Spring into warmer weather with fun salads

info@islandpacket.comMay 1, 2012 

Springtime is when I most enjoy making salads. It is fun to do, and the ingredients are plentiful.

The term "salad" was originally applied to leafy green vegetables served raw, but it now has come to include any combination -- simple or elaborate -- of vegetables, meat, fish, eggs and fruit, served with a dressing. To justify its name, though, a salad should include some green vegetables.

Whatever the nature of salad you choose to make, its ingredients should be carefully prepared and thoroughly chilled. Nothing is more unpalatable than a lukewarm salad, mixed until it is pasty mass. Wash green salad plants carefully in cold water, and trim any imperfections. Drain, place in a covered container and put in the refrigerator so the ingredients become chilled and crisp.

Cut fruits and vegetables into even bite-sized pieces. It is always better to pour the salad dressing to the side of the bowl, just enough to glaze the leaves. Always finish a salad with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Romaine-and-Tomato Salad

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 large heart of romaine, chopped

1/4 cup slivered red onion

4 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

In a large bowl, whisk the oil with the red wine vinegar and crumbled oregano and season with salt and pepper. Add the chopped romaine and toss to coat. Add the silvered red onion and plum tomatoes, and serve right away.

Strawberry-Grapefruit Salad

1 (3-ounce) package strawberry-flavored gelatin

1 1/2 cups boiling water

1/3 cup grapefruit juice

1 cup strawberries, quartered

1 cup diced drained grapefruit sections

6 whole strawberries

1 avocado, sliced

Whipped Cream Salad Dressing

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water,add grapefruit juice. Chill until slightly thickened; fold in 1 cup strawberries and grapefruit. Pour into a 4-cup mold; chill until firm. Unmold and garnish with whole strawberries and avocado slices. Serve with Whipped Cream Salad Dressing.

Whipped Cream Salad Dressing

1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 tablespoon margarine

1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Combine egg, sugar, vinegar and margarine; cook over low heat, stirring constantly smooth and thickened. Cool. Fold in whipped cream.

High Power Salad

4 cups mixed salad green (any kind) spinach, lettuce, red cabbage

1/2 small zucchini, sliced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1/2 cup broccoli florets

1/2 cup cauliflower, cut small

4 mushrooms, sliced

1 rib celery, sliced

1/2 red onion, sliced thin

1/2 cucumber, sliced thin

1/4 cup garbanzo beans

1/2 cup green bell pepper, sliced

1/2 cup snow peas

1 tomato, cut into wedges

toasted sesame seed or almonds, to taste

Wash and gently tear salad greens to make 4 cups and set aside. Place all other vegetables in bowl. Toss vegetables with 2 tablespoons of favorite dressing. Gently fold in 4 cups of salad greens. Garnish top of salad with toasted sesame seeds and/or almonds.

Columnist Ervena Faulkner is a Port Royal resident and a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition. Email her at features@beaufortgazette.com.

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