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Jul 31, 2012 11:53 PM

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.