large shrimp in a teeny bit of olive oil, and roast it at 400 degrees for five minutes

        I do not double the dressing, but use it all: red wine vinegar, olive oil, minced basil, minced garlic, S+P.

        We do like this.

        7 Replies
        1. re: mirage

          Can you tell me amounts? This sounds perfect for a pot luck picnic I'm going to. thanks!

          1. re: LulusMom

            As made:

            1 lb Fusilli
            1 lb tomatoes, diced (oh, actually I use a 12 oz pkg cherry toms, quartered)
            2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, diced
            1 c diced kalamata olives (a bit less)
            1/2 red onion, sliced super thin (depending upon the size of the onion....)
            1/2 c minced parsley
            2 c Greek Feta

            1/4 c red wine vinegar
            3/4 c olive oil
            1/2 c minced basil
            1 tsp minced garlic

            1 lb shrimp

            I hope you enjoy it!

            1. re: mirage

              I'd probably skip the shrimp, given that it is for a picnic. Given that, how many do you think this would serve? Thank you so much.

              1. re: LulusMom

                It doesn't look like mirage is around, and I was looking at the book, so I thought I'd reply. It looks like mirage doubled the ingredients, as, in the book, they are each half the above stated amounts. The recipe as is in the book states it serves 6, so as above, it would serve 12.

          2. re: mirage

            I made this yesterday to leave for Mr GG for dinner as I was going out, and we took the leftovers to work for lunch.

            Mr GG enjoyed it quite a bit. I thought it was solid, nothing spectacular, but tasty. It's definitely a useful salad to have for work lunches and picnics. I will probably make again.

            1. re: mirage

              Greek Pasta Salad with Tomato, Cucumber, Olives, and Feta Cheese, Pg. 162

              We made this salad last night for dinner with the following ingredients: 1/2 lb.farfalle, tomato, cucumber, celery, kalamata olives, red onion, parsley, goat cheese, and blanched garden peas (in the pasta water, drained, then cooked the farfalle). The dressing: red wine vinegar, EVOO, minced basil, minced parsley, minced garlic, S&P. Nothing spectacular but very nice for a hot Summer evening. The various flavors were pleasant together. I like dinner salads. G had Three helpings!

            2. Mango Salsa Vinaigrette, p. 261 (on bite-sized grilled chicken and salad greens)

              I only had a bite of this (and thought it was good) but the folks I served it to loved it.

              The salsa consists of one mango, red wine vinegar, lime juice, a bit of honey, olive oil, minced red onion, minced garlic, a bit of cumin, finely diced tomato, salt and cilantro.

              1. Potato and Green Bean Salad with Dill Pesto, Pg. 139

                This was a bit different than many potato salads I've made. The dill dressing is Very assertive and I thought it was going to overpower the Romano beans and fingerling potatoes I used, but no. It was a perfect dressing. (the beans were topped and tailed then sliced on the bias in roughly thirds) I steamed both the potatoes and beans instead of boiling them and made the pesto while that was happening.

                Garlic is minced in the processor first. Then dill, parsley, apple cider vinegar, Dijon are added and pulsed, the EVOO is drizzled in as usual. Salt and pepper to taste and Bob's your uncle. I have a ton of basil, dill, parsley, arugula, and baby spinach this week. This quick and easy pesto recipe is going to see a lot of use... Served with grilled swordfish from Planet Babeque! and corn on the cob.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Gio

                  sounds good Gio, got to love summer in, don't you?

                  1. re: Gio

                    Potato and Green Bean Salad with Dill Pesto, p. 139

                    This is one of the recipes I photocopied before returning the book to the library last year, probably on the strength of Gio's report. Since I had an abundance of fingerlings that needed using, this was on tonight's menu. Like Gio, I steamed both the potatoes and (regular) green beans, and I used a larger proportion of green beans to potatoes than the recipe suggests. My only other deviation was to use only 1/4 cup olive oil, rather than 1/3 cup, and the dressing seemed just right that way.

                    I loved dill, so it's no surprised that I loved the flavors here, and it tasted very fresh and bright. Served alongside the tofu with white wine, lemon, etc. in Flexitarian Table and a salad of fennel, red pepper, cucumber, and tomato, it made for a very nice summer meal.

                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                      Glad I remembered this dish; it was a good use for some of last week's CSA bounty still hanging around, including a seemingly never-ending bag of cherry-sized red potatoes (...and they're giving us more potatoes this week, sigh) and a big bunch of dill. I used asparagus in place of the green beans because it was on hand, and used equal weights of the two. This is such a punchy, bright dressing and I'm happy to be reminded of it. Very appealing salad. Come summer, I think it would be great with cherry tomatoes tossed in, as well.

                  2. Edamame, Shrimp and Snow Pea Pasta Salad - p. 161

                    Full disclosure: I made do with what I had on hand for this recipe. I didn't have snow peas, so I increased the beans. I also didn't have scallions and substituted wasabi paste for wasabi powder.

                    Overall, I liked this one, but got a little tired of the dish halfway through eating. I did add a little fresh basil and mint to try to increase the interest in the dish and that helped a bit. I was worried while making the vinaigrette that the wasabi would overpower it, but I didn't have that problem at all.

                    To make, udon noodles and edamame beans (snow peas are added to the beans if you have them) are cooked separately. Shrimp are cooked with a bit of garlic. Those are then tossed with strips of red pepper and sliced scallions. A dressing of wasabi, lemon juice, soy sauce, and canola oil (I used sunflower as I'm trying to get rid of it before I move!) is made. Everything is tossed together and then garnished with dry roasted peanuts. I'm a little surprised she didn't suggest chopping the peanuts as I think that would've been a bit better.

                    One other note/question. I'm not entirely sure the beans I used were edamame. I couldn't pass on these beautiful pink and white striped beans at the farmers market. They were right next to the soy beans and looked very similar except for the color, but only labelled as red beans (feves rouge). Sadly, they turned a less appetizing pale purple after they were cooked, but were still quite nice.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: TxnInMtl

                      Sounds like you found fresh borlotti beans to me.

                      1. re: greedygirl

                        Yes! Thank you. I hadn't been able to pull up that name in my googling.

                    2. Lentil Salad with Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette - p. 179

                      I liked this one quite a bit. It is a little on the sweet side with the maple, raisins, and carrot, but I didn't find it was too much. I was too keen on having something with 6 to 8 servings, so I scaled it in half for the lentils and vinaigrette, but kept the vegetable level the same because it seemed silly to use 1/2 a carrot and bell pepper. I liked the higher vegetable to lentil ratio.

                      To make, cook the lentils with a bay leaf. Once they're cooked and cooled, mix with shredded carrot, diced red bell pepper, sliced scallions (or parsley is also recommended), and raisins. Mix with a vinaigrette of balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. She then has you garnish with chopped walnuts. I mixed those in with everything else and used pecans instead because my walnut supply was surprisingly low.

                      Quick, easy, and it didn't heat up the apartment.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: TxnInMtl

                        Lentil Salad with Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette, p.179

                        This will be repeated, it's a dandy. LikeTxnInMtl, I made less than a whole recipe, adjusting the lentil and other ingredient measurements to taste. Used golden raisins, a handful of sunflower seeds instead of walnuts, all else by the book I think.
                        The vinaigrette I made just as written, and it's just perfect with this. I'm going to look more closely at the dressing recipes in this book.
                        Mashed blue cheese & butter spread on crispbread to go with this salad made an excellent cold lunch.

                        1. re: TxnInMtl

                          Lentil Salad with Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette, p. 179

                          I liked it too, although I occasionally got a mouthful that seemed too sweet, I think when I got too much raisin in a bite. Maybe I needed to chop and mix them more. But it did make for variation in the flavors, which was good since I was eating the salad as a main.

                          I used half the lentils with full vegetable & herb measurements (parsley AND green onions, plus a little lovage for good measure), and a handful of toasted almond slices instead of the cup of toasted walnut. I'm sure I'd like it with walnuts, but the almonds were ready to go, no prep needed. And they were quite nice. I also only used half the amount of olive oil. I tasted the dressing after 2 tbsp and decided I liked it at that stage.

                          She says the salad is best fresh, so I'll find out tomorrow how it fares as leftovers. I expect I'll still like it, maybe freshened up with a squeeze of lemon.

                          1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                            The leftovers are great! I squeezed a little extra lemon on, as I said I woul. But mostly I think that the flavors had melded better in storage. The sweetness, particularly was better distributed. Made for a really nice lunch. I'm looking forward to the rest in a day or two.

                        2. Edamame, Corn, and Bean Salad (page 173)

                          Edamame (I used frozen in the pod from Trader Joe’s and shelled them), corn (I cooked the ears in the microwave and then cut the kernels from the cob), and kidney beans (I used canned, also from TJ’s). Dressing: Seeded chopped tomato, cumin, lime juice, olive oil. Toss all together with chopped cilantro.

                          I would have been quite happy with this had it been served to me at a picnic, pot luck, or barbecue. But because it has many of the ingredients of one of my favorite bean and corn summer salads, I was hoping to like it as much. I would have settled for almost as much. But it just didn’t quite do it for me. I’ll be sticking with my tried and true.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: JoanN

                            That begs the question... what is your tried and true?

                            1. re: smtucker

                              Yeah. I knew I was leaving myself open for that.

                              2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
                              1 tablespoon sugar
                              1 tablespoon water
                              1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
                              5 ears corn, cooked and drained
                              1 16-ounce can black beans, rinsed under cold water and drained
                              8 ounces red bell pepper, trimmed and finely chopped (and/or sweet onion)
                              1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander

                              Stir together the first four ingredients and add everything else.

                              This supposedly serves four. I don't think I've ever made less than double the recipe. And I don't worry much about proportions. I like it better after all the flavors have had a chance to meld for a few hours in the fridge and have had it keep surprisingly well for a couple of days.

                              1. re: JoanN

                                Oh I like the addition of apple cider vinegar! Will need to try this soon.

                            2. re: JoanN

                              Edamame, corn and bean salad p.173

                              I'm not sure how I should be reporting this one as I ended up doing a mash-up of this recipe with Summer Pasta Salad with Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella, Corn and Basil on p. 156. I cooked frozen edamame and fresh corn kernels then combined them with pasta, basil and the dressing from p.156. This was as requested by three hungry but fussy girls and they all loved it. Catherine Walthers says in the book that she wants us to use the recipes as starting points for adapting to our own tastes so that is what I did. And it was a success.

                            3. Mexican Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad, pg.136

                              Loved, loved, loved this. Ground my own coriander and cumin, and used about twice the amount called for. Left out the chili powder and cut the chipotle in half. (DH can't eat really spicy food, and this was hot enough, even toned down.) Only used half the dressing, and froze the rest. I cooked my own beans and corn, so it was quite time-consuming. I'd use canned and frozen on a weeknight.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: pikawicca


                                You convinced me with this report. Just bought the book. Won't have it to report back b4 the end of the month but I'll continue to report as I explore. I had to return my library copy a couple of weeks ago.

                              2. Thai Quinoa Salad, p190

                                Loved this one. It's basically cooked quinoa combined with chopped red bell pepper, shredded carrot, cucumber (peeled, seeded and sliced), mint and coriander (cilantro). The dressing is 6T of lime, 1 T sugar, 1 T fish sauce, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes. I served with one of the suggested proteins, cooked shrimp.

                                Deliciously piquant, without being too heavy on the spices, and healthy to boot. A definite make again.

                                38 Replies
                                1. re: greedygirl

                                  Since this was such a success, you might also consider posting in the Dish of the Month thread, as the dish this month is Quinoa salads.

                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                    Will do. Now I've finally managed to score tickets to the Olympics (it was a very long and painful process involving many hours on a ticketing website) I can concentrate on posting reviews!

                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                      Wow, congratulations! What events are you going to?

                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                        Volleyball! To be honest it doesn't really matter that much what you see. The atmosphere in London is just incredible and I wanted to join the party! Having said that, would have love to see Jessica Ennis just getting her gold.

                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                          I agree! I went to fencing and volleyball back when the Olympics were in L.A. Not even a fan, really, but it was so much fun! You'll have a great time!

                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                            Hi GG - finally getting time to cook (and to post) after almost a week in London. As you say, atmosphere is electric. We went to the women's 3M diving preliminaries on Friday but most excitingly, just got tickets to the USA vs.Japan women's football/soccer final at Wembley on Thursday. That is going to be AMAZING!

                                            And the weather has been pretty good too!

                                            1. re: JaneEYB

                                              We just got tickets for the athletics tomorrow. So excited!

                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                Lulu is SO excited to tell her friends that she has a friend who is going to the Olympics.

                                  2. re: greedygirl

                                    Thai Quinoa Salad

                                    Wow. Hard to believe. How can this possibly be? I made this this afternoon to have for dinner tonight and hated it. I mean, I gave serious thought to throwing it out. Am hoping against hope that it mellows in the fridge and will be edible tonight.

                                    I thought the mint was absolutely overwhelming. It was fresh from the farmers' market this morning. Maybe it was just a very strong variety? But even if I tried to ignore the mint, the salad just didn't seem balanced to me. It was a bunch of separate flavors that never came together to make a tasty dish. Really odd since we seem to have similar tastes in so many other things.

                                    1. re: JoanN

                                      Oh no... Just bought a fresh box of organic quinoa from Trader Joe's specifically to use this month esp this coming week. Do you think basil would be an OK sub for the mint? I really haven't read that particular recipe yet but given the ingredients GG mentions I think basil would work. I hope. It was going to be Monday's main dish salad... with other vegetables on the side.

                                      1. re: Gio

                                        I had bought a box of TJ's organic quinoa just to make this dish as well.

                                        After six hours in the fridge this was less of a total disaster than I thought on first tasting. The flavors had indeed mellowed and it was edible. I, too, had originally intended for it to be a main dish salad, but I was very happy I'd picked up a piece of bluefish at the farmer's market that morning.

                                        Don't know what to say about mint/basil. The mint is stirred in at the end along with the cilantro, so maybe you could stir some into a bit of salad and see what you think? After all, gg loved it as written and perhaps you'll have her experience, not mine. I certainly hope so.

                                        By the way, a full recipe makes a huge amount. Even half would be more than enough for two main courses.

                                        1. re: JoanN

                                          All right... thanks very much for your advice. I do have a huge amount of basil to use up (for some reason I don't have very good luck freezing it so I better make some pesto today). A taste test is always the right path to take I find... and I'll half the recipe.

                                        2. re: Gio

                                          You're going to have to be the adjudicator in this one, Gio! I used mint from the garden - not sure how much. Maybe less than the recipe specified, I really can't remember.

                                          1. re: greedygirl

                                            I am anxious to hear what Gio thinks! I have this one tabbed as well...

                                        3. re: JoanN

                                          I wonder if you got spearmint instead? The reason I ask is that my mother hated spearmint and I do too. I googled peppermint and spearmint and they have a similar appearance and grow in the US however to quote "The two plants have distinct tastes, with spearmint’s coming mainly from a compound called carvone ... Peppermint owes most of its taste to another substance, menthol"

                                          1. re: Berheenia

                                            You know, Berheenia, I wondered that myself. The farm stand at which I bought the mint had both peppermint and spearmint in separate but side-by-side containers. I thought it possible someone had dropped a bunch of spearmint into the peppermint container. But when I looked up the difference between the two online, I found a Web site that said that spearmint is less intense and more herb-like in flavor than peppermint so I decided that wasn't what I had. And not that it means anything, but I do prefer spearmint to peppermint in things like Altoids.

                                            Here's what I bought. Any gardeners or botanists here who can tell by looking what it was I brought home with me?

                                            1. re: JoanN



                                              ETA: When I was studying for my Master Gardner's certificate there was an intensive course about vegetable and herb seeds and their cultivation and IIRC the variety of mint, among many, to cultivate was spearmint for cooking.

                                              1. re: Gio

                                                Thanks, Gio. But truth to tell, I'm not sure I see much of a difference between the two. Perhaps the spearmint leaves are more serrated? In which case, that may well be what I have.

                                                But now I'm thoroughly confused. Spearmint instead of peppermint for cooking? It was easier when I was a kid and Mom sent me out the back door to cut off a few branches from the mint that seemed to grow wild by the clotheslines. It was just mint. Didn't have to concern myself with it's flavor profile or provenance.

                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                  Well it Is confusing, but I think it all comes down to a Matter of Personal Taste...
                                                  And consider this: Maybe you just don't like quinoa. It's not a mortal sin, ya know.

                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                    Peppermint is a very specific flavor that's used more for sweets (think peppermint ice cream). Spearmint is what is usually used in savory cooking, and what you're most likely buying if you grab a bunch of mint at the supermarket. I'm confident that when recipes call for mint as an herb, the authors are thinking of spearmint.

                                                    See the mint entry in the Cook's Thesaurus (at the bottom of the page): http://www.foodsubs.com/HerbsUniv.html

                                                2. re: JoanN

                                                  I grow both, and that looks like peppermint. But it's hard to tell for sure from the photo. What makes me think it's peppermint is the more elongated leaf. The spearmint leaf would be more rounded or heart-shaped. One way to tell for sure is to rub the leaf in your hand. Spearmint is a kind of fuzzy leaf. It will have a velvet-like texture. Peppermint is a glossy leaf. You won't feel any "peach fuzz" on it. It will also be a bit shinier, whereas spearmint will be matte. Peppermint is known for having a more medicinal taste. Generally spearmint is preferred for cooking.

                                                  1. re: MelMM

                                                    Well, my leaves aren't glossy, but neither are they fuzzy, and they're definitely elongated. The bin said peppermint so I'm going to assume now that that's what I bought. If he still has some of each left this weekend, I'll try a leaf of each and buy the spearmint if it seems less intense. Or maybe I'll just give up on the famers' market an buy whatever they have labeled as "mint" at Fairway. I never had any problems with that.

                                                    Thanks for the help decoding, Mel.

                                                  2. re: JoanN

                                                    unless it is just a light setting on your camera, that looks dark for spearmint, whcih is a grassier green color in my garden.

                                              2. re: greedygirl

                                                Thai Quinoa Salad, Pg. 190

                                                So... after all the fuss we did make the Salad and liked it very much. The mint was switched out and I used lovely fresh basil instead but had less than the amount of cilantro needed. Also, I totally forgot to add the sliced red pepper. The cucumber and carrot were included. We actually cooked the full cup of quinoa but only used half for the recipe. Thus there's more in the fridge to fiddle with today. The package directions said to rinse the quinoa and I did.

                                                Before mixing in the dressing I tasted the quinoa and thought it was different than other brands I've had in the past. (this was TJ's organic) It had a more bitter flavor to me. Not too strong just different. With the addition of the dressing that was mitigated however and the result was a sweet/sour/tangy finish. I honestly can't say that I absolutely loved this but I think the basil added a certain flavor note that helped rather than interfered with the other ingredients.

                                                I served my rendition of Mario Batali's Capri-Style Grilled Vegetable Salad using zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, scallions, salad onions and substituting Asian seasonings for Italian. It was a good counterbalance to the quinoa salad...

                                                1. re: Gio

                                                  I noticed that bitterness, but since I'd never cooked with quinoa before I attributed it to the mint--on which I was blaming everything at that point. Will have to try another brand--and another color. You may not have loved it, but that was a far cry from my reaction. Happy to hear it.

                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                    Joan, while most quinoa comes pre-washed, yours might not have been. There is a substance on the surface of the seed that makes it taste bitter and requires good washing. I never had this issue but others had. Must depend on the brand that you buy. The list of ingredients sound wonderful and I will try it soon. I have been cooking with quinoa a lot and everyone loves everything so far. The most popular by far is chicken soup with quinoa balls:)

                                                    1. re: herby

                                                      herby, how does the quinoa stay intact as "quinoa balls" in soup? I wanna do that!

                                                      1. re: blue room

                                                        I use quinoa flakes and mix them with xantham gum, eggs, oil and salt just as you would making matzo balls. Let it sit in the fridge for 30 min or so and cook in chicken soup.

                                                        1. re: herby

                                                          Oh -- there are flakes -- news to me! I thought little balls of quinoa would have such a nice texture, but yes, I suppose you might need to modify.

                                                    2. re: JoanN

                                                      one source i read stated quinoa should be kept in refrigerator-
                                                      and the red is oilier than the white

                                                      1. re: jpr54_1

                                                        I've read that too, JPR... This from the WeightWatchers site >
                                                        "Because quinoa is so high in polyunsaturated fats, it can go rancid rather quickly and should be stored in the fridge for up to 4 months."

                                                        Also, once cooked it can stay in the fridge for up to a week with no ill effects. Good to know.


                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                          oh goodness, I have a box sitting in my pantry.

                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                            I have several and have been using them up successfully - none have been rancid so far. I do not know why my children have such an abandance of quinoa but it seem to be in every cupboard:)

                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                              That's where mine sits now too. I recently had to throw away a bag of Aston Mills (Is that the name?) quinoa that had been opened for about a year... I'll put this new box I just bought in the fridge ASAP.

                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                Thanks Gio. The things you people teach me are amazing.

                                                          2. re: jpr54_1

                                                            Thank you both herby and jpr54-1. I had put my leftover quinoa in a sealed canning jar, but will move it to the refrigerator as soon as I post this.

                                                            The instructions on the box of TJ's organic quinoa I bought specifically to make this salad said to rinse it well and so I did, but it was still bitter. I'll try washing what I have left even more thoroughly and see if it makes a difference.

                                                        2. re: greedygirl

                                                          Thai Quinoa Salad, p. 190

                                                          I can't weigh in on the mint question, because I didn't have any. I made this because of what I did have (the called-for vegetables and some cilantro that needed using or would have to be pitched), and because I needed something that could be made ahead and eaten easily from a container.

                                                          I didn't feel like fussing with a grater, so I sliced the carrot in super-thin rounds. My cucumber was a long, skinny (1" diameter) one from the farmers' market, so I didn't peel or seed. I had a lone scallion that needed using, so I added it. I only had 2/3 cup quinoa in the house (mixed red and white), so that's what I used, and I liked the proportion with the vegetables. I only had one lime, so made up the balance of the 6 T. juice with Meyer lemon. She says not to dress the salad a day ahead but for logistical reasons, I had no choice, and it was fine.

                                                          The upshot: I'm on the side that thinks it's pretty great. It's tangy, light, and the crisp vegetables give it a nice, fresh feeling. I will make it again, I'm sure, and when I do I will try it with the mint. I will also keep the lesser quinoa-to-vegetable ratio I ended up with, because it seemed right, and add scallions, because that addition fit very well.

                                                        3. Bountiful Italian Bean Salad, p176

                                                          This was just OK for me. It's cooked green beans, wax beans (don't have those here so used suggested sub of more green beans), chickpeas, kidney beans, roasted red pepper and chopped spring onion greens (scallions) or minced parsley (I used parsley). The dressing is lemon juice, lime, garlic, cumin, red pepper flakes, EVOO, S&P. I reduced the ratio of oil to acid.

                                                          I ate this over a few days because it makes a ton, and I see in the note she says to dress only the amount you intend to eat that day. Whoops! Didn't do that. I think it would reall y have helped if I had, because by day 3 it wasn't very exciting at all. Not sure I'd bother with this one again - I much preferred the black bean, corn and red pepper salad on the previous page.

                                                          1. Black Bean, Corn and Red Pepper Salad with Chile-Lime Dressing, p175

                                                            This was great. I used canned black beans and corn, rather than dried and fresh, a roasted red pepper from a jar, and less than stellar scallion greens and it was still good. The other ingredients are minced red onion and fresh cilantro. The dressing is cumin, chile powder, cayenne or ground chipotle, lime, EVOO and salt.

                                                            Walthers suggests this as a dip for chips as well as a side dish, which I think would work well. This one was a hit.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                              Black Bean, Corn and Red Pepper Salad with Chile-Lime Dressing, p175

                                                              I was a little underwhelmed by this one. I thought it needed a little something extra. I ended up adding some feta cheese to it. I think avocado (inspired by Melissa Clark's corn, tomato, and avocado salad) would also work very nicely with it.

                                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                                Black bean, corn and red pepper salad with chile-lime dressing p.175

                                                                I've made this a couple of times and really liked it. I thought it had enough flavor with the limes, chile powder and cilantro so didn't feel it needed anything more. Walthers suggests either raw or roasted red peppers - the second time I roasted it and I thought it was much better. This is definitely one I will keep in my summer salads repertoire.

                                                              2. Herbed potato salad, p143

                                                                This was good - cooked new potatoes combined with a mustardy, herby dressing. I used chives and parsley for the herbs, which are whisked into a standard dijon vinaigrette made with cider vinegar. Nothing earth-shattering, but a good potato salad. I made this a while back so can't remember what I served it with - possibly something grilled.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                  Herbed New Potato Salad, Pg. 143

                                                                  This Was a good salad, as Greedygirl said a year ago. We had a basket full of small red new potatoes and this recipe was perfect. I steamed the potatoes instead of boiling them and used minced parsley and scallions. While the scallions are not exactly an herb they added another welcomed flavor to the dressing and potatoes.

                                                                  The dressing was deliciously tangy and the proportions seemed just right: equal amounts of olive oil and apple cider vinegar, with a bit of Dijon and S & P. I served broiled salmon cooked a la Rick Moonen's "screaming hot cast iron skillet" method. Always perfect timing with that recipe.

                                                                2. Italian Herb Vinaigrette, Pg. 246

                                                                  In the header notes to this recipe Ms Walthers says, "It goes well with everything." Meaning not only vegetables but grains and greens as well. I'll include cold sliced poultry and meats too. Lots of herbs: dried basil/oregano/thyme, a bit of minced garlic, and a well balanced red wine vinegar/Dijon/EVOO ratio plus seasonings makes for a tangy and refreshing dressing. I used it for the Farmers Market Salad, and cold sliced roast pork, on page 42 and loved every bite.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                    Italian Herb Vinaigrette, p. 246

                                                                    I made this almost as written. My main deviation was actually an error in reading comprehension, but it all worked out fine. Having looked quickly at the ingredients, I misread the 2 tsp. lemon juice for 2 T., and by the time I realized, I already had the vinegar added to the bowl. The other change I made was to increase the mustard from 1 to 1 1/2 tsp. Despite having 3x the lemon juice called for, I didn't increase tee amount of oil, because I like a tarter vinaigrette. I tossed it with baby greens (spinach, arugula, and mixed lettuces), and do think it will work well with lots of salads. The lion's share is in a bowl in the fridge, where it is likely to keep well.

                                                                  2. Japanese Noodle Salad with Ginger-Soy Vinaigrette - p. 154

                                                                    It's stopped cooling off overnight here, so I'm struggling to keep my apartment at 82F inside (no A/C). This salad was great for a warm day. It's light, refreshing, and visually appealing with the mix of green, orange, and red. The sesame flavor came through nicely. I omitted the celery from the recipe because I didn't have any on hand, but I didn't miss it.

                                                                    My one complaint with this recipe is the lack of weight measurements for the bok choy. The salad ended up with a huge amount of bok choy and I'm not sure if that was an error on my part, oversized bok choy (our CSA box used to send us incredibly tiny ones and the ones I picked up for this recipe were much larger), or just how it was supposed to be. With all the bok choy in the salad, I wanted another bell pepper.

                                                                    To make, udon noodles are cooked, drained, and tossed with sesame oil. They're cooled and mixed with thinly sliced bok choy, thinly sliced celery (I omitted), matchstick-cut carrot, julienned bell pepper, and thinly sliced scallions. It's then tossed with a vinaigrette of soy sauce, lemon juice, ginger, oil (I used peanut), and sesame oil. The salad is then garnished with sesame seeds.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: TxnInMtl

                                                                      Japanese Noodle Salad With Ginger-Soy Vinaigrette p.154

                                                                      I also really liked this salad. I was missing scallions but like TxnInMtl's without celery it survived happily. I think this salad can be very flexible though I would definitely include red pepper and carrot for color and flavor. My bok choy were baby but there was still a lot of it when thinly sliced so if yours are large, then one will do.

                                                                      My daughter thought the sesame oil flavor was too prominent but I didn't - if you are sensitive to sesame then add sparingly at first. There is 1 T on the pasta and 1 T in the dressing which is quite heavy handed for that oil.

                                                                      I thought this was pretty and tasty - will definitely be making again.

                                                                      1. re: TxnInMtl

                                                                        Japanese Noodle Salad with Ginger-Soy Vinaigrette, Pg. 154

                                                                        We had this for dinner last night and loved it. All the necessary ingredients were at hand so I could make the recipe as written. The only deviation I made was to use a jarred roasted red pepper instead of a fresh one. Raw bell peppers of any color don't agree with me. The bok choy I had was the baby variety and I used about 5 small leaves with the white stem. This seemed enough to me. I used peanut oil instead of canola, and lastly, omitted the garnish of sesame seeds. I'm a huge fan of sesame oil, either toasted or not so really enjoyed the flavor of the dressing.

                                                                        The one thing I did that was not in the recipe:
                                                                        In Land of Plenty Fuchsia Dunlop has a recipe for spicy noodles with soft bean curd on page 93. The recipe is surprisingly similar to this one. The bean curd (silken tofu) is simmered very gently in water at the start and remains like that while the noodles et al are prepared. When serving the bean curd is placed on top of the tossed noodles. Here's Rubee's report of this noodle recipe... it's the last of 3 she reported on in the post:

                                                                        Because I had silken tofu and wanted to use it up I tossed the noodles with the vinaigrette then served the noodles with pieces of the tofu. The contrast between the tofu and noodles was delightful and the flavor was spicy delicious. The side dish was Romaine and halved small pear tomatoes tossed with the Asian Vinaigrette on page 259.

                                                                        1. re: TxnInMtl

                                                                          Japanese Noodle Salad with Ginger-Soy Vinaigrette pg. 154

                                                                          I made this last night to serve with the Cambodian Grilled Chicken from Planet BBQ. A few subs, as always... I used soba noodles instead of udon and thought those worked fine. I had no red pepper, but added some shallot in addition to the bok choy (I used 4 whole baby heads), scallion, and carrot.

                                                                          This was well-liked and I think would be even better with the red pepper. We liked the shallot addition and would probably do that again, but I think you can really play with the ingredients on this one to fit what you have on hand. Leftovers are packed up to be taken for lunch. I think adding some silken tofu as Gio did or roast chicken would make a great, filling but healthy lunch for work.

                                                                          I think I'll be making this one again too!

                                                                          1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                            Question about using soba noodles: My son is gluten free and so I bought the gf soba noodles available at Whole Foods. They didn't come out at all noodle like. If fact they melted into a mass. Does anyone have experience with how to cook these noodles so that they resemble regular soba noodles?

                                                                        2. Creamy Italian Dressing, Pg. 255

                                                                          Usually a "creamy" salad dressing is not in my culinary rotation but in this instance I thought I'd use it for a simple green leafy salad of several different varieties as stated in the header notes, and the two worked very well together. The cream comes from the use of either heavy cream, sour cream, creme fraiche or yogurt. I used the yogurt. The other ingredients are: lemon juice, minced garlic, and cream whisked together in a small bowl then a couple of tablespoons of Parmigiano and lots of freshly ground pepper are added, and finally the usual drizzle of olive oil whisked till the dressing is creamy. Taste for seasoning add adjust if nec.. The dressing was wonderful poured over Romaine inner leaves, daikon radish leaves, arugula and baby spinach.

                                                                          1. Greek Salad with Farro, pg 197

                                                                            Very, very good! This is my first experience with Farro and I am a fan. Lovely slightly chewy texture and nutty flavor. The farro is mixed with cuc, red pepper, red onion, parsley, mint and feta. I added the optional kalamata olives and capers too. The dressing is a simple red wine vinaigrette with garlic added.

                                                                            This was really delicious. Nothing earth shattering, but I am happy to add it the my repertoire. I served it with Grilled Moroccan Chicken (reviewed in the PB thread) and it went together very well. Husband was very happy to have a serving of leftovers to take in his lunch.

                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                            1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                              I've never had farro either -- would you say it's close to quinoa in flavor and texture?
                                                                              Ease of preparation?

                                                                              1. re: blue room

                                                                                No, it's more like wheat berry, if it got a little mushier/homier/more comforting. I love farro, and recommend Goin's sunday suppers recipes.

                                                                                1. re: blue room

                                                                                  I agree with rose water, a little different from quinoa. Larger grains with more of a chewy texture to them. Also, I should have noted that my farro said on the bag to soak for at least 8 hours prior to cooking (not mentioned in the directions in the book). So I soaked the grains and then it only took about 10 minutes to cook them. In the book there is no soaking, but cooking time is about 30 minutes.

                                                                                  Thanks for the recommendation re: Goin's farro recipes. I found this one online


                                                                                  are there others? I don't have Sunday Suppers, but still have half a bag of farro looking for a use.

                                                                                  1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                    Sunday Suppers lists these in the index under farro:
                                                                                    1. [farro with] black rice, green garlic, pea shoots
                                                                                    2. kabocha squash and cavolo nero
                                                                                    3. parsley and butter
                                                                                    4. wild striped bass, black rice, green garlic, tangerines

                                                                                    just ask if you want any of those four!

                                                                                    1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                      I use semi-pearled farro which doesn't require soaking and cooks in about 10-12 minutes. The recipe you made is very similar to Farro and Roasted Pepper Salad from Ottolenghi's Plenty. The biggest difference seems to be the absence of cucumber and that the red peppers are roasted, adn he uses scallions instead of onions. The dressing he suggests is made of lemon juice, olive oil, honey, garlic, ground allspice, smoked paprika, and salt.

                                                                                2. Couscous Salad With Roasted Vegetables p.151

                                                                                  I had never made a salad with Israeli couscous before and I think I actually prefer it to standard couscous. Be careful when dicing the vegetables that they are not too small as mine shrunk a lot during the roasting process. But very delicious. I added some roasted butternut squash which I liked with the zucchini, peppers and red onions. The roasted garlic in the dressing was a good touch. The salad looked very pretty too which I think is important for summer salads.

                                                                                  1. Potato Salad with Arugula, Tomatoes, Bacon and Goat Cheese, p. 140

                                                                                    Here's one of those recipes where the name lists most of the ingredients. The potatoes are new potatoes, boiled until tender, cooled and quartered (mine were large, so I cut them in more pieces). To these, you add tomatoes (recipe calls for halved cherry tomatoes, but I used regular tomatoes, diced), arugula (I used a mix of arugula and spinach), and olives (optional, and I didn't have any, so omitted), . This is dressed with a simple balsamic vinaigrette, and garnished with bacon and goat cheese. I crumbled the bacon and stirred it into the salad. You are instructed to put the goat cheese in the freezer for a few minutes and then crumble it. I also stirred the cheese into the salad instead of sprinkling on top.

                                                                                    Loved this. With that combination of ingredients, how could I not love it? My main deviation from the recipe was stirring everything together instead of garnishing with the cheese and bacon. I also made slightly less than a full batch, but used the full amount of bacon. What can I say? I like bacon and don't have it that often. I also used the full amount of dressing. I love that this salad has greens and tomato in it. Makes it more like a complete meal, or at least veggies and starch all in one. I had it as a side with some octopus. Will repeat.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: MelMM

                                                                                      Potato Salad with Arugula, Tomatoes, Bacon and Goat Cheese, Pg. 140

                                                                                      As Mel says this is a nice combination of ingredients and could very easily become a main dish salad but I served it with slices of left over roast chicken with a soy/black vinegar dipping sauce.

                                                                                      I steamed the new potatoes and like Mel had to slice them into quarters. I did have the kalamata olives - I sliced them in half., used the arugula , chopped a large heirloom tomato, and I included a sliced daikon. The vinaigrette was doubled and I'm glad I did. I dressed the salad in a bowl, sprinkled crumbled bacon over then tossed it together. Served with the goat cheese garnish... didn't put it into the freezer first though. Yes, we liked this salad very much.

                                                                                    2. Asian Vinaigrette, Pg. 259

                                                                                      This Asian-style dressing may be used for just about anything including all kinds of vegetables, salads, and slaw. I used it on a salad comprised simply of Romaine leaves and halved small pear tomatoes. It was spicy and sweet and went very well with the salad. In the future I would reduce the amount of sweetener, in this case honey, but as usual taste first and adjust to your satisfaction. The ingredients are: unseasoned rice vinegar, lemon juice, honey, fresh ginger, soy sauce (lo-sod tamari), grapeseed oil, toasted sesame oil. Whisk to emulsify and toss with the salad. This was a side dish to Japanese Noodle Salad with Ginger-Soy Vinaigrette, Pg. 154.

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                        I like this dressing on cucumbers

                                                                                        1. re: magiesmom

                                                                                          Oh that's good to know, magiesmom. I have a few large cucumbers in my CA basket this week. I bet they will make a refreshing salad with this dressing...

                                                                                        2. re: Gio

                                                                                          Asian Vinaigrette, Pg. 259

                                                                                          I had some watercress wilting in the fridge and decided this might be a good option for a quick and easy side salad. I used lime juice in place of the lemon and sunflower in place of the grapeseed. It worked quite well for me. I served it with the pork and pumpkin dumplings from Land of Plenty (thanks to the kind soul who bumped that COTM thread and reminded me it would be a great way to use up some frozen pumpkin puree before I move!).

                                                                                        3. Wheat Berry Salad with Citrus Dressing, pg. 195.

                                                                                          Took this to a potluck tonight and it disappeared. Used arugula instead of watercress, pinenuts instead of pecans, and added four sliced green onions and one chopped red pepper. Very, very good. Will make it again.

                                                                                          1. Green Goddess Dressing, pg. 245

                                                                                            This is a very simple take on a green goddess dressing, and it has the advantage of being a cinch to put together: combine mayo, yogurt, shallots, lemon juice and chopped herbs (basil & chive in my case), whiz in a mini food processor. that's it.

                                                                                            I served over some lovely tomatoes. It was good, but not great, a but too mayonnaise-y for us. I'd have liked it better with the yogurt and mayo proportions reversed, and possibly even made with a strained yogurt.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: qianning

                                                                                              Green Goddess Dressing, Pg. 245, Extra Ingredients Variation

                                                                                              This was not just good, it was Great!. In the header notes CW states that the basic recipe can be augmented with several other ingredients such as minced anchovies (I used 4), garlic (used 1 large), and cilantro. And, can be used with fish, chicken, vegetables, in other words anything one can think of. To gild the lily I included an avocado.

                                                                                              The original ingredients (mayo, yogurt, shallots, lemon juice, chopped parsley) were pulsed in a mini food processor then the other ingredients were added and all was whizzed till smooth. After tasting we added a large pinch of FGBpepper.

                                                                                              The result were astoundingly delicious: lemony, salty, slightly sweet, not chunky by any means but not exactly smooth either, and a lovely shade of green Addicting. I used it as a sauce with steamed lobster and couldn't believe how good they were together. This will be our go-to sauce/dip for the entire Summer! I served a hearts of Romaine w tomatoes as a side dish using the Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette on page 244 for the dressing.

                                                                                            2. Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette, Pg. 252

                                                                                              This recipe reminded me of an outstanding dressing I made from Gourmet Today, I think it was, and many others made it as well to rave reviews. Although this one doesn't have the dense and crisp pungent cilantro flavor it was perfect for a salad comprised of Yukon gold potatoes, Romano beans and cooked corn o/t cob kernels,

                                                                                              To make the vinaigrette:
                                                                                              In a blender (MFP) combine lime juice, a cored and seeded jalapeno (left the core and seeds), garlic, cilantro, olive oil. Blend till creamy adding salt & pepper to taste.

                                                                                              All kinds of variations are given such as adding cumin while reducing the amount of cilantro or adding a chipotle in adobo. I chose to simply keep the original amounts but did add 2 teaspoons of cumin.
                                                                                              Also this dressing is suggested for leafy green salads as well as avocado, corn, fennel, orange and other fruit salads...

                                                                                              1. Chickpea, Watercress and Mango Salad with Lime-Curry Vinaigrette - p. 174

                                                                                                This is a great, refreshing little salad that comes together very quickly. I skipped on roasting the bell pepper to save time and left the peel on the cucumber. I served with some spicy beef cubes from 660 Curries.

                                                                                                The dressing is made by whisking together lime juice, curry powder, fresh ginger (I grated it), honey or brown sugar (I used honey), and canola oil (I used sunflower). The dressing is then tossed with the chickpeas, diced red pepper, diced mango, diced cucumber, and chopped watercress. It works fine on its own for a light lunch, but I like it even better as a counterpoint to a spicy meat dish.

                                                                                                1. Tabouli salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley and mint p.201

                                                                                                  I liked this. It doesn't take long to make, bulgur being one of the faster cooking grains. The recipe wasn't really different from any other tabouli recipe I have used in the past. I don't think I added enough parsley, as there should be a lot.

                                                                                                  1. Bulgur Salad with Apricot, Radicchio and Parsley - p. 193

                                                                                                    I really liked this salad. It's visually appealing with the red radicchio and green parsley. The sumac is an excellent touch. She says it's optional, but I think this dish needs it. To make, cooked bulgur is combined with sliced radicchio, chopped dried apricots (I used golden raisins), and minced parsley. A dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, and sumac is made. Stir in the dressing and add chopped walnuts (I used pecans). Quick, easy, and the leftovers keep well for lunch the next day.

                                                                                                    1. Classic Coleslaw, Pg, 210

                                                                                                      Since we were having pulled pork sandwiches as we watched the football playoffs, and since coleslaw is the classic side dish for PPSs, and since I hadn't made this particular slaw yet it seemed a natural and logical choice... Too bad the outcome of the football game of our choice wasn't as successful as the slaw.

                                                                                                      Very simple recipe with only three ingredients in a vinegary spicy mayo based dressing: shredded green cabbage, shredded carrots and either parsley or chives for the slaw. I used cilantro leaves and added a couple of inner stalks of celery with leaves. The dressing: apple cider vinegar, a little sugar, small amount of mayo to which I added 2 Tbsp sour cream, S & P, and a 1/2 tsp or 6 drops hot sauce (Tabasco for us). Mix, toss, serve.

                                                                                                      Perfect accompaniment for Pulled Pork with Barbeque Sauce from The Gourmet Slow Cooker Vol. 2... Nothing to say about the football game except Bah Humbug.

                                                                                                      ETA: Here's the link to my previous report of the pulled pork recipe in the archived "Cooking from SLOW COOKER Cookbooks" thread...


                                                                                                      Last night was the fourth time making the recipe so I guess it's become our default pulled pork dish. Barbecued over coals it's not but it's seriously delicious!

                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                        Gio honey - would you mind posting the pulled pork recipe please. I'd be most obliged. (I may have been watching too many TV shows based in the South recently - I am addicted to Nashville).

                                                                                                        And if you could explain the rules of football at the same time that would be even better! (Second TV obsession - Friday Night Lights, even though I don't have a clue about the football bits).

                                                                                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                          Here 'tis dearie:
                                                                                                          Pulled Pork w Barbecue Sauce... (For a slow cooker)

                                                                                                          2 lbs pork roast any cut
                                                                                                          2 cups ketchup
                                                                                                          3 T apple cider vinegar
                                                                                                          3 cups water ( I use salt free homemade chicken stock)
                                                                                                          1 onion finely chopped
                                                                                                          5 cloves garlic minced
                                                                                                          1 Tbs chili powder (I use 1 tsp ea sweet paprika & smoked & cayenne)
                                                                                                          1 Tbs Worcestershire

                                                                                                          Put the meat into the SC insert.
                                                                                                          Mix together the all other ingredients. Pour sauce over meat. Cover & cook on Low 8 - 10 hours.
                                                                                                          Meat should "fall apart".
                                                                                                          Take meat out of cooker, remove any bones.
                                                                                                          Shred meat, put into sauce, gently stir to coat, serve.
                                                                                                          Sometimes I serve sauce & meat over rice, sometimes it's serve in rolls with sauce ladled over... sometimes I reduce the sauce/sometimes not.
                                                                                                          (serves 4)

                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                            Fab! Thanks so much. What cut do you normally use?

                                                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                              You're welcome! I use either pork loin or shoulder, usually boneless but sometimes not. Whatever I can get. Buon appetito!

                                                                                                          2. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                            Tim Riggins. That is all i have to say.

                                                                                                        2. Basil-Balsamic [Lemon] Vinaigrette, page 244

                                                                                                          My garden basil is bursting forth and seems happiest when it gets clipped regularly. For dinner I was making both a green leaf lettuce salad and a tortellini salad and decided that using one dressing for both would allow us to mix/match each bite. This dressing is very simple. Throw basil lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil into a blender and whizz away.

                                                                                                          The dressing was fine on the greens, but I found I needed a bit more acid for the pasta so I added just a bit of red wine vinegar.

                                                                                                          Very nice salad dressing for both uses.

                                                                                                          1. Fresh Corn Salad, p. 226

                                                                                                            I'm sharing a weekly CSA box, and we've been getting lots of corn. I've mostly been snacking on the ears uncooked, and the corn is crisp, juicy, sweet, and corn-y (not to be confused with corny!), so I decided to use it in this salad, or a riff on it based on what I had. In addition to raw corn kernels sliced off the cob, there is diced tomato and avocado; I added some cucumber for crunch, as I have lots from the CSA. What I didn't have was scallions or red onion, so I skipped those, and used shredded basil in place of the cilantro called for. The dressing is simply lime juice, olive oil, and garlic (I used more of the latter on account of no onions).

                                                                                                            This tastes like a bowl full of summer - fresh, crisp, and delicious. And it really feels like summer has arrived when I can find all these things (everything but the lime) at the farmers' market. The leftovers held up perfectly overnight, too.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                              What a lot of happy colors in one bowl! We are still weeks from summer corn here but will mark this recipe.

                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                I really like this book. In the past few weeks I've been making main dish salads, using bits and pieces from the various salads and dressings, for dinner and they were light and refreshing during the heat wave we recently had. We're due for more of the same next week so this little book will come in handy once again...

                                                                                                              2. Greek Herb Vinaigrette, Pg. 248

                                                                                                                The addition of citrus juice to a vinegar dressing is my new flavor sensation and this book gives us many such recipes.

                                                                                                                This vinaigrette combines red wine vinegar with lemon juice and oregano, garlic, olive oil, S & P to create a tangy, bright complimentary flavor to any salad. I doubled the vinegar amount and increased the garlic from 1/2 clove pressed to 2 cloves. The salad ingredients I used were Romaine, radish slices, chopped tomato, cucumber, and scallions.

                                                                                                                The salad held its own with sliced roast chicken and rice pilaf.

                                                                                                                1. Potato Salad 101, Pg. 135 and Blue Cheese Dressing, Pg. 254

                                                                                                                  Using the instructions Ms Walthers gives here for choosing a cooking method, herbs, and dressing I put together what turned out to be quite a flavorful potato salad. The herbs used were a bit of everything but the kitchen sink: parsley, mint, basil, a few cilantro leaves, and scallions all chopped finely. I steamed Yukon golds sliced into small chunks.

                                                                                                                  It's the dressing that makes the salad wonderful. I chose the Blue Cheese Dressing and I'm glad I did. It's a combination of blue cheese, creme fraiche, lemon juice, olive oil, S & P. That's all but what an impact on the potatoes it had. It can be whizzed till smooth in a processor, or mashed to leave chunks and that's what I did. Tangy bits of blue cheese popped into the mouth with a bit of potato was delightful. Good dressing to keep in mind for hardy greens and grilled meats.

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                    Blue Cheese Dressing, page 254

                                                                                                                    A lovely piece of blue cheese has been languishing in my fridge, and its age was beginning to show around the edges. Haven't felt like bread lately, but every meal has a huge salad, so I decided to give this dressing a try.

                                                                                                                    Like Gio, I made the dressing by hand. Unlike Gio, I made it with heavy cream. Instead of salt, I added a few splashes of Worcestershire Sauce. Served over some lettuce I picked from the garden, only lightly dressed. Tomatoes, carrots and breakfast radishes added to taste.

                                                                                                                    What a lovely dressing! Especially for those of us who prefer to not have mayo on our greens.

                                                                                                                  2. Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette, Pg. 258

                                                                                                                    This is not your ordinary honey-mustard from a jar whipped into submission. No, it's a great well balanced group of seasonings whisked together to create a delicious, mildly sweet, tangy, cohesive dressing for either, "chicken, greens, potatoes or fish." I used a mix of salad lettuces: red leaf, green leaf, iceberg, escarole hearts. (we are drowning in CSA greens), plus a peeled jullienned black radish, red radishes, yellow carrot shavings, and a few chopped scallions. A Really Big Salad.

                                                                                                                    I always make the vinaigrette first so it has a chance to meld and blend together a bit before dressing the salad. Apple cider vinegar, runny honey, Dijon mustard, garlic, EVOO, and after tasting: S & P are whisked together to form an emulsion. Easy peasy but oh what flavor.