Home Cooking Recipes
home cooking recipes                                            home cooking recipes
Quick & Easy
By Beverly Barbour

On a hot day jump into a cool bowl of salad

It would be truly wonderful if we all could step out the door, bend over and harvest the greens that spell "salad." The green days of summer are the glory days of fresh from the garden salads.

Whether you pick your greens in the garden or the grocery store,

they don't get any better than they are in the summer. However, once harvested they must be treated with respect and care or they mope around and wilt.

1. Store fresh salad greens in a plastic bag, without washing but with a sheet of paper towel. The greens will last longer, won't turn brown

and will stay crisp. There must be some magic in the paper towel's composition.

2. When you do wash the greens, do so thoroughly and carefully. Little bugs are not considered a good source of protein and sand is hard on the teeth.

3. A salad spinner is a source of eternal joy to salad lovers. Whoever thought of using centrifugal force to spin away the water clutched to the breasts of recently bathed salad greens should run for president.

4. Dressing a salad does not mean drowning it. A little bit of dressing goes a long way and saves you money, too.

Caesar Salad

Instead of using a coddled egg in the dressing, you can use a tablespoon of mayonnaise. If you don't have anchovy paste, mash up some canned anchovies together with a bit of the oil they've been canned in.

3 teaspoons anchovy paste
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese + a wedge of Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano for shaving
1/2 cup olive oil
2 heads romaine lettuce

Spicy Croutons

3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
10 slices, 1/2-inch thick French or Italian bread, cut into 1-inch, or smaller, cubes
1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Combine the anchovy paste, garlic, mustard, mayonnaise, lemon juice, vinegar, cheese and olive oil in a food processor. Blend until emulsified. Separate leaves of lettuce and rinse well; drain well or spin dry. Wrap in clean dishtowels, place in plastic bags ad refrigerate.


Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix garlic into olive oil. Place bread cubes in bowls and toss with garlic-oil until well coated. Spread cubes on baking sheet; bake 5 minutes; stir. Return to oven and bake another 5 minutes, until golden. Let cool. To serve: Toss lettuce with half of the dressing, then add more dressing; sprinkle with croutons. Use a vegetable peeler to shave shards of Parmesan over the salad. Makes 6 servings.

Escarole and Edamame (Soybean) Salad

You can use frozen shelled edamame or fava beans in this Italian salad.

2 cups frozen shelled edamame or 9-ounces fresh
1 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds escarole, trimmed and cut crosswise into very thin strips (8 cups)
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint
2/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (or Parmesan) cheese

Cook edamame in boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Drain in a sieve and rinse under cold running water to stop cooking. Drain again and pat dry. Whisk together vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper until sugar and salt are dissolved. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until combined. Toss together edamame, escarole and mint. Add cheese and drizzle salad with dressing; toss again. Makes 4 servings.

Leafy Greens with Raspberry Vinaigrette

So simple and simply so good.

5 ounces mesclun or other baby greens
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
1 teaspoon walnut oil

Wash and dry greens. In serving boil, whisk together mustard, vinegar and oil. Toss greens with dressing. Makes 3 servings.

No salad bowl to jump in to? A swimming pool will do, but the water won't be as tasty!


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