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Tasty summer salads

 


Graduation parties, reunion picnics and family barbeques can fill a June calendar quickly. Salads are on the menu, and all are ideal for summer dining events. Twist Tuna Salad, from the collection of the late Mrs. Rueben (Elizabeth) Fink, can serve as a side or main dish salad. I received this recipe from Elizabeth in 1989 and she told me it got the name from the spiral pasta, but for me the “twist” is the dill seasoning and the colorful red onion.

Twist Tuna Salad

6 ounces rotini (twist) pasta

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sour cream

1 Tbsp cider vinegar

Dash ground black pepper

1/2 Tbsp minced fresh or dried dill weed.

1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed and drained

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 can (7 ounces) tuna, drained and flaked

Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain well and cool.

Combine mayo, sour cream, vinegar, pepper and dill in small bowl, blending well.

In large bowl combine cooked pasta, peas, onion and tuna. Fold in dressing until well combined. Place in serving bowl, cover and chill until ready to serve. Yield: about 4-5 servings.

Note: Elizabeth always doubled the recipe when making for a crowd.

Joyce McClanahan makes this yummy Frozen Pea Salad for summer gatherings. Ranch dressing, cubed cheddar cheese and sliced black olives make this a savory and colorful side dish.

Frozen Pea Salad

1 package (12-16 ounces) frozen peas, thawed and well drained

3 or 4 green onions, diced, including tops

1 cup diced celery

1 cup cubed or grated cheddar cheese

1 cup grated carrots

1/2 cup sliced black olives

1 generous cup ranch dressing or 1 cup sour cream mixed with 1/2 packet of ranch dip mix and 2 Tbsp milk.

Combine all salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Fold in dressing until all ingredients are evenly coated with dressing. Cover and chill until serving time.

Joyce notes that if you are doubling the recipe, you may add a can of well drained, sliced water chestnuts, diced small. I have added 1/2 cup sliced green olives to the mix.

My preference here is to use sour cream and ranch dip mix for the dressing. Joyce also notes that light sour cream can be used.

Copper Pennies Salad is an old time recipe that turns a bag of carrots into a colorful, zesty salad. The dressing for this salad is generous, so there is usually a cup or so left at the bottom of the bowl. The left over dressing makes a wonderful chicken marinade.

Copper Pennies Salad

2 1/2 to 3 pounds carrots

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

1 large green pepper, seeded and chopped

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) cream of tomato soup

3/4 cup white vinegar

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp ground black pepper

Peel and slice carrots 1/8 inch thick. Cook in lightly salted water in large saucepan until just tender. Drain and cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, except onion and green pepper, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add still- warm carrots, and onion and green pepper; stir well to evenly coat. Refrigerate 12 to 24 hours to let flavors develop before serving. Yield: 10-12 side servings.

Note: If you would like to use leftover dressing for a marinade, have 6-8 chicken thighs or about 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast strips ready to place in dressing when salad is eaten up. Refrigerate 6-8 hours or overnight, then cook over hot coals or under broiler until chicken is done. Baste occasionally with any remaining marinade, but discard any unused marinade after chicken is cooked.

Browsing a culinary magazine in a waiting room some years back, I saw a similar recipe for potatoes called Golden Coins that required an assortment of specialty vinegars and oils. I don’t know what that recipe tastes like but substituting 6-7 cups cooked sliced Yukon Gold or small red potatoes for the cooked carrots is a nice change from traditional potato salad, and makes a yummy accompaniment to grilled fish.

Roquefort or blue cheese — which do you prefer? Blue cheese seems to have taken the lead on most menus. Roquefort cheese is quite a bit more expensive, so this may be the reason blue cheese is more prevalent among dressings.

Roquefort dressing was a favorite of my father, the late Bill Steinhaus, and he would often indulge in a small piece of Roquefort to make dressing for the first of the fresh salad greens from the garden.

Creamy Roquefort Dressing

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup finely crumbled Roquefort cheese

1/4 cup whole milk

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp ground white pepper

Combine all ingredients, mixing thoroughly, in a small bowl. Cover and chill overnight to develop flavors. Serve over salad greens. Yield: about 1 1/4 cups.

The Odessa Record staff fielded a call about the Rhubarb Crisp recipe from the previous column. The caller thought sprinkling the dry oatmeal on top of the batter would make it dry on top, so they suggested mixing it into the batter. Either way will work, but the oatmeal sprinkled on top makes a nice crust.

Share you favorite summer salad and side dish recipes by sending them to: Welcome to My Kitchen, c/o The Odessa Record, P.O. Box 458, Odessa, WA 99159 or to therecord@odessaoffice.com, or drop them in the Welcome to My Kitchen mail tin in The Odessa Record office. If your favorite recipes are stored on Pinterest, just let me know the title and what board to look for them on.

Hill up potato plants with loose dirt, lawn clippings or other mulch to encourage more potato growth and prevent greening from exposure to the sun.

 

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