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Recipe of the Week

Detail of Caramel Apple-Almond Crepes

Caramel Apple-Almond Crepes

A great dish for dessert or breakfast, these filled crepes are quick and easy to make, full of wonderful flavor, and make any occasion special.

Summer Salads

To me, summer just begs for simple salads for side dishes or as the main attraction. Most salads require little or no cooking - or if they do require cooking it can be done well ahead of time when it is cooler outside. The wide range of fresh produce that is available is never better - and the prices are their lowest while the quality is usually at its highest. Here are a few of our favorite salad tips along with links to recipes for great salads on this site and our other websites.

  • When making a salad, check what is on sale and what looks best when you are out shopping. Almost all salad recipes can be modified to incorporate different ingredients so don't be afraid to mix and match ingredients.

  • Consider blanching raw vegetables for 30 seconds to a minute before adding to the salad. Everything from carrots to broccoli really benefits from this. The vegetables are still crisp, but have more color and moisture and seem to absorb the flavors of the dressing better when they have been blanched. Peas, snow peas, beans, cauliflower, and squash also are better when blanched slightly before adding to the salad. Make sure to place the blanched vegetables immediately in ice water to stop the cooking process once their color has brightened.

  • For nicer presentation, always mix your salad in one bowl and then transfer it to a serving bowl. This allows you to have plenty of room to mix your salad, and if you are like me, to be messy, but still have a nice, neat compact bowl for serving.

  • Consider placing your salad in a bowl that can easily be nested in another bowl or decorative container, especially for potlucks or outdoor dinners. Fill the larger bowl partway with ice and the salad will stay cool and safe for longer.

  • Even a simple garnish helps make a salad special. Consider sprinkling on some paprika, chopped parsley, chervil, chives or other fresh herbs, diced red onions, diced olives, diced meats, diced peppers, toasted chopped nuts, sliced mushrooms, or other ingredients. Don't forget the stand-bys of sliced pepper rings, hardboiled egg slices, or sliced pickles.

  • If you are making a pasta or potato salad ahead of time and it seems like the amount of dressing is perfect, thin it with a little milk, water, oil or other liquid ingredient used in the dressing or add another 1/4 recipe of the dressing to the salad. Potato salads especially are notorious for soaking up dressing and drying out when stored for any length of time.

  • Add some crunch to your salad with sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, cooked bacon, toasted nuts, ramen noodles, chow mein noodles, crumbled tortilla or potato chips, crushed croutons, or French fried onions. To make sure these ingredients stay crunchy, add them right before serving.

  • The plated salad is back! I have been seeing more references to the plated salad in publications and at parties. They are easy on the hostess and make a distinctive course for more formal dinners. Any salad can be served on a plate, either by serving the salad directly on the plate or in a slice of melon, half of a pear or peach, in a decorative lettuce leaf, on half of a muffin, in a tortilla cup, in a hollowed out pepper or halved cucumber, or any of a variety of decorative touches that you think will blend well with your salad.

  • Don't be afraid to substitute low fat ingredients in most salad recipes. Low fat sour cream and mayonnaise can be substituted for the full fat versions, and fat free plain yogurt can also be used for either in most recipes with excellent results. Consider using half regular and half low fat ingredients for the perfect balance of taste and health. For oil based dressings, consider using mild rice vinegar in place of all or part of the vinegar in the dressing and half of the oil. Chicken or vegetable broth also makes a great substitute for part or all of the oil in many dressings. Also don't be afraid to use your favorite fat free or low fat bottled dressing in place of a homemade dressing on a salad if you think it will taste good.

Summer Salad Recipes

Artichoke and Orichetti Salad

Baked Potato Salad

Basic French Dressing

Basic Make Ahead Potato Salad

Bev's Crunchy Chicken Salad

Black Bean and Avocado Salad

Boiled Dressing

Broccoli Delight Salad

Calamari Salad

Cantaloupe, Bacon, Raisin, and Port Salad

Carrot & Ginger Salad

Cheddar and Pea Salad

Cheddary Fresh Spinach Salad

Chicken and Artichoke Salad

Chicken and Pear Salad on Arugula

Chicken 'N Corn Tostada Salad

Classic Cole Slaw

Creamy and Crunchy Melon Salad

Creamy Fruit Salad

Creamy Seafood, Pea, and Pepper Salad

Crisp Spinach Salad

Crunchy Chicken and Broccoli Salad

Crunchy Chicken Salad

Crunchy Melon and Smoked Turkey Salad

Cucumber Chive Salad

Curried Shrimp and Pea Salad

Curried Shrimp Salad

Deep Kimchee Salad

Fantasy Salad

Favorite Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

Fennel, Lemon, and Mushroom Salad

Fresh Fruit In Watermelon Basket

Fresh Green Bean and Tomato Salad

Fruited Coleslaw

Gelatin Dump Salad

Gingered Melon Compote

Greek Pasta Salad

Green Papaya Salad

Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Salad

Hearts Of Palm Salad

Homemade Restaurant Style Caesar Dressing

Honey Lime Fruit Salad

Italian Bread and Meat Salad

Italian-Style Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Pasta Salad

Lemon and Garlic Potato Salad

Light Potato Salad

Light Spinach, Tomato, and Orange Salad

Linda's Potato Salad

Marinated Cucumber Salad

Melon, Chicken and Arugula Salad

Melon Salad Supreme

Mexican Lemon and Pasta Salad

Minted Cucumber Salad

Old Fashioned French Dressing

Patriotic Tossed Salad

Pepper and Cabbage Salad

Perfect Potato Salad

Pesto Pasta Salad

Pesto Potato Salad

Pineapple-Cherry Fruit Salad

Poppy Seed Dressing

Quick Cold Vegetable Salad

Ramen Cole Slaw

Ramen Noodle Salad

Raw Veggie Salad

Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Spinach Salad

Roasted Potato and Green Bean Salad

Salmon and Pea Pasta Salad

Shiitake Mushrom-Hazelnut Salad

Shrimp and Rice Salad

South of the Border Salad

Spaghetti Salad

Spiced Grape Salad

Spicy Beef Salad (Laab Nuea)

Spinach and Arugula Salad with Tomatoes and Oranges

Strawberry-Cantaloupe Salad with Marshmallow Dressing

Sunset Salad

Thai Cucumber Salad

Thai Shrimp and Rice Salad

Tomato Basil Pasta Salad

Tomato Mango Salad

Tomato, Mint and Lime Salad

Tomato and Onion Salad

Tossed Salad Mexicali

Traditional Tabbouleh

Tropical Grilled Corn Salad

Tuna, Tomato, and Cannellini Bean Salad

Turkey Salad with Raspberry Mint Dressing

Tuscan Bean Salad

Tuscan Potato Salad

Tuscan White Bean Salad with Salami and Red Onion

Tuscan White Bean Salad with Tuna and Red Onion

Twinkie's Ambrosia Salad

Ultimate Potato Salad

Vanilla Scented Honeydew and Blueberry Salad

Vitamin Salad

Watercress and Belgian Endive Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Wilted Bacon and Arugula Salad

Wilted Lettuce

Yum Nuea (Spicy Beef Salad)

Zesty Italian Herb Salad Dressing

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