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  #1  
Old 05-10-2017, 04:16 PM
SUZ MAC SUZ MAC is offline
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Summer Salads ... pasta or otherwise.

I love summer salads. I would love to hear everyone's favorite pasta salad, mac salad or summer salad of any kind.
  #2  
Old 05-10-2017, 04:36 PM
Sattua Sattua is offline
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I absolutely LOVE summer salads. My basic recipe can be varied in all kinds of ways, but has the same basic components:

-Grain (pearled farro, wheat berries, bulgur wheat, or quinoa) or beans (black beans and garbanzos are my favorites)
-Oil (usually canola, but I had some fancy nut oils from Trader Joe's that were good too)
-Acid (red wine or balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, or verjus)
-Green onions (can't skip these)
-Other herbs and vegetables (cucumber, tomato, sweet peppers, flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, mint, oregano, thyme)
-Optional cheese (crumbled feta or chevre)
-Salt and pepper

My very favorite combos of this are quinoa with cucumbers, farro with all the veggies, and bulgur wheat with tomato, feta, and all the green herbs I can find. Oh--black beans with green herbs and extra green onion, too.

Carrot salad is a perennial favorite: shred carrots and dress with oil, lemon juice, grainy mustard, garlic powder, salt, pepper. Can substitute shredded beets for part or all of it, just don't stain your fingers...

Zucchini ribbon salad: use a vegetable peeler to make a pile of zucchini ribbons. Dress with oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, green onions, chevre or feta cheese, some kind of seed or nut, and lots of chopped green herbs

On green salads I like whole wheat rotini, grape tomatoes, and pressed raw garlic. Also hard boiled eggs and ranch dressing (swoon). Or a combination of finely chopped radishes, carrots, and green onion with a balsamic dressing. Or classic Greek salads.
  #3  
Old 05-10-2017, 06:11 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Shrimp Salad

2-3 cans of shrimp, drained
Diced green bell pepper (1/2 large)
Diced small onion
Dill weed
salt
pepper
mayo
shell pasta, cooked

Sorry about the amounts. I fake it when I make it. Basically, it's to your taste, but there is usually a substantial amount of dill involved. If you don't like dill, then thyme would probably work. Go light on the mayo; you can always add more, if needed. If you want to garnish it for presentation, place a few medium-sized cooked shrimp on top and dust with paprika.

Last edited by Chefguy; 05-10-2017 at 06:12 PM.
  #4  
Old 05-10-2017, 06:19 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
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Stupidly easy Hungarian cucumber salad is a refreshing addition to nearly any hot-weather dinner.

Peel a few Kirby cukes (they're less watery than the standard type). Shave into thin wafers on a mandoline, or the mandoline blade on the side of your box grater. Place in a shallow bowl. Salt & pepper (Hungarians sprinkle on a little white sugar, but I don't think it adds anything). Top with a few glugs of white or cider vinegar, no fancy wine or sherry or Balsamic stuff. Add just enough cold water so that the cukes are nearly swimming in the dressing...you want close to a 50/50 ratio of vinegar to water. Stick in the fridge to chill while you make everything else.
  #5  
Old 05-10-2017, 07:04 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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I don't know if it counts as a "summer salad" (I'm not familiar with the phrase), but curried chicken salad is always one of my favorites. Basically, take a roast chicken (or otherwise cook some up), chop it up finely. Add: mayonnaise with whatever curry powder you like (you can cut the mayo with yogurt, if you'd like), chopped celery, slivered almonds, chopped apples, peach or apricot preserves, cilantro, raisins or dried cranberries, and mix it all up. You don't have to use all those ingredients, but generally you're looking for a mix of stuff that has crunch, sweetness, a bit of tartness, nuttiness, and fruitiness. Sometimes I do sunflower seeds or another type of nut instead of the almonds, for instance. Works well on its own with some salad greens, or in a sandwich. ETA: Oh, I forgot, I usually put some finely chopped green onions in there too, either the white and/or the green part. Chutney's also a good addition and can substitute for or be added to some of the fruity elements.

Last edited by pulykamell; 05-10-2017 at 07:06 PM.
  #6  
Old 05-10-2017, 07:44 PM
Magiver Magiver is offline
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Greek Salad
Ingredients:
Feta Cheese
Green Pepper
Black Olives
Onions
Cauliflower
Broccoli
Cherry Tomatoes

Tsp each of:
Dry Mustard
Tarragon
Thyme

¾ cup of:
Virgin Olive Oil
Vinegar
(mixed 4 to 1 oil to vinegar)

Cut olives and cherry tomatoes in half.


Start with a head of cauliflower and matching amount of Broccoli and add the rest of the ingredients to your liking. I put the whole thing in a container and shake it up to mix it.
  #7  
Old 05-10-2017, 07:49 PM
Lamar Mundane Lamar Mundane is offline
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My 15 minute summer salad: This will make four or five servings.

Peel and seed one large cucumber. Cut into 1/4" slices.

Cut one large tomato into eights. Seed. (Just squeeze halves and the seeds will come out. Use a knife to remove the seeds. Then finish cutting. Don't worry about getting all the seeds.)

Slice one small red onion. Cut circles in half.

Mix. Dress with red wine dressing.

It keeps longer if you hold off on the dressing until serving. Top with feta cheese, if desired.
  #8  
Old 05-10-2017, 09:41 PM
DSYoungEsq DSYoungEsq is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
Shrimp Salad

2-3 cans of shrimp, drained
Diced green bell pepper (1/2 large)
Diced small onion
Dill weed
salt
pepper
mayo
shell pasta, cooked

Sorry about the amounts. I fake it when I make it. Basically, it's to your taste, but there is usually a substantial amount of dill involved. If you don't like dill, then thyme would probably work. Go light on the mayo; you can always add more, if needed. If you want to garnish it for presentation, place a few medium-sized cooked shrimp on top and dust with paprika.
That just got put on my list.

My favorite summer salad is cucumber slices in sour cream and dill. Easy to make, so tasty and refreshingly chill to serve.

Last edited by DSYoungEsq; 05-10-2017 at 09:43 PM.
  #9  
Old 05-10-2017, 09:49 PM
Aspenglow Aspenglow is offline
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Here's my very favorite. It's like summer in your mouth.

Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Corn

5 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or 3 red wine, 2 balsamic)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or more, to taste
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from 3 ears) or frozen, thawed
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 1/4 pounds plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
8 ounces penne pasta, freshly cooked
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Whisk 4 tablespoons oil, vinegar, basil and garlic in large bowl to blend. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add corn and pine nuts; sauté 3 minutes. Add corn to dressing in bowl. Add tomatoes, pasta and cheese to bowl and toss to blend. Season salad with salt and pepper, serve at room temperature.

4 to 6 servings.

Last edited by Aspenglow; 05-10-2017 at 09:51 PM.
  #10  
Old 05-10-2017, 10:02 PM
nightshadea nightshadea is online now
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grandmas mock ham salad courtesy of the ww2 rationing board :
3-5 pounds of shredded chunk bologna
1 jar mayo/miracle whip
1 dozen boiled eggs
1 jar of dill relish
1 jar of sweet relish


in a 5 qt ice cream container
shred the meat
cut or mince eggs to preference
pour in mayo and relishes
mix til satisfied keep for weeks in fridge

note if you have salt intake problems they do make low sodium bologna and actual amounts are up to you

Note this works for any chunk meat you can shred like tuna liverwurst chicken and potatoes

heck a Latina gf of my cousin's made it with left over carne asada she just added salsa instead of pickle relish

Last edited by nightshadea; 05-10-2017 at 10:06 PM.
  #11  
Old 05-10-2017, 10:08 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
I don't know if it counts as a "summer salad" (I'm not familiar with the phrase), but curried chicken salad is always one of my favorites. Basically, take a roast chicken (or otherwise cook some up), chop it up finely. Add: mayonnaise with whatever curry powder you like (you can cut the mayo with yogurt, if you'd like), chopped celery, slivered almonds, chopped apples, peach or apricot preserves, cilantro, raisins or dried cranberries, and mix it all up. You don't have to use all those ingredients, but generally you're looking for a mix of stuff that has crunch, sweetness, a bit of tartness, nuttiness, and fruitiness. Sometimes I do sunflower seeds or another type of nut instead of the almonds, for instance. Works well on its own with some salad greens, or in a sandwich. ETA: Oh, I forgot, I usually put some finely chopped green onions in there too, either the white and/or the green part. Chutney's also a good addition and can substitute for or be added to some of the fruity elements.
If you don't like curry, I highly recommend fresh tarragon. This sort of resembles a Waldorf salad, only with chicken added.
  #12  
Old 05-10-2017, 10:14 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
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I never use the term "summer salad" either, but I grok from the OP that it's a no-cook dinner for hot n' humid summer evenings. Generally served alongside some kind of quick-grilled protein.

I enjoy this type of meal for the first few weeks of June, but am heartily sick of it by the end of August, and am dying for a stew or pot of hot soup or a giant roasted haunch of meat with dumplings and gravy.
  #13  
Old 05-11-2017, 12:13 AM
Sattua Sattua is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
I never use the term "summer salad" either, but I grok from the OP that it's a no-cook dinner for hot n' humid summer evenings. Generally served alongside some kind of quick-grilled protein.

I enjoy this type of meal for the first few weeks of June, but am heartily sick of it by the end of August, and am dying for a stew or pot of hot soup or a giant roasted haunch of meat with dumplings and gravy.
I start to find summer obnoxious by August, too. Maybe we both have inverse SAD?
  #14  
Old 05-11-2017, 01:10 AM
DSYoungEsq DSYoungEsq is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sattua View Post
I start to find summer obnoxious by August, too. Maybe we both have inverse SAD?
Or maybe it's the succession of 100 degree + days then?
  #15  
Old 05-11-2017, 10:21 AM
Sattua Sattua is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSYoungEsq View Post
Or maybe it's the succession of 100 degree + days then?
I used to think so. Then we moved to the Pacific Northwest, where there's only 4-6 weeks of "hot weather" and it's only in the 80s. I still got sick of it.
  #16  
Old 05-11-2017, 10:40 AM
Kelevra Kelevra is offline
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Bulghur salad
1 1/2 C bulgur (not whole berries - I use #2 grind)
Soak in 1 C water, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 C lemon juice for 1 1/2 hours
4 carrots shredded
3 scallions
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/3 C chopped mint
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Dressing:
2 TBS lemon juice
1/2 C olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne (I add a little more)
1/2 tsp salt

Serves 4 as a main dish.
  #17  
Old 05-11-2017, 01:33 PM
SUZ MAC SUZ MAC is offline
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Lots of awesome recipes. Thanks for sharing.
  #18  
Old 05-11-2017, 01:37 PM
teela brown teela brown is offline
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Summer salad

Charred, peeled poblano pepper, de-seeded and diced
Cooked corn cut fresh from the cob
Diced tomatoes
Chopped green onions
Chopped red onion
Maybe a jalapeno if you like it spicy, diced fine
Italian parsley, chopped
Basil, torn
Olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Salt & pepper

Use your preference of proportions regarding the vegetables. If it's mid- to late-summer, then heirloom tomatoes are around and you can go wild with them, both in quantity and color. But always be sure to use the poblano pepper, because you can't beat it for combining with the corn and tomatoes.

I have six tomato plants planted. Yum - I can't wait for tomato season!
  #19  
Old 05-11-2017, 02:49 PM
Sattua Sattua is offline
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Teela Brown's recipe times an umptyzillion. Thanks for the reminder--I'd forgotten about corn, onions, and poblano!
  #20  
Old 05-11-2017, 03:49 PM
August West August West is offline
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Mine is a simpler version of Magiver's

Chopped cauliflower
Crumbled feta (don't buy the pre-crumbled)
Halved cherry tomatoes (I like mixing red and yellow)
Italian dressing.

Combine, mix, and serve!
  #21  
Old 05-13-2017, 07:11 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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Here is mine. I start by cooking 500 g of pasta. Any kind, but I like wagon wheels; they end up looking like trivial pursuit wheels. Cook it, add a couple oz. of mayonnaise and put it in the fridge to cool. Meantime, I chop a mixture or black (something like calamita) and green olives, maybe a cup of each (you might find it too olive-y, an oxymoron for me, so use less). Cut up a few oz of sliced banana peppers, diced, two sweet peppers (I like a red and a yellow) diced, five scallions. All diced. Add a few tsps of sweet relish (or dice a handful of sweet pickles). Mix all the ingredients.

At this point, I divide it equally into four containers. It fits perfectly into four 1 liter ice cream containers. This is the basis for four dinners for the two of us. Every night we add a protein. Possibilities are eight oz of cooked shrimp divided in a few pieces each; a couple of small chicken breasts, diced; two cans of tuna flaked; a large can of salmon; 8 oz of scallops diced; whatever appeals. Mix it thoroughly into one of the containers and divide in two.

In really hot weather, this gives us four consecutive delicious meals. Don't hold the salad over more than four nights.
  #22  
Old 05-18-2017, 12:39 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Here's a version of Waldorf salad that I made today:

Waldorf/Chicken Salad

1 large chicken breast (boneless/skinless)
1 stalk celery, chopped or thinly sliced
1 handful seedless grapes, halved
1 handful walnut pieces
1 medium apple, cut into bite-sized pieces
A few sprigs of fresh tarragon, leaves diced
Mayo

Saute the chicken until cooked through (165F)

Mix together all ingredients and toss with enough mayo to coat. Serve cold on a bed of lettuce or plain.
  #23  
Old 05-18-2017, 07:35 AM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
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There are lots of variations on fattoush, but this is the one I keep in my recipe organizer app:

Mix together:
  • 3 tomatoes, cubed
  • 2 cukes, peels and cubed
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • A few green onions, chopped
  • 1 entire bunch of parsley, chopped

Add the dressing:
  • 0.5 cup of good extra virgin olive oil
  • 0.5 cup of lemon juice. Yes, really, that much.
  • A healthy pinch of salt.
  • 3 to 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of sumac. Get it on the internet or a Lebanese store. Absolutely required.

Toss with lots of fried pita bread, as this is really meant to be a fried pita salad.

If you must, you can add lettuce, but then you have a different kind of fattoush.
  #24  
Old 05-18-2017, 11:31 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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The old standby I first had in New Orleans when ivorybill treated me to lunch at Herbsaint:

Shaved Beef Salad

Horseradish dressing
1 ½ cups mayonnaise
3 tablespoons creole mustard (or whole grain mustard)
4 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon hot sauce (we use Louisiana brand hot sauce)
2 tablespoons cane syrup (this is a Louisiana product, and may not be available – you can substitute a mild molasses)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Yield: about 2 cups

Directions
Mix it all together.

I can't get cane syrup here, so the first time I made it I made simple syrup and added molasses. Now I just use light molasses. (Or you can use Karo syrup and light molasses.) I use Zatarain's mustard and Louisiana brand hot sauce.

The beef
Most supermarkets will have packets of thinly-sliced roast beef. I go to the local supermarket's deli counter and have them shave some Dietz & Watson roast beef as thin as they can get it. Dietz & Watson is the brand The Market carries. Boar's Head is also popular in this area. We like the 'shaved' beef, but it would be easier to plate if we went the next thickness up. Last night we had the second-thinnest slices.

The salad
You can make your own salad, but I find it easier to use the bagged mixed Spring greens.

Assembly
Use two or three slices of the second-thinnest sliced roast beef or the appropriate amount of 'shaved' roast beef. Tear it into bite-sized bits (no more than a couple of inches square) and arrange them on a large plate. Pile on the greens. Add as much dressing as you desire. Top with French's fried onions.
  #25  
Old 05-18-2017, 11:40 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Tuesday I went to Trader Joe's and bought two basil plants. They're at least 12 inches tall, and only cost $3.29 (or maybe it was $3.49). The Market sells little 6" x 4" x ¾" plastic boxes of fresh basil for $3.29, so the TJ's plants are a deal.

So what do you do with basil? Caprese salads!

Standard Caprese salad

How to Not F#&k Up a Caprese Salad

The former recipe shows how I normally make Caprese salad: Everything nicely arranged on the plate. The latter doesn't look so 'formal'. I'm making Caprese salad sometime between tonight and the end of the weekend, and I think I'll use the 'How to Not...' arrangement.
  #26  
Old 05-18-2017, 11:43 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Tomato and Avocado Salad

Cube some tomatoes. Cube some avocados. Thinly slice some red onion (optional). Mix with mayonnaise and chill.
  #27  
Old 05-18-2017, 11:50 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Need to use up that leftover rotisserie chicken?

Gorgonzola Chicken Salad

Cubes of chicken breast meat. Cook it, or use leftovers.
Cooked penne pasta
Fresh spinach
Gorgonzola cheese, cubed plus some crumbled
Green onions, sliced
Red seedless grapes
Mayonnaise
Salt and pepper

Mix it all together. You can add celery, walnuts, or whatever suits your fancy.
  #28  
Old 05-18-2017, 12:39 PM
DCnDC DCnDC is offline
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Shrimp Salad

Shrimp
Pasta (I like elbows or bowties)
Mayo
Old Bay
Just about anything else I happen to have at the time*

*diced ham, crumbled bacon, bell pepper, onion, hard boiled egg, fresh herbs, etc.

No specific amounts. I just know when it looks right.
  #29  
Old 05-18-2017, 12:46 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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I love broccoli coleslaw. But it's one of those things where I don't see the point of doing all the work it would take to make it. I buy a bag of pre-shredded broccoli and vegetables and a bottle of coleslaw dressing (I like Marzetti) and then I mix them together.
  #30  
Old 05-18-2017, 04:39 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
Here's a version of Waldorf salad that I made today:

Waldorf/Chicken Salad

1 large chicken breast (boneless/skinless)
1 stalk celery, chopped or thinly sliced
1 handful seedless grapes, halved
1 handful walnut pieces
1 medium apple, cut into bite-sized pieces
A few sprigs of fresh tarragon, leaves diced
Mayo

Saute the chicken until cooked through (165F)

Mix together all ingredients and toss with enough mayo to coat. Serve cold on a bed of lettuce or plain.
I should have mentioned that you need to cut up the chicken (or shred it) before adding to the other ingredients.
  #31  
Old 05-18-2017, 09:31 PM
Cub Mistress Cub Mistress is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
Tuesday I went to Trader Joe's and bought two basil plants. They're at least 12 inches tall, and only cost $3.29 (or maybe it was $3.49). The Market sells little 6" x 4" x ¾" plastic boxes of fresh basil for $3.29, so the TJ's plants are a deal.

So what do you do with basil? Caprese salads!

Standard Caprese salad

How to Not F#&k Up a Caprese Salad

The former recipe shows how I normally make Caprese salad: Everything nicely arranged on the plate. The latter doesn't look so 'formal'. I'm making Caprese salad sometime between tonight
and the end of the weekend, and I think I'll use the 'How to Not...' arrangement.
I heartily endorse the recipes given here with one change: I peel my tomatoes. I can't stand tomato skins.
  #32  
Old 05-19-2017, 09:23 AM
GrumpyBunny GrumpyBunny is offline
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Thank you all. I bookmarked this and will be looking at some of these to try this summer. Actually, I'm looking at Chefguy's Waldorf salad for this weekend.

I often make pasta salad to take to lunch for work, or to have as a quick dinner. I don't have any measurements but it's an easy thing to do, just add/remove whatever you like or don't like.

My usual pasta salad:

Veggie stuff:
  • Quartered chunks of cukes (kept separate because I have texture issues with cukes gone soft)
  • Mandoline-thin-cut radishes
  • shredded carrots
  • black olive slices
  • green pimento-stuffed olives, halved or sliced.
  • VERY SLIGHTLY BLANCHED broccoli florets, cut very small. (Cook 1 minute, then plunge into ice-cold water) You can use raw, I just prefer blanched.

You can add a lot of other veggies -- whatever you like on your salad! Tomatoes or peppers would be good. I don't use them because my tummy does not accept uncooked tomatoes or any green/bell peppers. Cauliflower. Those zucchini noodles might be good if you cut them up.

Pasta (I like either tricolored rotini or plain tiny shells)
Cook pasta according to directions. At very end, total last minute, add tiny baby peas.
Cook a minute or two (tops), then drain. I cool by running cold water over the pasta. You can omit this.

After the pasta and peas are well-drained, I put them in a large bowl. Add all the veggies you want. Dress with a oil-and-vinegar-based dressing of your choice. I've done red wine vinegarettes, including some with parmesean in the dressing. I've done cracked black pepper and stuff in the dressing. You can use bottled dressing if you want or prefer. I don't care for pre-made creamy dressing on this, but if you make your own that balances oil and vinegar and the creamy stuff, it could be ok.

I have had this for lunch many times and people who see it always ooh and ahh like I brought in beef Wellington. Sometimes I serve on really fresh, good salad greens (I'm growing butter bowl and rocket just for this). Sometimes I add shredded rotisserie chicken. Sometimes I serve with a piece of cold cooked salmon or cold beef, sliced thin.

Last edited by GrumpyBunny; 05-19-2017 at 09:25 AM.
  #33  
Old 05-20-2017, 08:00 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Alas, the mozzarella was not what I wanted, but it was the best I could find locally and was good enough. Organic Roma tomatoes, basil picked off of the plants, California Olive Ranch olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly-ground pepper. Mrs. L.A. and I liked it.

... It sounds like she's slicing pineapple now.
  #34  
Old 05-21-2017, 10:34 AM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
I love broccoli coleslaw. But it's one of those things where I don't see the point of doing all the work it would take to make it. I buy a bag of pre-shredded broccoli and vegetables and a bottle of coleslaw dressing (I like Marzetti) and then I mix them together.
One of my go-to salads for dinner is bagged regular coleslaw with tzatziki sauce as dressing (I like more tang than regular coleslaw sauce). It doesn't get much simpler than that.
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  #35  
Old 05-24-2017, 10:57 PM
turner turner is offline
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My favorite salad of all time is spring greens, strawberries, candied pecans and goat cheese. For the dressing, really good balsamic vinegar--thick, and extra virgin olive oil in roughly equal amounts with a little salt and pepper.

Fresh, creamy, crunchy, tangy. A perfect balance of flavors and the only salad I can eat as a meal.
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